JANET ANGELO

FRANKFORD'S FIRST

FEMALE CHEERLEADERS 

 

Perry Como's Prisoner of Love, Frank Sinatra's

Five Minutes More and the Inkspots To Each His Own

top the music charts, blaring from cars as they cruise

up and down Frankford Avenue.

It's time for a fill-up.  You find a Gulf station and fill up your tank at .15 cents per gallon.  You just got paid, so your yearly wages of $2,500 burns a hole in your pocket. 

You stop at a grocery story and get a 2  lb bag  of coffee for .85. (Percolators were the home Starbucks) And with that coffee, .15 gets you a dozen donuts and hungry neighbors in your kitchen.  

 

You return to the home you purchased for

$1,459, new--$5,600.

Can you guess what year this is?  I'll give you a hint... President Donald Trump was born this year.

Yes, 1946.  It was also the year a group of girls approached Principal Hitner (new to the school) and asked if they could join the always male cheerleading squad.  

He gave the nod, and history changed in the fall of 1946. 

 

The first coed cheeleading squad began with five girls and seven boys.  Mrs. Janet Angelo, Coach Al Angelo's wife, was one of the first female cheerleaders.

By 1947, Frankford's cheerleading squad was all girls.  

"It was a fun time.  My husband, Al (championship winning football coach.)  was a football player.  We married in 1953 and had one boy and three girls."

"Arlene, my oldest, was Frankford's Valedictorian and works as an attorney.  She graduated from Penn State.  Al Jr. graduated from West Chester and is a teacher in the Ocean City school district. 

 

Her third child, Alisa, graduated from Penn State.  Her husband also played football and is a dentist.

Her youngest, Annette, graduated from Kutztown University and retired from the Richmond School in Port Richmond.

Mrs. Angelo loved cheerleading, singing in the choir and participating in sorority activities.  But her fondest memories are of the community surrounding Frankford High School.

"An always integrated school, the Frankford community behaved like a small town."

 

"We all knew each other.  We shopped on Frankford Avenue together and we all attended the same schools.  Frankford wasn't opened to the entire city back then."

"On football game day the community came out to march with us up Wakeling Street to the football field.  It's nice to belong to Frankford.  We still have big class reunions."

Her advice to current students is to get involved in school activities.  "If you don't get involved in groups, you don't enjoy it as much."

And to the alumni, "Get involved in the alumni association... if you don't it may not be around.  So you owe it to yourselves to keep it going."