Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hilda Brucker - Memphis Class of 1972

Fellow Memphis classmate and freelance writer, Hilda Brucker.

Recently, I received an email from a cherished classmate of ours, Hilda Brucker.

Hilda is now an accomplished freelance writer living in the Atlanta area. She has authored two books and written for many publications including; Audubon, Better Homes and Gardens and The Old Farmers Almanac, to name only a few.

It was wonderful reminiscing with Hilda and I thoroughly enjoyed her incredibly sharp memory. In fact, she reminded me of the pet department in the old Woolworths store on Fulton Parkway, a place where a few of my pets came from. A memory I had long forgotten. Thank you, Hilda, for stopping by and reminiscing with us!

Hi Greg,

I'm quite sure you won't remember me, but I discovered your Memphis blog a little over a year ago. I was actually a second-grade classmate of yours in Miss Shirley Roach's class. I was on the zoo field trip with you, the one you blogged about, and my mom was actually a chaperone on that trip. My family lived at 4607 Memphis Ave back then -- just one block over from the school, with one little side street to cross as I walked to school. (I believe it was W 45th St). There was always a sixth-grader with a yellow safety flag guarding that intersection and helping the little kids cross. 

Were we also in the same first grade class? I had a teacher named Miss Yachyshyn. (Pronounced like YAHK-uh-shun). It's amazing that I can remember how to spell that, but I guess that's why I became a writer. 

After 2nd grade I was diverted into the Enrichment Program, so I wasn't in your classes any more. I had Mrs. Betty Kramarz for 3rd and 4th grade (room 206); Mrs. Schneid for 5th grade (room 208, but I don't remember her first name); and Mrs. Kathleen Hansen for 6th grade (room 308). 

Did you go to Mooney Jr High? I don't remember you there at all. 

In the summer of 1972, after you and I "graduated" from Memphis, my family moved into my grandma's house, where my mom had grown up. That house was also in Old Brooklyn, at 2401 Tampa Ave, which ran between Broadview Rd and State Rd. My little sister then attended 5th and 6th grade at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School.  I sold that house in 2002, when my dad died, and it made me very sad to do so. 

So this is how I found your blog:
In June of 2015 (last summer) I was on a walk in my neighborhood (I live in Atlanta now) when I ran into a man who always waves to me when I pass his yard. I ran into him walking his dog, and it turned out the dog's name was "Memphis." So I laughed and told him I grew up on Memphis Ave and attended Memphis Elementary School and he got a funny look on his face while he was processing that info and finally he said, "You're from Cleveland?" As you can guess, he was too -- small world story. (Looking back, I should have known he was a midwesterner and not a southerner, because he always waved.) So I went home that night and was thinking about Memphis School and googled to find out what had become of it, and that's how I found your blog. I wanted to write you then, but I was getting ready for a trip to Novia Scotia... and besides, writers are famous procrastinators. So I'm finally getting around to being in touch. 

It would be fun to hear back from you. I'm betting you don't remember me, but your name resonated with me right away and I when I read the post about the zoo trip, your face popped right into my head. I remember you always had fascinatingly good hair. 

-Hilda Brucker

Hilda's 2nd, 3rd and 5th grade class pictures. Click on any image to enlarge!
Hilda along with her brother and sister in their Easter outfits outside their home on Memphis Avenue.
Hilda (center) along with her siblings photographed on Memphis Avenue.

A great portrait of Hilda and her sister, taken at Kruse Studios, our former neighborhood photography studio on Memphis Avenue.

1 comment: