Thursday, November 22, 2012

Christmastime at Memphis School

Wonderful photos of a Christmas program held in the auditorium of Memphis School.  We wish to thank Nancy Windhorst Moeller, Class of 1948, for sending these awesome pictures of our old auditorium. Read Nancy's wonderful story on our old school below.
These three photographs were taken in the late 1940's. Notice the auditorium seating. I don't remember these seats when I began kindergarten in 1966.
The auditorium was always a fun place to be. In the 1970's, we all ate our lunches there. As always, click on any picture to enlarge. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our Memphis School Alumni and Blog visitors a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Monday, November 12, 2012

James Ledyard's Wonderful Memories of Memphis School!

What a nice surprise to find a Blog about Memphis Elementary! Thanks for all the great pictures and memories.

I attended Memphis from 1955-1961, then went on to Wm. Rainey Harper.

For some reason, today, I thought of my homeroom teacher, Ethel F. Baker. I Googled her name and that's how I found this blog. 

I can remember how stern Ms. Baker was in Room 301. She was always impeccably dressed and I remember her silver chalk holder with the little stone flower setting on the side. 

I remember we had Cloak Room Monitors.. whose job it was to raise the doors in the cloak rooms just before the bell rang. I remember Mrs. Mildred Wurch, the Science teacher. In the summer when school was out, they had a program where you could opt to grow a garden at your house. Mrs. Wurch would come around to your house in late August just before school started, and she would grade your garden and give your a certificate. We always waited anxiously for her arrival.

It's amazing how many memories are retained after all these years... I'll jot down a few.. to see if anyone else remembers them.

The boys played marbles in the school yard under the monkey bars. You would scoop out three holes in the gravel, and see if you could knock your opponents marble out of one of the holes. (If you did knock your opponents marble out.. you got to keep it) Some boys had large bags full of marbles they carried around.. cats eyes, boulders, etc.

I remember walking home for lunch everyday. I lived on W.48th, so I got to walk.. (in all types of weather). We would watch Capt. Penny (Ron Penfound) on Channel 5, WEWS, while we ate our lunch. We knew it was time to go back to school when Capt Penny was over. Remember his closing statement everyday? "Listen to your mom ... she's pretty nice and pretty smart.."

There was a small corner store at 45th and Memphis next to Kirchners German Meat Market. We would stop in on the way home and buy penny candy and pretzel sticks from a big jar.

There was also Novak's Home Bakery on the corner of 48th & Memphis where you could get fresh cream-filled lady fingers for a dime. (a lot of money in those days but worth it!)

I was a school crossing guard... got to wear the nifty shoulder harness with badge and carry my Greater Cleveland Safety Council Yellow flag.

I remember rotary dial phones.. my phone number was "Shadyside 9-7458."

What was the television commercial with the lady who sang the Jingle "Garfield 1-2323... Garfield 1- 23...23"? Jimmy Dudley.. the voice of the Cleveland Indians.

I can remember one ice cold snowy morning in January.. going into the basement of the school near where the Janitors worked. They had a big coal fired furnace in there and we would stand by the door of the room to get warm. There was a boys bathroom right near where the Janitors office was. Schools were much different in Cleveland in the 50's.  I think they were better,.... meaning ...that they were more tuned into student progress and well being. 

Many students at Memphis Elementary will remember the dentist and assistant that came in once a year, and evaluated students teeth. We would all have to march down to the Principals office on the first floor, and wait in line as the dentist examined each and everyone.

The Dentist would have a wooden tongue depressor, and he would call out all the cavities and problem areas.. with numbers like  24-35-16-

I later learned, that he was mapping my teeth and noting areas of cavities. I never knew what they did with that information, but I guess they gave it to the parents who would take their kids to the dentist. 

At one time.. the doctors came in and gave shots for whooping cough, and tetanus. Good luck in this day and age even getting a doctor to come into a school. And who could forget SOS?  (Sabin Oral Sundays)

Sabin Oral Sundays were series of weeks where the families could go to various places around Memphis Elementary School, and get a sugar cube, which contained a dose of medicine to prevent Polio. As I remember.. it took 3 doses of sugar cube, to properly vaccinate you.

Hard to believe that we defeated the deadly disease of Polio as late as 1960.  But we did.

More to follow... Many great memories live on.. thanks for sharing and best regards to all in 44109... Old Brooklyn.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Special Message from Liz Hollan Gundich

Greg, I so enjoyed what you did to keep Memphis school as a long lost memory! I have everyone looking it up. I wanted to thank you for dedicating the website to my brother Mark William Hollan. It was one of the kindest things I have seen in a long time. It touched my whole family's heart, more than you will ever know!!! 
We came across this site by Googling my husband, Frank Gundich, and we saw his picture. Frank passed away September 2006 after a long battle with cancer. 
It was fun seeing the autograph book too! I still have Franks, and I have a card everyone signed for my brother Mark when he got his tonsils out in 5th grade. I was a grade ahead of you guys. I had Mrs. Bridges in room 302! I also remember Kail and his sister, too. Anyways, I just wanted to say thanks! Keep in touch, Liz Hollan Gundich!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Memphis School Artifacts

No friends...these relics aren't from the Titanic. They're from our old school on Memphis Avenue. A box filled with some antiques/junk and a few other items were given to me by the last owners of Memphis. This was after I shot some pictures at the school. One of the items is this Remington typewriter. Click on any image to enlarge.
The spool of ribbon is still in tact.
Amazingly, this machine still works! I believe it's from the 40's.
Then there's this box of lantern slides. These are slides that you show using a projector that's made to show only one-slide-at-a-time.

Here's one of the slides with schoolchildren using umbrellas.
An old call-box which was attached on the wall of the Principal's office. If you needed the custodian or to call the dispensary, you would simply press a button and someone would come running. Who needs cell phones!
A ceiling light fixture from one of the stairwells. It's about 18" tall and has a beautiful glass sconce on it. I removed it just before the tear down. I had planned on removing more of these as there were about 50 of them left hanging throughout the school. Unfortunately, time ran out. I will be posting a few more interesting artifacts soon.

By-the-way, if you went to Memphis, consider writing a story like the stories that Nancy, Kail or Attila have written. It could be as long or short as you like! Please send your story and any photos you have to:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Memphis Memories from 1948 by Nancy Windhorst Moeller

Students from the Class of 1948. Click on any image to enlarge.
I happened upon your blog by chance and have spent the most delightful hour revisiting Memphis School, which I attended through 1948.

The comments were all so interesting; my homeroom was Room 303, initially with Miss Ruth Ross. I dragged out my old class pictures, including a few pictures of the chorus, "orchestra", and the lead actors of the Christmas program.  I later went to Wm. Rainey Harper Jr. High, then James Fort Rhodes High School for two years before transferring to Parma High School.  I was in the first graduating class from Parma High School.
Classmates and teacher autographs found on the back of the above photo.

One thread was so interesting to read as it captured so much of the personal lives of some of the teachers I remembered, but hadn't thought of in years.  The writer remembered Mrs. Weist, and Rev. and Mrs. Weist's daughter Carol was in one of my classes.  I remember Mrs. Stillman's distinctive slanted writing.

I remember my first kindergarten teacher's name was Mrs. Wilson, I remember playing school on the first day of vacation with the school books that I was given for helping in the teacher's lounge, and wanting to be a teacher until the first time a boy threw-up in class. . . all these memories are coming fast and furious and I'm sure I'll be awake most of the night remembering more.
The Kindergarten class in Room 101. The writer of this wonderful story, Nancy Windhorst, is standing center, top row, fifth one from the left.
I lived on Brookside Drive, between Ridge Road and West 63rd until my family moved to Parma in 1952.  After my marriage in 1962 we moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan and lived there until 1972 when we moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I now reside.

Interestingly, and I'll make an involved story short, the mother of a chiropractor who was standing in for mine, told me he thought his mother had gone to Memphis School.  Later in the day I brought back my pictures to see if he could pick her out.  He couldn't, and so he called her (in Mobile, Alabama) and we talked for quite a while.  I found that she was a year ahead of me and had many memories of the same teachers.  I did have her name, but can't remember it now, but I will try to track her down and tell her of the wonderful work you're doing for all us old Memphisites.  

It was so interesting to read other's memories of school.  I'm awed by the information on the teachers that Gilbert Newlands posted.  To know their marital status, what kinds of cars they drove?  I guess I thought the teachers must live there as I never remember seeing them drive any kind of car and just never imagined that a teacher had a family!

As I suspected, since I wrote this I have remembered so many more things from my days at Memphis:

Room 104
When I was at Memphis we did not eat lunch there, but had to walk home or take the bus.  Unfortunately I lived at the end of the line, on Brookside Drive, so I was the last to get home and had to be the first back on the bus.  Made for a rather short lunchtime.  At times when there were more kids taking the bus than usual a 'trailer', sort of an abbreviated camper-looking thing would be attached to the bus and everyone wanted to ride in that. 

Room 201
There was a small store across from the school, where the bus stop was.  I could not tell you to this day what the store sold EXCEPT for the display case in the very front that held all the penny candy.  Frequently it was a race to make your purchases before the bus left. 

Room 203
I had said earlier that my homeroom teacher in room 303 was Miss Ross. She used to wear the loveliest plaid suit. I believe that she must have married her service-man beau and moved, and then was replaced by Miss Covell, as I remember her also.  I loved music and still think of my favorite song we would sing, "My Green Cathedral", every time I drive through a street near to my house that has a lovely canopy of branches over the street.

Room 303

My prized possessions are the six class pictures that I have from Memphis School, including one with 28 signatures on it. Thanks again for this site and all the great memories!  

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Old Library and Mooney Jr. High

The old South Brooklyn Branch Library on Henritze. How fun was this place! Going to this library to watch movies upstairs on a Saturday morning was a blast! Does anyone else remember the red-headed librarian? She would visit us at Memphis quite often.
Another great school! Many if not most of Memphis' students went to Chas. A. Mooney Jr. High. I do remember paying a nickle during lunch to watch a 15-minute segment of a movie. One movie I remember was when Ray Milland and Rosie Greer became a man with two heads!? Mooney's movie theater was really cool!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Classic Image of Memphis

Kail Tescar '72, discovered this awesome shot of Memphis of what appears to be from the 1920's or 30's.

This is by far the oldest image we have. Judging by the size of the trees in the front and the peculiar-looking building to the right of the school, this shot must've been taken soon after the third floor was added.  This image clearly shows the addition of the third floor as evidenced by the original roof line that you see between the second and third floors. If you look closely, you can even see Memphis Avenue in cobblestone!

Can someone help date this image? Click on this image to see our old school in its full size granduer!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

School Mementos

My friend, Kail Tescar '72, e-mailed me these great mementos. Remember these?

If you gave a dollar or two in class, you would get one of these. Kail and I were friends through our schooling at Memphis. On one occasion, I remember the two of us walking to my house from the school for lunch. My mom had a couple of hot dogs waiting. Those were the days when you could walk home from school for lunch!

Do you have any school mementos? If you do...please e-mail them to me!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Welcome to Memphis School!

Hello Visitor!

Welcome and thanks for visiting the Memphis School Blog. Please feel free to join our community as many have on the right of this posting. If you should have any photos or interesting stories about your time at Memphis, please e-mail them to me at:

Be sure to read the most excellent stories contained inside this blog by Memphis alums like Attila Barandi '68, Bruce Stoessner '60's, Gilbert Newlands '55 and my best friend from Memphis School, Kail Tescar '72.

As you go through this site, remember to click on the 'older posts' tab at the bottom of each page. Also, you can enlarge most pictures by clicking on them. In fact, click on the photo above to take a closer look at my steel lunchboxes I used during 4th, 5th and 6th grades at Memphis School.

Enjoy your visit back to our old school and please send your story and photos of Memphis soon!

Sincerely, Greg Zaryk
Class of '72

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Going to the Zoo from Memphis School

The other day after my son and I visited the Zoo, we stuck the camera out the window and took a picture of the old steel-staircase. I was told these steps were installed sometime around 1950.

Back in the Spring of 1968, when I was in Memphis 2nd grade. Our teacher, Miss Shirley Roach, took our whole class to the Zoo for a field trip. We all walked to the Zoo from Memphis School by walking down W. 42, then walking down these steel steps that's on the hillside off Pensacola Avenue's wooded area.

Click on this or any image to see closer.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interior Shots of Memphis before the Demo

The school facing west.
A couple of shots of a classroom, minus the blackboards and steam radiators. The steam radiators were always found below the windows. Anything that had any value was pulled from the school before the demolition by 'pickers' of every kind. You name it...hardwood floors, blackboards, windows, plumbing, copper wiring. At the end, the school was essentially, an empty shell.
Remember the cloakrooms?
The old stage in the auditorium. I remember a few puppet shows and small concerts being held there. During the sixties, we ate our lunches in the auditorium.
The auditorium facing Henritze.
This appears to be the second-floor corridor.
One of the entrances into the gym and a couple of shots of the gym itself. According to the clock, power to the school was pulled at 7:30. This clock and its protective cage now hangs in our home on our game room wall. It keeps excellent time!