When Greencastle High School (GHS) Math Teacher Larry Mason graduated from high school, the junior prom was held in the multi-purpose room of the school.
"They would shut down the area for two weeks and put in a false ceiling," Mason told the BannerGraphic.
Mason has been in charge of the junior prom at GHS for 24 of the 30 years he has been teaching.
He is excited this year at having the prom at the Greencastle Moose Lodge. The idea of using the Lodge came after a youth bowling league banquet he attended at the facility.
"The Lodge was looking for a community project and we were looking for a place big enough for the kids to be able to sit down and still have room for a dance floor. The Moose was perfect, size-wise," said Mason.
"Right after we announced the location some parents had concerns but the Moose really addressed them. They put in a separate door to the bar area which blocks it from sight. They also offered to add security people to the four uniformed officers we provide," he commented
"As far as the cigarette smoke they have an odor remover and they are going to wash down the walls, tables, chairs and even do something to the floor to make sure there is no odor. And they are not charging us anything to use the facility. They have really been terrific," stated Mason.
Parking will be much better also. There are two large lots on both sides of the building as well as street parking.
In the past the dance has been held in McAnally, at the Stokely Mansion in Indianapolis, in the Dolphin Pavilion at the Indianapolis Zoo, in the ballroom at DePauw and at Primo's in Plainfield.
"When we were using McAnally my wife and I practically moved in to the gym for two weeks. We had to hang streamers from one side to the other to create a false ceiling. The gym had to be closed for two weeks for us to prepare and it caused a problem for gym classes so eventually we had to move it off campus," reported Mason.
The count for prom is between 275-300 students and another 25-30 adults. Finding space to sit down and dance isn't easy.
"The Moose already has a dance floor with lights and plenty of space for tables. Our student officers and their committees were really excited about it," said Mason.
"We chartered a bus when we had to go out of town. First of all, we wanted parents to know their kids were safe. And we didn't use a school bus. We rented a real charter bus. I didn't want kids going to the prom in a school bus," he added.
The food at this year's prom will feature chicken tenders, meatballs, subway sandwiches, chips, fruit, vegetables and dip.
"The student committee really did a good job with organizing the whole thing," Mason said.
"It was funny when we were just getting started with planning for the prom; a flyer went out that I didn't know about that said, 'Do you want a bunch of boys planning your prom?' I found out later it was the junior class officers who are all boys," laughed Mason.
"They have really done a great job with everything this year." He added.
Mason reminisced about some of his favorite prom memories that include renting the carousal at the Indianapolis Zoo for two hours.
"It was just so much fun to walk over and ride and watch how much the kids enjoyed doing such a simple thing," he remarked.
This years' theme is Arabian Nights. Some of the past proms motifs have included the ever popular Stairway to Heaven, Bella Noche, A Red Carpet Affair and a Hollywood Nights theme.
"We were lucky enough to get one of our favorite DJs to come out of prom retirement and spin some records for us. Jim Seron who has worked several proms in the past is handling all the music. He's an excellent DJ and I'm sure everyone will have a good time," added Mason.
"In fact, I know they will. I don't think anyone has ever not had a good time at the prom. It's even the one event of the year where all the staff wants to attend. It's so cool to see all the kids dressed up. Now, it's time to get started on planning next year's prom," he concluded.