Lorice Staudinger Fiala was crowned prom queen of Patchogue-Medford High School in 1952. The theme of the celebration was “An Evening in Paris.” In addition to the royal title, the prom queen of 1951 placed a flower crown atop Fiala’s head.
“I was surprised that I was the queen,” Fiala said. “It was nice; it was up at the Patchogue Hotel and they had an Eiffel Tower erected there.”
Fiala remembers playing badminton, basketball, baseball and soccer during her high school years. After graduating in 1952, she started working at The Colony Shop, which was owned by her mother, Eloise Staudinger.
Fiala still runs the shop, located in East Patchogue, to this day. She said her mother got the idea to start the business around the time she was born.
“She wanted a little bonnet for me,” Fiala said, “but couldn’t find one any place. That’s where it all started.”
The family moved to Patchogue from Greenport, where her mother had owned a knitting shop. The Colony Shop opened on East Main Street in 1946. The store specializes in children’s wear for special occasions like communions and birthdays.
As a Patchogue resident, Fiala is grateful for her community. She is active in the chamber of commerce, the Woman’s Club of Patchogue and the Patchogue Lioness Lions Club.
“All my dear friends from years ago are still here,” she said, adding that the annual alumni luncheon and 65th class reunion both are coming up this summer.
“I’m very excited,” Fiala said. “I love to see my old friends. They come from far away and nearby and we just have a good time. It all flows back, and it’s just wonderful.”
Editor’s Note: Newsday.com is catching up with former Long Island prom kings and queens to reflect on being named royalty and see what they’re up to now. If you’re a former Long Island high school prom king or queen and would like to participate, email email@example.com.