Friday, November 18, 2011

Were you ever in Room 302?

A couple shots of room 302. I remember having class in 303 with Ms. Howe and in room 304 with Miss Emch, but never in room 302. Click on any image to enlarge.
I wasn't kidding when I said the classrooms were as huge as warehouse docks!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Gym at Memphis School

A shot of the old gym. This was sent to me by an alumnus showing the gym just before the tractor came calling. As you can see, someone was able to pull up and save the beautiful hard-wood flooring.

What you're seeing in this photo where the oak-flooring once was is...dirt! You can also make out the white basketball backboard on the left wall.

If you look closely, you will see an old clock hanging to the right of the doorway between the doorway and the interior window. The windows to the left are facing Memphis Ave. The gym was a fun place to ball, bake sales, voting and of course, school carnivals!
The old gym clock and its protective cage now hangs in our game room. Surprisingly, it's the best timekeeper we have at our home! If anyone has any photos of Memphis or the store that was called 'Greens' which was located on the corner of Memphis and W. 41st, please let me know.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Teacher's Lunchroom at Memphis

Some shots of the teacher's lunch room. I'm pretty sure the teacher's lunch room was on the second floor and faced Memphis Avenue. The old Magic Chef stove as photographed inside the lunch room before we pulled it.

The stove was given to me by the last owners of Memphis School in return for some photography work I did. It's amazing to think, in our work offices today, most of us use microwave ovens, back then, everything had to be reheated by stove-top or oven.
The stove looks to be from the late 1940's to 50's. The doorway you see to the right was to the teacher's restroom. The stove is now parked in a corner of our garage. We're getting ready for our daughter's birthday party and clambake tomorrow, and we'll be firing up the old stove for the 3' tall clam pot. It's so much easier to steam clams out in the garage than inside the house!
The old percolator coffee pot was a bonus as I found it stored inside the oven. It brews great coffee! Happy Fall, everybody!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Memphis School Ghost Story

Recently, a few visitors to this blog asked me to retell the 'supernatural' visit I had in our school shortly before it was torn down. I first wrote about this experience of mine in a story that appeared in the February 2010 issue of The Old Brooklyn News. If you haven't seen it, you can find it in this Blogs archives or go to:

So, in the spirit of Halloween, I will share with you one of the scariest moments I had of which occurred during my last visit to Memphis School.

It was an ordinary cool, windy, mid-October evening. I had just finished visiting with my mother who lives around the corner from Memphis and decided to take the 5-minute walk to the school. I remember the sun setting and the sky was a muted orange. The leaves outside the school were whirling in circles and it was pretty close to 6:00 p.m. As many of you know, the school building was, for the most part, accessible. I went in as I did a few times before by slipping into the school through the side doors that faced W. 41st Street.

As soon as I entered the foyer, I immediately heard a loud banging sound of which floated from the depths of the school. It reminded me of someone just banging away on a piece of sheet metal with a steel hammer. I convinced myself it was only a piece of metal flapping in the wind somewhere in the gym below.

There was just enough light coming in from the outside to barely illuminate the stairs and sections of the corridors, but the light dissipated into total darkness by the time it reached the center of the long corridors. The wind outside was blowing so hard that when it entered the school, it created a chorus of sounds that I can't even begin to explain. These sounds came to life as the wind weaved it's way through the classrooms and the corridors. With every window gone and the wind blowing at full speed, Memphis School turned into a monolithic wind chime. It sounded as though every schoolchild's voice and laughter were inexplicably funneled back into the school through some sort of mysterious time warp. 

Then there were the whistling noises. Depending on where the wind was, the whistle would start at one end of the corridor, then finish at the other end and back and forth it would go. Lastly, you can hear running water which found its way trickling down the walls. I was completely mesmerized by all of the sounds. Needless to say, it was an eerie experience. 

Undaunted, as many times before, I started to walk up the stairway at the same time being captivated by what I was hearing. As I approached the second-floor landing, I realized the banging sound had stopped. I found this peculiar since the wind never once died down. As unnerving as this realization was, I kept walking, at this point now, 'tip-toeing' up to the third floor.

Just as soon as I stepped onto the third floor corridor I noticed a bizarre scene at the other end of the corridor, a silhouette (much like in the sample photo above). I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was like 'Jason' out of the 'Friday the 13th' movies. Someone or 'something' was standing at the other end of the corridor with both of it's hands straight up in the air, like a referee signaling a touchdown. Whoever or whatever it was, it didn't move, it remained perfectly still. I myself froze much like a mannequin. My first thought was...what's a grown man like me, with a wife and kids, doing standing in a dark, condemned building?! I realized if I wanted to see my family again, I better get out fast.

I tore down the steps running and jumping two and three steps at-a-time, convinced the freakish shadow was either chasing me or that I would plow into it on my way down.

Of course...I made it out in one piece. Believe me, I was out-of-breath for the rest of the night. I'm quite shocked I didn't trip on my descent. That was my last visit to our old school. As crazy as it sounds, it felt like someone was trying to reach out to me. I'm convinced the sounds I heard were actually 'echos' of memories past. It still gives me the creeps just thinking about it!

Was it a ghost? You tell me!
Happy Halloween!

Memphis School Mystery Solved! Our friend Attila Barandi breaks the case! Date of missing homework is from 1958!!

That's Attila Barandi in the cockpit, flying a OV-1D Mohawk during his service to our country. Attila served our country as a military pilot during Desert Storm. Attila graduated from Memphis School in 1968. Click on this image to enlarge. More photos of Attila and his Mohawk can be seen at:
You can also visit Attila Barandi through his website:

According to there is an Elaine Mary Zychowski living in Cleveland who is 64 years old. That would put her in the 6th grade graduation class of 1959. Since she was in grade 5A (the A and B designations were discontinued in 1967/68 school year--because one of my report cards reflected the change) then it fits the puzzle that she had to have been a 5A student sometime before the 1967/68 school year. Also, I was a student at Memphis up until 1968 and none of the names look familiar, so they weren't students there between 1963-1968 when I was there.
Next time ask something hard!

Thanks for solving this mystery, Attila!

My good friend, Attila, will be receiving a vintage Memphis School textbook and a couple of classroom coat-hooks that will be sent to him, to his hometown of Hungary. Great job Attila!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mystery of the Lost Homework...Can you help solve it?

A cache of graded homework was found inside the old Memphis School science desk. Evidently, these papers fell behind the desk drawers during the 1950's or early 60's and sat 'entombed' in Room 307 for some 50 years!

Until recently, I had forgotten all about this find. We discovered these graded papers during the time we moved the old desk from Room 307 to our home. This was just before the wrecking-ball came calling. Since then, they've been stored in a shoebox in my garage.

You may have seen a picture of the desk on this blog. If you haven't, go to 2010 blog archive and click on October 13th.
The outside of this stash looks ancient! Looks like it should be in a museum!
Sort of resembles the Dead Sea Scrolls!
But when you open the fold...the papers look like they were just graded yesterday.
If anyone knows any of the students listed below, let them know that we found their homework! It would be great if one of them could shed some light as to what year these were from and for more fun...which teacher lost them!

The only other markings on these papers is the subject; English Grade 5 a and some say Grade 5 b. It appears to be a book-report assignment on 'Winnie the Pooh'.

Most of the names are legible, some of which I could only make out their first names. The names on the papers are:

Nancy Bachman, Dallas Pisker, Jane Gelzinis, Joan Cianciola, J.A. Bognar, Barbara Ferrell, Donna Payne, Margaret-Mary Haas, Byron, Steve Tekisky, Carol Jean Haller, Lynne Farkas, Steve Ference, Elaine Zychowski, Janice Claus, Sandra Stafford, Mary Ann Bibel, Delane, Billy Deisner, William Olsson, Ralph, Gerald Bekon, Esther Risellino, David Rochisky, Slyvia Simon, Wayne Austin, Jack Myers, Kenny Patock, Carla Schraegle, James Parker and Louise Homuth.

The person that solves this Memphis School mystery, will receive an artifact from our old school, i.e., pencil sharpener, a school brick or a coat hook, etc. Remember to click on any image to enlarge, once it's enlarged, click again to SUPER enlarge!

If you have any information in solving this mystery, e-mail me at:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memphis School and it's Teachers. By Gilbert Newlands, Memphis Class of 1955

I was browsing the Internet the other day and found your stories about Memphis School. It appears that I have a number of years on you, since I attended Memphis from 1948 until 1955 (Kindergarten through 6th grade) when I went to 7th grade at William Rainey Harper. I can still remember most of the teachers from those days, and wanted to share some memories with you.

Starting on the first floor, Miss Verna Deming taught Kindergarten in Rm. 105. The room across the hall (101) was also a kindergarten room. Next to that - adjacent to the stairs - was Room 103, Mrs. Jelinek's room. Mrs. Jelinek was also the gym teacher, and on days when she taught gym, she wore "bloomers." What a field day today's kids would have with that outfit! (The gym itself was in the basement -complete with ropes hanging from the ceiling. It was also the venue for bazaars, bake sales, etc.) Proceeding down the hall was the Principal's office. Miss Amanda Volk was the principal in those days. She lived with her mother on Daisy Avenue, and was a very proper maiden lady. I can still picture her as she would drive out of the school yard in her old green Chevrolet, turning left onto Henritze Avenue. Miss Deming drove a 1937 Plymouth coupe and I remember one cold day when she drove me home from school. She lived in Berea, in a farmhouse that her grandfather built. Berea was still RFD in those days.

On the second floor was my first grade classroom with Margaret Miller as the teacher. Next room down the hall was the teacher's lounge. Room 204, at the end of the hall, was Mrs. Jessie McKinstry, who died halfway through the year. She was a very sweet person, and I remember we all felt very bad when she left us. At the other end of the hall - on the southeast corner was Mrs. Wiest's room. Winifred DeWitz Wiest was the wife of our minister, the Rev. Dr. Elam Wiest. She was a friend of my mother's and belonged to one of the same "circles" at our church, so she was frequently a guest in our home. She drove an old Chrysler - not very well if I remember correctly. The Wiests lived on Spokane, just a few houses from Pearl Road. Both she and Dr. Wiest are now resting at Brooklyn Hts. Cemetery. Also on the 2nd floor was Miss Grace Cliff. Miss Cliff maintained discipline in her classroom. An amusing recollection of Grace Cliff is that sometime during the 1970's I got on a crowded #55 bus, and took the only seat available, next to an elderly lady. I kept glancing over at her, and finally asked if she was Grace Cliff. She confirmed that she was, and I introduced myself as a former student from the 1950's. She asked how I recognized her, and I told her she hadn't changed a bit. She laughed and said she didn't if know if that was a compliment or not, as she was now in her 80's, and didn't know if that meant she looked like she in her 80's back in the 50's, or if she looked like she was in her 50's now. At that time she was living in an apartment on Clifton Blvd. I kept in touch with her, and she later lived at the Eliza Jennings Home, where she died some years later.

Another teacher with whom I kept in touch was in Room 301. The formidable Ethel Baker. Nevertheless, she was one of my favorite teachers, and instilled in me a lifelong love of reading. Miss Baker was a very private person, but when I "discovered" her many, many years later, she received me very graciously and we had several subsequent conversations. She was by then retired, and lived in the house on West 85th Street where she lived with her parents, Walter and Ella, an older sister, Jennie, (who was a nurse), and her brother Lester. She later moved to the Hilroc Apartments on Hilliard Blvd. after her parents, and Jennie and Lester had died and the house became too much for her. None of the three Baker children ever married. Miss Baker drove that Checker because it provided easy entry/exit for her father, who was quite elderly by then. Incidentally, Checker manufactured cars for the public for several years; they were not just for taxi usage. Two of them, in fact, a black and a blue car, are parked in the yard at St. Herman's House of Hospitality down on Franklin Ave. They have "Historic Vehicle" plates on them, so apparently they aren't driven very much. They were very reliable vehicles. In the days when she taught at Memphis she drove a plain Ford. Miss Baker was buried from the Church of the Ascension (Episcopal) in Lakewood and is interred at Lakewood Cemetery.

Next door to Miss Baker was Florence Walczak, who lived way out in Hinckley. Mrs. Walczak taught Art and Handcrafts. She had a long drive into town each day, especially since this was in the days before the freeways. In Room 303 was Isobel Covell who was a music teacher. Miss Covell was an old maid who drove a Studebaker and lived in Lakewood with her aunt, also a maiden lady. In 304 was Mrs. Esther Leonhardt. Mrs. Leonhardt was a long-time widow, her husband having died in the 1920's at the age of 27. He had been Elmer Leonhardt, and a son of the pastor of Zion E & R Church on West 14th St. Mrs. Leonhardt was a DeWar before her marriage, and when she taught at Memphis, lived with her mother in a lovely house on Westminster Drive in Parma. She drove a Buick. She had a heart attack sometime during her years at Memphis, and sadly, suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after she retired. She was also a family friend, and on occasion, she and her mother celebrated Thanksgiving with us. Across the hall from Mrs. Leonhardt was Mrs. Sarah Stillman, another widow, who lived on the East Side. Mrs. Stillman lived with her father, whose name was Mr. Rosen. She died only a few years ago, when she was in her 90's. Mrs. Mildred Wurch was the teacher in Room 307, and she was my 4th grade homeroom teacher. (306 and 307 shared a common folding wall; in earlier days, that had been the lunch room. 306 was Miss Froelich.) I believe Mrs. Wurch's husband, Rudy, was a police officer. Many years later, I arranged to meet my widowed father and a "lady friend" of his for dinner one evening, and you can imagine my surprise when the "lady friend" turned out to be the then-widowed Mildred Wurch. Several years after that I had a very nice note from one of Mrs. Wurch's daughters thanking me for a sympathy card I sent after Mrs. Wurch had passed away.

There were a number of other classrooms and teachers, and I have fond memories of them, but will not go into any detail about them now. I almost forgot to mention though, there was also a classroom in basement, number B-1. The teacher there was the only male teacher at Memphis, George Gale. He taught 4th grade, and was just recently out of college. He lived in a rented room on West 48th St., second house from Spokane, where his landlady was a widow, Mrs. Buburt. He walked to and from school, and I remember the day we saw him drive into the school yard in his first car - a used 1947 Chevy. Also in the basement was the office for Mr. Henry Werner, the custodian, who was the father of my friend Jim Werner.
I hated to see old Memphis School torn down. It stood there for a good many years, having been built in 1919. It was originally two stories; the third floor was added a few years later. I wish I had been able to salvage a brick or some other memento of the old place. Hope you enjoy my memories of the old school...........

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Got Brick?

Hey Memphians...if you didn't get a brick from the tear-down of our elementary's the chance!

I've given all but 3 of the 1918 beige-colored bricks away. So there's 3 left! I'm trying to 'thin-out' my Memphis School collection. If interested, e-mail me at:

Hopefully, you still live in the local area otherwise you'll have to cover postage as these nearly 100-year old bricks are pretty heavy. Click on any image on this blog to enlarge, once enlarged, click again to super enlarge.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bruce Stoessner and his memories of Memphis School

Thanks to our friend and Memphis Alum, Bruce Stoessner for this great story on our old elementary school.

I came across your Memphis School website and loved reading about the school and what became of it. It brought back memories of my time at Memphis. I started school there in September of 1961 to December 1962. I came there from Mark Twain School. I started at Mark Twain in the 3rd grade after my parents moved south of Memphis Ave. on West 57th St. Before that, I was at William Rainey Harper school. So, you see, all three of my elementary schools are no more.

So I attended Memphis for the second half of 5th grade and the entire 6th grade because Mark Twain only went up to the first half of 5th grade. I always thought that that was kind of weird. Anyway, my homeroom teacher and science teacher was Mrs. Mildred Wurch. My homeroom was 307, the science room. My art teacher, handcraft teacher and handwriting teacher was Mrs. Walzak. My English and social studies teacher was Miss Ethel F. Baker who was very stern and had an allergy to chalk dust so she used to use a special chalk holder. She became my homeroom teacher for the entire 6th grade. She was the only person I ever knew who drove a Checker automobile. The Checker was usually used for taxicabs but she had hers special ordered. It was a big boxy car but it fit her personality. My math teacher was Mrs. Stillman. My choir and music teacher was Miss Mondt. My gym teacher was Miss Damm and finally my instrumental music teacher was Miss
Pauline Diamond.

It is amazing to me that after all these years, it is all so vivid to me. I can see the gym with the worn steps going down to the basement. I can see the auditorium that stuck out of the back of the building. I remember being up on the small stage for music performances for the PTA mothers. My mom was there and she had tears in her eyes as she watched me play my trumpet or sing in the choir. I remember the principal's office in the front of the building. I remember that we had a boys entrance on the east side of the building while the girls was on the west side of the building. So many memories, classmates and teachers. I wonder what happened to all of them. I am sure that all the teachers have passed on by now. Probably a number of the students too. I am 60 years old now but it is all like it happened yesterday.

I loved growing up in Old Brooklyn. It was a great neighborhood and a great place to grow up. I still live in the Cleveland area in Parma. I am retired for 6 years now and occasionally, I come back to that area just for the memories. When I go by the vacant lot where Memphis stood, I can still see the building in my mind. I can still here the kids in the school yard. It was a simpler time.

Greg, thank you so much for the website and for saving all the memorabilia. When I see the pictures of the signs, books, the school guard badge, the bricks that you have on the website, it all comes flooding back to me.

Your work is much appreciated,

Bruce Stoessner

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A BRICK, A BELL AND A BOOK...A Reminiscent Memphis School Story...By Kail Tescar

Memphis Alumnus, Kail Tescar and his handsome son, Kail Jr.
Kail's awesome collection of souvenirs from our old school. Click on any photo to enlarge. Once enlarged, click again to super enlarge!


My name is Kail Tescar and I was born and raised in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland Ohio. I attended Memphis Elementary school from 1966 until 1972. I started in the basement Pre-K classroom of Miss Goodnight (“Good-night, Miss Goodnight!”), and worked my way to the top floor sixth grade classroom of Miss Emch.

I moved away from Cleveland in 1999 to a small town in Georgia and rarely had the chance to return to the area until the memorial for my dearly departed Grandmother. It was a sad time, but also a time of rekindled friendships and a lot of nostalgia. When I heard Memphis was being torn town I decided to take one last look at my former school.

What I found surprised me. The once familiar structure now seemed completely foreign, covered with graffiti, shackled with chains and with not a single window. As I looked around the playground I couldn't help but think of old friends and joyous hours spent at play on the swings and slides that were once there. The metal stairs to the auditorium/lunchroom still stood and I vividly remembered swinging from them as a makeshift monkey bar, passing the time before the bell would ring and we would be called to class.

Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to see if I could gain entry and have a look inside. I tried the front door and found the chains easily slipped from the handles. I stepped inside and was shocked by the flood of emotions that fell over me. The once wondrous halls so filled with light and activity had fallen into gloomy decay. But the memories spent there were still so fresh that I felt like Rip Van Winkle returned from his slumber, as if I were in a Twilight Zone episode where a hundred years has passed over night. Everything so familiar yet totally changed. The school had long since been stripped of it’s material value, the wooden floors of the gymnasium, the seats and curtains from the auditorium, the teacher’s desks and blackboards all were gone. I visited all of my old classrooms, where I found the floors, having been exposed to the elements, buckled, warped and swelled, like the waves on an ocean ‘Where are they now?’ I wondered as I thought of my teachers, friends, favorite books from the library, music class, and everything from drawing Kitty cats in the basement, to my prepubescent unrequited love for the six foot Goddess in a mini skirt, Miss Emch.

I decided I must have a few souvenirs before it was gone forever. I returned early the next morning before my trip back to Georgia armed with a wrench and screw driver. I took a few things, like the door handle off of my kindergarten class, a bell from the hall, and a chair that my 6 year old son sits in today. Attached you will find a picture that contains my little memorial to Memphis Elementary School. It contains a bell, a brick and a book, and I keep them around to remind me of great times spent there, and of a much simpler world.

Here’s to the good old days!

Many thanks to my good friend and fellow classmate, Kail Tescar for this awesome story and the vintage photographs shown below. He can be contacted through his website

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Awesome photographs of our last day of school from 1972

One of my best and true long-time friends is Kail Tescar. Kail has graciously sent these awesome photographs of our very last day at Memphis Elementary School in June of 1972.

Pictured above is a group shot of some of the 1972 graduates and Miss Emch standing in front of the school. To see any image closer, just click on it.

The always impeccably dressed and super cool, Mr. Donald Sopka. Mr. Sopka is seen here signing autographs on our last day of school. Mr. Sopka was one of my all-time favorite teachers.
A fellow '72 classmate, the late, Frank Gundich (in yellow shirt).

These photos reminded me of the yearly ritual of getting the school ready for summer vacation. We covered everything in-sight with newspaper and washed everything down with Ajax.
The awesome and always fashionable, Miss Emch!
Here's my friend Kail Tescar, who provided these great pictures. Kail is standing near Memphis Avenue along with a couple of students and Miss Emch. When showing these pictures to my daughter, she quickly pointed out that Kail was our very own version of a Justin Beiber!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Looking for the old Memphis School Sign

I'm hoping to find the old cast-iron Memphis School sign that was once planted in the front lawn of the school. If anyone knows the whereabouts of this sign or who picked it, please e-mail me at:

I'm willing to pay a sizable finders fee for it! It was a black iron sign with white letters and was mounted on a black pole. See photo above, it's partially hidden behind Miss Emch in the group shot. I believe it read: Memphis Elementary School - Cleveland Public Schools.
Thanks, Greg

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Memphis School Relic Giveaway!

The antique table from Memphis School. Click on this image to view. Once enlarged, click again to super enlarge.

One of the Memphis School relics I have and no longer need is this beautiful drafting-style table. We once used it as a computer table. So, if you didn't get a chance to pick up a souvenir from Memphis when it came down, here's your chance to have something really cool.

If you live in the greater Cleveland area and are a former student of Memphis, this table is yours! Come get it! It's free!

It's offered on a first-come basis and will be available in a few weeks. You will need a pick-up truck, van or a station-wagon to pick it up. It's not too heavy. If you're a senior citizen, and still live in the local area, I'd be happy to deliver it.

This table was pulled out of Memphis' basement near the classroom that faced the teacher's parking-lot. It was removed about 2-years before the school was leveled. It could easily be some 70-80 years old and by the looks of it...spent its entire existence at Memphis. It's made of solid wood. Restoration is recommended and needed as it's very old!

If interested and if you can prove you were once a student at Memphis, please e-mail me at:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Have any pictures of Memphis School?

If you have any pictures of Memphis School or interesting stories about your time at Memphis...Please contact me at
This picture was taken facing the front of the school from W. 42nd Street.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cleveland's Brookside Park Swimming Pool

Remember this place? Thanks to our friend Attila Barandi (Class of '68) are some shots of the old Brookside Park Swimming Pool. This was once located where the Cleveland Zoo's BP Amphitheater is today. To see larger, click on any image to enlarge.
I'm sure many Memphis alums have swam here! I had the best time swimming here!

A very old 'post-card' image of the old neighborhood pool, judging from the bathing suits, this image may be from the 1930's.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Meet Attila Barandi...Memphis Class of 1968

A fellow Memphis Alum, Attila Barandi discovered this Blog in his hometown of Hungary. Attila graduated from Memphis in 1968. Here's Attila's Memphis' sixth-grade school picture. Read Attila's excellent collection of memories of Memphis below. As always, click on any picture to enlarge.
Yes, that's our very own fellow Memphian meeting Princess Di. Attila was a military twin-turboprop pilot. We'll hear more from Attila in the near future.

Current photo of our friend, Attila Barandi.

My Memories of Memphis School by Attila Barandi.

For some reason I just decided to type in “Memphis Elementary School Cleveland” in Google and your site came up. I, too, along with a gazillion others, am an alumni
from Memphis. I started there 4 years earlier than you, it seems (I graduated HS in 1974---and never flunked a grade). Anyway, I remember Donald Sopka as a new teacher then, teaching Science. Also had Miss Krzepina for like the 4th and 6th grade. And back then the school year was split into As and Bs. If you were on the normal cycle, you started school as a B in Sep, then became an A in January (example they had grades 4A and 4B). Some kids were on the reverse cycle meaning their school year started in January as a B and they became an A in September.
Some other notable teachers, and this is a stretch of the memory: Mrs Dorn; Mrs Rieger; Mrs Florence Walzak; Principal Mrs Durkin;
I remember in 1968 one of the teachers brought a large radio in and we listened to the Russians quelling a revolution in Czechoslovakia.
Upon reaching the 5th grade, students were then “changing classes”, meaning you had more than just wanted teacher during the day.
I remember in 1963, in the 2nd grade, in the afternoon, a teacher came into the room crying, whispered to my teacher something, then they both left and the classroom became unattended. Before I knew it, we were all released from school early and sent home....President Kennedy had been shot. A few months later, the kids in class were buzzing about this musical group that would be on TV that coming weekend on the Ed Sullivan show. The Beatles.
There used to be CD (Civil Defense) emblems on the corners of school in case of nuclear attack, the basement would have been our refuge. I don’t recall ever having to do those drills where kids dive under their desks in case of nuclear attack, though.
I was also one of the school guards maintaining law and order on Henritze and W 41st, though I don’t think I ever had to strike anyone with my flag.
I remember the gym had ropes that you had to climb (or was that Mooney?) as a measure of a persons physical well-being.
I moved from the Cleveland area in Feb 69 (7th grade then at Mooney) and never really returned to the area. I mentioned to my sons that the school was something like you saw from an old 40s movie. The kids were well-behaved. When I got to Mooney, everything changed. First week of school, a punky kid named Charlie Brown, went to the teacher and punched him in the face a few times before the teacher could restrain him. Never saw the kid again. So it was a big change from Memphis where there maybe was a playful fight on the school grounds once a year.
In 1997, I returned to the Cleveland area with my young sons—we were living in Arizona then. We visited the Cleveland Zoo. Upon entering, I asked the ticket-taker what happened to Brookside Pool. She was in her 20's or so, said that there never was a swimming pool there. I told her there was, and evidently it was before her time.
Thanks for putting this Blog together and a big hello to all my classmates!...Attila, Class of 1968