Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ghosts of Glen School!

Well, maybe not ghosts but if you're a little like me, last November (2009) I couldn't wait for the opportunity to walk around the school before everyone got there. I love the time to reflect. I really do love writing about this stuff - it was a fun time growing up - Glen School, BF, RHS, Ridgewood.

Last year I sent questionaires to as many people as I could asking for memories about the neighborhoods and Glen School - here are some of mine!

An old school chair from the 60's that I found in the gym in November! (Photo by Rick Flannery)

As I walked the halls last November, I could see us (my classmates and me!) on our way to assembly or gym. I could see myself in the library finally getting turned on to books! I could see Katie and Ann and others stealing the "Fink" tags off the backs of our shirts and us guys feigning that we were annoyed about it but loving every minute of the attention!

Above is the hallway toward the main office and gym that we all took so often. (Photo property of Luke Walter)

I could see every teacher. I could see our art projects - sometimes terrible - that we did and were so proud of! The kickball games which were such great fun and the dodgeball games which were even more fun!

In the gym I remembered when I broke my thumb playing hoops after a scout meeting. I remembered how I dreaded the day (every year) that Mr. Bookstaver would ask us all to climb the ropes - hoping I could do it and then succumbing to Mr. Bookstaver saying "Alright, if you can't do it, hang for one minute!" Ugh - the words "if you can't do it" staying with me all week!

Above, our school gym. I broke my thumb at that end of the court! (Photo property of Luke Walter)

Sometimes I wish I wasn't filled with such sentimentality but at the same time I don't think I'd want it any other way. Probably an Irish thing.

Before we got things set up in the gym for the reunion last November, I visited Mr. Linden's old office - I could see him and Mrs. Larsen and the nurse - everything was so eerily quiet.

When I walked into the kindergarten and first grade classrooms - so much came back! I mean I find it amazing that I can remember so much from such a young age! The cubbies, taking off our rain and snow boots - I mean really, that task alone must have taken about 10 minutes the way our mom's dressed us up for school on bad weather days!

Reading my first book to Mrs. Janicke.

Above are the cloakrooms where we would take off and put on our bad weather gear! (Photo by Rick Flannery)

In the kindergarten classroom, I could see Bruce Meneghin and me teaching Karen Eide & Jan Potdevin to whistle and loving every minute of it! Giving Jan and Karen rings (my sister's!). And lying on the hard floor with a thin blanket trying to nap but being pleasantly distracted by others! Dick, Jane and Sally books.

Tunes in June with the family at the Shell on Vets Field and my sister always begging out of it!

T&W's on sunday nights, Van Dyk's on saturday's after baseball and convincing my dad that the 100 person line at T&W wasn't that bad! Asking my dad to try and plan coming home from my grandparents so there was enough time to play ball and/or get ice cream!

The finger painting. The milk & graham crackers. Being embarrassed to be sent out to the hall! Recess and it being all about the girls! Baseball cards with the guys. Captains and picking teams. The fish pond in the courtyard with actual fish (it didn't last long). Mr. McFall and his uncanny ability to be in 10 places at once! Flip-top desks! Penny loafers. White socks. Chinos. Finally realizing one day that I dressed terribly in comparison to Attella, Petrucci, Merrill, Vukov.

Frank Petrucci and Paul Attella - how could they dress so well at that age?!

The first day I ever rode my bike to school - that first independence - relatively comparable to getting my license when I turned 17 (well not quite the same but at the age of 6 it was cool!) The metal annual bike license plates!

Trying out for and making choir and then seeing some friends like Artie Brierley NOT in choir and having fun playing ball instead - hey, how come YOU'RE not singing?!

My school reports - on so many subjects usually getting great grades and being very happy I was not graded on being a good artist (I was terrible with my covers!) You know, you'd see Cara's or Katie's reports and you'd be like "Are you kidding me!?"

An example of my report on Michaelangelo - you'd never know it by the cover but I got an E+ on this one!

Delivering the pink attendance slips to the office. Cleaning erasers on that funky machine near the office and sponging down the blackboard after school hopefully with Knight, Eide, Perdue, Rimmer, Daly, Pursiano, Neandross, Worthington well you know, somebody like that!!!!! Yeah, it wasn't about cleaning the blackboard! I remember telling some of the guys - so who cleaned the boards with you yesterday? Really!????

Above cleaning the blackboards and erasers!

Turning 8 or 9 and getting to stay up later for tv shows. In 5th and 6th grade, Batman and The Monkees and Combat! were favorites!

The Beatles consuming our lives in the winter of 3rd grade - I remember "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on Sullivan and loving the song "She Love's You". The girls singing Monkees songs on the black top.

Meeting Brian Marchese for the first time in 5th grade and suddenly realizing that I had one helluva lot of catching up to do - on all fronts! Dad I need a sting ray bike - with slicks!

Giving Ann Rimmer some of my baseball cards! Mr. Linden confiscating mine and other friend's baseball cards because we kept flipping them after the bell had rung!

Penny and her horses. Jill and the pillars!

Climbing to the school roof and wanting to do it when there was a chance of getting "caught" by Mr. McFall! Always finding baseballs, kickballs, frisbees. Come to think of it there must have been one hec of lot of those because everyone says they did the same thing!

Loving the independence that being on the Safety Patrol gave you - great excuse to be late for class and get out early! Also finally being able to tell younger kids what the 6th graders used to tell us - stay off the grass, don't run, etc.

Wanting my dad to get a woody like the Perdue's!

1001 crushes on the usual suspects - Glen had the best girls!!

All our classrooms had the big windows - outside and in. I remember when our class was waiting for our TB tests in nurse Musilar's office and seeing the 6th graders coming down the hall hamming it up as if it was the most painful thing ever and freaking me out!

Going trick or treating on Halloween 'til 10pm. Hitting every nearby neighborhood: Gateway Road, Eastbrook, Norgate, Roslyn and never having the guts - ever! - to go to Karen Eide's house!

Riding my bike around the school and the neighborhoods. I remember riding with friends to check out our "new" 4th grade classroom for that September and wondering once again if Karen Eide would be in my class! Actually Karen ended up being in 6 out of 7 of my Glen School classes - lucky me! (Sorry Karen!)

The movie days - those old 16 mm movies on hygeine or science or farms. The ant farm we kept. Watching channel 13 public tv - mostly Mr. Wizard epsiodes or space exploits on the tv.

Episode of Mr. Wizard above.

Mr. Bookstaver seemingly never missing a shot when demonstrating how he wanted us to shoot baskets!

Iowa tests - #2 pencil and color in the entire circle! Ditto sheets.

Above an example of the returned scores of your Iowa tests.

End of school year parties at the Pursiano's house, the Ward's house and the Voorhis' house.

Never wanting to stop playing ball and reluctantly going in for dinner! Touch football. Tackle football. Double-play drills on Auburn Avenue.

The great summer night games we played on Auburn Avenue! Curb ball and finally mastering the knack of how to get a home run doing it! Running bases. Great, long water fights. Frisbee and hot dogging it. Baseball cards on the spokes! Stick ball against the gym wall. Asking Cindy Pomeroy to go steady, giving her my ID bracelet and then going back to my baseball game! (Hello!?) Wanting to spend half my time at the Pomeroy's! Hoping the Regelman's would invite us for a dip in their pool! The Chick's keeping our baseballs if they ended up on their lawn and making them pay for that on Cabbage Night! Getting chased by the Roff's dog when baseballs or footballs ended up in their yard and just making it back over the fence when the dog figured out we were there - actually setting up diversions to give you enough time!

Looking forward to Camp Green but with some nervousness - about the food! What will a fussy eater like me eat?? I survived and Camp was pretty fun! Driving our Camp bus driver crazy with a rousing rendition of 100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall - you know, "......take one down, pass it around, 99 bottles of beer on the wall! 98 bottles..............."!

Incredibly long, marathon Monopoly games at the Meneghin's. Needing ALL the railroads. Y camp.

Dreading having to speak in front of the class. Mrs. Prescott loved putting us through that! You'd stand there and the new word in your life - "um" - would permeate your discussion of whatever! What was funny was Mrs. Prescott would point out that fact on everyone who got up and you couldn't help but laugh each time someone said "um" between each word and she'd tell us to stop!

Playing the clarinet and Mr. Cook asking me ultimately not to play it but to fake it - because I squeaked too much!

Realizing that I hated my clothes, discovering Mac Hugh's and wishing someone had clued me in sooner!

Little League of course. Scouts and the first overnight. Getting initiated at a Camp Gaw Jamboree and being made to sing the Star Spangled-Banner blindfolded and trying to keep my soprano singing voice as low as possible for fear it may draw more unnecessary initiation activities!!!!

Loving the field trips we took and we had a lot of great ones! The Central Park Zoo, the museums, the United Nations, Edison Labratory to name a few - being on the bus was just as much fun!

The above photo is from our trip to the Guggenheim Museum - courtesy of Katie Knight!

Being nervous at the end of it all - 6th grade - moving to the junior high school. I was definitely too young for my grade but I can't imagine not being with the class I was with.

Its easy to revisit the past when you had this much fun! That's why I get so much out of writing about it. That's also why it was so painful - really painful - when Artie died 2 weeks before the reunion. That's why too - Jan Potdevin - if you read this - you did truly make my night coming to the reunion. One never knows what to say or how to say it especially to someone they care about but I really did hurt for you at the loss of your mom and your brother - I can only imagine how you felt. Do you know how excited Artie was to possibly see you (even though we weren't sure)? We talked about it.

People you knew will always be a part of your life but its particularly special when its people you knew when you were younger and for the most part its those people you grew up with who will always remain an important part of your life and who helped to shape who you are - whether or not you ever see them.

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