50-year SBM members get a blast from the past

What a world it was in 1961.

That’s what 50-year members of the State Bar of Michigan were reminded at the SBM’s Golden Celebration luncheon, as part of the SBM’s annual meeting in Grand Rapids.

As Chris Christenson III, a Flint-based attorney who represented the Young Lawyers Section, told the attendees in a quiz show called “You’re on the Stand,” 1961 was the year that:

· Wilson Rawls’ “Where the Red Fern Grows” was published.

· The Mercury-Redstone 2 astronaut test took place.

· Six Flags opened its first park.

· The average cost of a new car was $2,275, minimum wage was $1.15, and the average income per year was $6,471.

· Slip ’n’ Slide, Ken (Barbie’s beau), and the first disposable diapers (Pampers) hit retail shelves.

One of the 50-year members recognized was former Wayne County Judge William Giovan, who joined his three legal cohorts in barbershop quartet the Forum Shoppers onstage. They crooned a parody of “When I’m Sixty Four” (called “When I’m Sixty Five,” about mandatory retirement from a law firm).

Of course, that raises an issue: if a 50-year honoree is to retire at 65, he or she would have had to pass the bar exam at age 15.

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