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Your Online Class Reunion

 

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This will be our online discussion forum. We are inviting as many of you as possible to join us "around the table" and talk about anything you remember about our life together back in the fifties. Just remember, we're all friends and classmates. Some of the stories we tell may be funny, and some may be sad, but please refrain from remarks which might hurt or embarass someone.

What name to post under is something you may wish to consider. This is an open website and search engines will gather data from it. If you post under your real name, someone could google your name and your post may come up among other references to you. If you post under a screen name, knowing each other as we do, we may still be able to figure out who it is, but search engines will not. So use your own judgement.

We are not sure how much participation we will get on this discussion board. Message board modules come in varying sizes. The larger the module, the more space on the internet server we need, and we are renting that space. We had 103 in our class, and about 40 have turned out for each reunion. So we will begin with a small capacity : 500 responses. If this discussion becomes very popular and we reach 500 responses, we'll shift over to a much larger module, probably using Vanilla. This smaller module offers a single thread format, direct sign in and no peripheral data. The larger modules offer multithread formats, use passwords and screen names for greater security, and include dates, times and other data on postings.

So come on in, let's have a lot of fun, and let's all think back to the decade of the fifties...

Cory

Ponytail

Margie, I just love this. I have enjoyed so much looking through all the photos. Thank you so much. I wonder how many other classes have a website like this. When I think back to those days, what I remember most is the music. Elvis, Bobby Darin, Frankie Avalon, Ricky Nelson, The Everly Brothers. And I remember the dances. The Friday Night Club when we were in junior high, and the Saturday Night Club in high school. Every weekend. Even in the Summer. What good times we had.
BobbySox I agree, both about the website and about the music and the dances. Down there at the YMCA. Our parents ran the snack bar so they were sort of "around," but we were still pretty much on our own. Some of the guys were sort of klutzy, but they eventually figured out how to dance the various steps. There were a lot of romances that started on those nights.
BeBop Definitely. I remember we would decorate for the special dances, like Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's, and wasn't there always a "Snowball Dance" or something? Didn't we also have some sort of girl asks guy dance? And every once in a while, don't I recall us bringing in a live disc jockey to play the records?
BobbySox I do remember those special dances. Looking back on it, isn't it amazing we were only in junior high, but we ran the whole thing ourselves, doing the decorating and picking the music and hiring the disc jockey once in a while.
Bebop When my own kids were in school, they didn't have anything like it. Not ever. We did it every week, and now they can't do it at all.
Ponytail I really cannot remember what adult was behind it all. It seems like us kids ran everything, but there had to be some adult involved. Who was that?
BobbySox You're right. I don't remember the adults at all. Mothers took turns running the concession stand, but there must have been a teacher sponsoring us. I sure don't remember who.
Ponytail Whoever ran it, I think the secret behind it was they started just as we entered seventh grade. We were all prepared to move up to the big junior high, and we knew everything would be different, so when they said, ok, we're all going to learn how to dance, and everybody is supposed to show up down at the Y on Friday night, we just said OK, and showed up. And they taught us how to dance. We didn't know enough to be embarassed or anything. If they had waited until we were in high school, the guys especially would have said no way, they weren't making fools of themselves, and the whole thing would have fallen apart. But our guys, by the time they were old enough to feel self conscious, they had already learned how to dance.
BeBop Do you remember that first night? They taught us that box step, then they had every girl take off one shoe and put it in a big pile in the middle of the dance floor. Then each guy went out and picked up a shoe. And he walked around and found who belonged to the shoe. And that was his first dance partner.
Saddleshoes I still remember one guy who they didn't need to teach how to dance : Louie. Wasn't he incredible?
BeBop That's for sure. He'd already been taking lessons down at that, what was it, Barbara Ann School of Dance? I think a lot of the guys might have said, this is ridiculous, but when Louie got out there and made it look so smooth, they all figured, heck, if this guy can do it, so can I.
Ponytail Remember how we would all listen to the radio to keep up with music? Wasn't it KQV that did the Top 40 Countdown every day, and then every Saturday released the next week's Top 40?
BobbySox It was KQV. I remember they had The Wax To Watch. It was a new song just out that the Disc Jockeys thought had a good chance to do well.
Saddleshoes Yes. You'd watch a new song make it onto the Top 40, then week by week climb toward the top, then slowly fade back off again.
BeBop Isn't it odd the tiny things we remember? Sometimes I can't remember my cell phone number but I can remember things from 50 years ago. I definitely remember that Little Diamond was the only song that ever jumped from Wax to Watch to Number #1 in one week.
BobbySox This is embarassing. Because I remember that, too. How in the world would something like that stay with us all these years?
Blondie Hi Everybody. Can a newcomer join the party? This is great. But what I remember is buying the records. Remember we bought them one song at a time, except there was always another song on the other side. Before we came along, records were bigger with little holes in the middle, but ours were small with a big hole in the middle. And we had those little record players with the big thick post in the middle you fit the records down over. You could stack about six records on the post and it would change them one by one.
Ponytail I remember that. When we had slumber parties each girl would bring her own records and we'd spend all night playing everybody's
BobbySox Wasn't the main record store down on Fifth Avenue in the middle of town? I seem to remember they'd post fhe new Top 40 on a big poster in the window every week so you knew what to buy.
BeBop Didn't they also have a rack by the door so when you walked in you could pick up a copy of the Top 40 to take home? Kids today don't have any idea what the Top 40 is. There is no Top 40 anymore. To us, it was a very important part of everyday life.
Hot Rod Is this a sorority, or can a guy join in?
Ponytail Oh, please do. We need lots of people.
Hot Rod I can't believe they've got this website up and running. Where in the world are all these pictures coming from?
Bebop I don't know. But I'm going to have to get up in the attic and dig out my old photo albums and see what I have.
Hot Rod The thing I remember about those dances is how much nerve it took to ask a girl to dance. You had a few you always danced with but to ask a girl to dance you'd never danced with before was really hard. You girls just sat over there saying Yes but you had no idea how hard it was for the guys.
BobbySox Let me tell you it was hard on us girls, too. It would be sooo embarassing not to be asked for a dance, and if three or four songs went by and nobody asked you, you started wondering if something was wrong. I had friends who would go to the dances and in a whole night only be asked once or twice, or even not at all, and they'd go home and cry, and it would be all we could do to talk them into going back the next week.
Hot Rod Well, there were guys who would go, and pay to get in, and buy a few soft drinks, and spend the whole three hours there, and never ask a girl to dance at all. They spent their whole evening getting ready to, but never quite made it.
Ponytail I know who a few of those guys were. And the funny part was, there were girls who spent the whole evening hoping that guy would come over and ask her to dance. She was dying to dance with him, and he was dying to ask her, but he never could get up the nerve, and there was nothing she could do about it.
BeBop Then there were guys who only liked dancing slow songs, or only fast songs, so when one of the other kind came on, they'd just go sit down. They were fine about asking girls to dance, and they could dance ok, but they would end up only dancing half the songs each night. There were a bunch of guys like that, which meant each song a bunch of girls had to sit out because there were not enough guys for all the girls to get asked.
Dago You have got to be kidding me. A whole bunch of you are sitting around talking about stuff we did in junior high 50 years ago. I can't believe this. And I think it's great. But I have a question for you. How long after we left did the Friday Night Club and Saturday Night Club keep holding dances?
Ponytail I have no idea. That's a really good question.
BeBop I had a younger sister and she went to them. So it lasted at least a while longer.
BobbySox I had some cousins who were still going to them all through the sixties. I think they kept doing it until they merged Cory with Neville and moved the school over to the Island.
Hot Rod I never knew they moved to the island. I thought they just moved up to where we had the old stadium.
BobbySox No. When they first merged, the state decided the old high school was unsafe and would cost too much to renovate, so they closed it and used Neville High School while they built the complex up on the hill.
Dago Am I the only one who thinks it strange that they declared the buildings unsafe and too expensive to renovate, so they abandoned them, but then they turned them into the best apartments in town and they're still in great shape today?
BeBop I always have thought that was more than strange. Crooked, I'd say. Somebody got paid off by somebody. It's a ridiculous idea to have kindergarten kids and 18 year old seniors going to school in the same building.
Ponytail At the time, I thought it was an outrage that they demolished McKinley, Central and Lincoln. Those were beautiful buildings. They were built like fortresses. You could never afford to build anything like them today. If nothing else, they could have been converted to great apartments. Those high ceilings, huge windows, solid oak floors. I went to Central, and I went down when they were destroying it. They had this big crane and wrecking ball. They would swing the ball in wide arcs and smash into the walls to break them apart. I was hoping to buy a clock or desk or something as a souvenir. But they wouldn't sell one to me. They had contracted with some antique company, which was there loading everything into moving van size trucks. But I talked to the crane operator on his lunch hour. He told me the three schools were the hardest buildings to bring down of any he had ever worked on. He said their walls were so thick they withstood any kind of force. So tell me again why we abandoned them?
Dago Face it. We were just lucky. When we were there, the schools were pretty well run. After we left, different people took over, and they made some pretty bad decisions.
Hot Rod If they had just built a wing next to the high school with a decent gym and vocational rooms Cory would have been fine. And it would have been a lot cheaper.
Ponytail It was cool having those classrooms around the auditorium. We could go out between classes or on hall pass, or before or after school or at lunchtime, and sit in the chairs. A bunch of us gahered every morning in those balcony chairs. Plus you could sit there and watch everybody on the first and second floors. I think one of the reasons we all knew each other so well was because we saw each other all day every day. Nobody was disappearing down some long hall.
Dago Remember how we also used to come in from lunch and sit on the bleachers and watch the girls playing volleyball or basketball. What'd they call that bunch --- the GAA ? --- always had their games over the lunch hour. Getting to watch the girls in their gym suits was a good reason to hurry back after lunch.
BobbySox I don't even know who you are, but I need to straighten you out. I was one of those girls down there playing, and we weren't doing it to put on a show for you.
Dago Hey! No offense intended! I thought you were real cute.
BobbySox You don't even know who I am.
Dago Doesn't matter. I thought you were all real cute.
BeBop The funniest thing about that building was the guidance counselor's office. When my kids were in school, I went in to see their counselor, and they had this fancy complex with a receptionist and a dozen nice offices down a side hall. Ours was a closet. What was his name --- Mr. Reveler? --- sat against the wall, and there was stuff stacked everywhere so you could barely squeeze in and sit down in the one extra chair. Houses today have half baths bigger than his office.
Ponytail Revilia, wasn't it? Something like that. Ravilea, Ravelea?
Hot Rod Remember those big black iron gates they could pull shut to close off the stairs after school. We'd be down at basketball practice, and if we needed to get back up to our locker, we had to climb over top of the gate.
Dago God, that gym was awful. It had those two big posts and those circles intersecting. We had great basketball teams and they had to play in that gym. Other teams just hated coming to our gym. Oh, and that lousy scoreboard. Half the time the number lights on the visitor score would short out and make the image of a sailboat. And you had to plug the thing in before a game. A manager would have to climb up and hang onto the windowsill with one hand while reaching over and plugging in the scoreboard with the other. We'd have been better off playing our games at the junior high gym. Or the YMCA.
BeBop Does anybody remember we had the really bad storm one year and it tore the roof totally off the high school? We missed maybe a week of school while they put a new roof on.
BobbySox I don't remember that at all. Missing school was something I would think I'd remember.
Hot Rod I kind of remember something like that. I seem to remember it was actually a tornado and came through just as we were getting up one morning. It blew trees down and sucked windows out all over town. I'd forgotten all about it.
Ponytail I don't remember that. The storm I remember was The Big Snow. Remember from then on when anybody referred to it they always capitalized it. We were in grade school. We were maybe 10 years old, maybe in the fourth or fifth grade. And it started snowing and just kept snowing what seemed like forever. When it was done, we were just buried. That was the only time we ever missed school for snow. But nobody could go anywhere. All the streets were blocked. The men had to walk to work in the mills and the ones that worked out of town couldn't go. I think we missed a week of school. Then we spent the rest of our childhood wishing for another storm like it and one never came.
Dago Yea, I remember that. I seem to remember the snow was four feet deep. But some places it drifted a lot higher. At our house, we had to use a window to get in and out of the house until we could get the front door shovelled out.
Crewcut You people have been busy. It took me 10 minutes to read all the way down to this point. This is great. I wish I knew who you all were, but I sure remember the things you've been talking about. About The Big Snow, I remember them blocking off three streets and laying cinders at the bottom to stop us, and letting us sledride right on the streets. And that snow stayed a long time. For several weeks we'd go home from school every day and sledride, and on weekends, we'd spend all day out there.
BeBop They did that every Winter. We sure got to do a lot of sledriding. My own kids still got to do some, but my grandkids almost never get to. Whatever happened to all those snows?
BobbySox Global warming. What were the streets? In the middle was it Chestnut Street? I think over on the Lincoln side of town it was Vine. What street did they close over on the McKinley side?
Dago We also used to sledride up at the Cemetery. But we never went up there after dark. It wasn't like we were scared or anything. But we just didn't like it up there after dark.
BeBop We used to sledride on the long hill coming down from the stadium. Nobody ever went up there after football was over, until track started in the Spring.
Hot Rod We used to go up to Omlor's. They had the best hill in town, but it took forever to tow our sleds up Montour Street. But we would start right in their backyard and go down across their garden and into the woods and through the woods for a loooong time and come out down below Wildcat Rock. Then you had to haul your sled back up the hill. So you didn't get too many rides in one night, but the ones you did get were great.
Ponytail I remember going up there. They'd have the back porch light on, and his Dad hung a spotlight from a tree about halfway down, and the snow really reflected the light, so you could see. But it was still spooky way down in the woods.
BobbySox We'd go up there, too. We only went on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. The snow would melt off the streets but with all those trees, Omlors had snow pretty much all Winter, even between storms. One big advantage up there was that Danny's mother always made lots of hot chocolate and cookies so we could come in the house every hour or so and warm up. I remember sitting with my feet on the heater thawing out my toes.
Hot Rod There was a neat little trick to sledriding at Omlors. On the last run of the night, you didn't have to tow your sled all the way back up through the woods to his house. You just towed it down through the woods and then along the cinder street and up to Montour Street right at that little store. You came out at Vance Avenue across the street from Margaret Agostinelli's house. It made your walk home a lot shorter.
Blondie We came about as close to killing ourselves as we ever have one time sledriding up there. They had several sleds, and one of them was a big bobsled. Four or five people would ride it sitting up. You steered it by leaning. Danny's father showed us how to use it and made one run down the hill with four of us. Then he let us take it down by ourselves. It seemed to steer real nice when he was on it with us, but we must not have paid attention to something, because when we went down on our own, we couldn't make it turn. So the sledriding track slowly curved to the right, and we went off into the woods at about 100 mph. I remember thinking Oh God We're Gonna Die. If a low hanging branch or a dead tree would have been about four feet above the snow it would have taken off all our heads. Through some miracle, we didn't hit anything, and finally got to the bottom of the hill. We all just sat there for about five minutes while our hearts slowed down. We hauled that bobsled back up the hill and never tried it again.
Dago That's no worse than what all the rest of us dealt with every time we went down one of the blocked off streets. They'd put those cinders down at the bottom of the hill to stop our sleds. Ha. If you had a good fast sled you ran through the cinders. It slowed you down but didn't stop you. Then you shot out onto the cross street into traffic. This happened all the time. How a lot of us weren't killed I'll never know.
BeBop That was one reason we liked Stadium Hill. They didn't cinder it, but at the bottom you had a long level stretch, then it actually sloped back up before hitting Maple Street. Plus you had time to turn your sled to the right onto the parking lot. So we never had a problem with traffic. Our problem was making that right turn further up the hill. By the time you came all the way down the hill you were really moving, and that was a very sharp right turn. Lots of times we ended up off in the weeds.
Crewcut How many of you went out onto the river when it froze over in the Winter?
Ponytail Every time we heard of kids out on the river, my father would sit us down and tell us if just one time he found out we'd done that he would beat us until we couldn't walk. He said that ice was absolutely unsafe. So I never tried it.
Dago We did it all the time. I know now how dumb it was but back then we thought it was cool.
Blondie Not me. I don't think any of my friends tried it, either.
Hot Rod Yeah, we used to do it. We thought it was cool to walk around over top of those big bubbles and force the bubbles to move around.
BobbySox It's a wonder any of you guys made it through high school. I must have been pretty naive. I had no idea you were into stuff like that
Dago Oh, don't worry. We were into lots more dangerous stuff than walking on ice on the river. It was actually pretty thick.
BobbySox Thick. Sure. More dangerous stuff like what?
Dago Being out on the river at night in some little rowboat and not paying attention and suddenly finding out you're right in the path of a tow with barges. Let me tell you, when you're right in front of them, those barges are a lot further across than they seem, and rowing out of their way can be pretty hairy. And a whole bunch of us had lots of close calls with trains. There's nothing quite like being caught between two long trains moving at full speed in opposite directions on adjacent tracks.
BobbySox OMG
Blondie I had no idea guys I was dancing with, sitting in class with, cheering for in football and basketball, maybe even going out with, were this insane.
Crewcut We used to hike along the railroad tracks, especially the Montour Railroad. We'd hike way out there and camp out around the county line. It was a rather common occurrence to get caught either on a trestle or in a tunnel with a train coming. You just learned to hang off the side or jump, or squeeze real flat against the side of the tunnel. Beat sitting on the porch playing Monopoly.
Hot Rod Probably the closest any of us came to disaster was after we started driving. There were a lot of times members of our class were drinking and then driving, and lots of other times they might have been sober but were driving way too fast.
Ponytail Ahhh, Cars. I loved cars. Who was that guy a class or two ahead of us with the really hot car with the big fenders ?
Dago That would be Dominic Santucci. I think that was a 1940 Chevy. And you're right. Dominic was really good, and his car was Hot.
BeBop Anybody remember that old Chrysler Mrs. Crawford drove?
BobbySox I remember it. She only drove it to school, church and the grocery. She told us once in class it had 15,000 miles on it. It looked like brand new.
Ponytail I know driving to school was not easy. There was no parking. You had to park two blocks away unless you got there early.
Saddleshoes I remember how we all walked home for lunch all 12 years of school. Nobody does that anymore.
Dago Except Thursdays during football season. Then the Football Mothers Club had their Spaghetti Lunch at the YMCA so a lot of kids went there.
BeBop I do remember walking home for lunch. Heat, rain, snow, freezing cold, didn't matter. We slogged home, ate lunch and slogged back.
Crewcut Yes, but it was cool. We had 90 minutes. What was it, 11:30 until 1:00? You could walk home, eat lunch, have time to do something else, walk back, and hang out for 10-15 minutes before 5th Period. It was a nice break.
BobbySox If you lived reasonably close to school, you had time for a nap. What a luxury that was.
Ponytail What I hated were those days we had band practice up at the stadium. We had to bring our lunch, hike all the way up that hill, eat lunch, practice our show for that Friday night, then hike back down.
Dago You only had it once a week. If you played football, you had to get up there every day beginning in seventh grade, and then after practice, hike home in the heat, the rain, the cold. It's no wonder we were in better shape than any team we played. First you hiked home and back for lunch, then you hiked to practice and back. We did more hiking on steeper terrain every day than Boy Scouts in Summer Camp.
Blondie Some of us also hiked back to the junior high for Home Ec or Art and I guess for the boys Shop.
Hot Rod We actually had a lot of fun hiking home and back at lunchtime. We would toss a football or baseball back and forth across the street and have snowball fights in Winter.
BeBop Of course by Senior Year most of us either had cars or had friends with cars. Beginning with the last half of Junior Year, fewer and fewer kids were walking.
Ponytail I seem to recall we even hiked up to the stadium for Gym in good weather. In marginal weather we went over into that hole across State Avenue from the high school, down along the creek, where we played softball and a few other sports. It was only in Winter weather that we actually stayed in the gym and played basketball and volleyball.
Blondie We also hiked down to the YMCA for gym and had swimming lessons.
Crewcut I remember the way to do Gym class was to schedule it twice a week in two hour blocks. The kids who had it for one hour at a time barely got changed and out on the floor before they had to come back in, shower and dress.
Saddleshoes I agree. The ideal Gym class was two hour blocks 6th and 7th periods. Then you didn't have to go back to class after Gym. You showered and dressed and went home. For a girl, that meant you didn't have to worry about hair and makeup after Gym.
BeBop Can you believe we had Gym every year every day, unless you had those two hour blocks? No school does that anymore. Most kids now have Gym one semester during their entire time in high school.
Dago I always thought it was pretty funny how certain kids would just do anything to get out of gym. They always had some excuse. In junior high Mr. Holpfer made them stand over by the door with their hands over their heads for the whole one or two hours. By the time gym was over, their arms were so sore they couldn't carry their books. But they still kept doing it every day.
BobbySox That junior high gym was awful, too. Remember we used to have games in there, and we always had good teams, so there would be big crowds, and there were absolutely no seats, so you'd be standing or sitting all around the floor right against the wall, and lots of times they'd squeeze us in two deep, so the front person's feet would be on the floor. Players would be running into people every time they went out of bounds. It got hotter than anything in there and the screaming was so loud. It was awful. God we had fun.
Ponytail Now I'm going to tell you guys something that's been a secret for 50 years. I bet you guys never knew this because we all swore to each other we'd never tell. Here goes. You know where the Home Ec rooms were? You went in from the other end of the building. Well, if you walked through to the back of the home ec area, there was a door. It had a really big old fashioned keyhole. You could look through the keyhole into the boys dressing room. You guys have no idea how many of us girls got educated looking through that keyhole.
Hot Rod Right. Now I'm going to tell you girls something that's also been a secret for 50 years. I bet you girls never knew this because we all swore to each other we'd never tell. You know that keyhole? We all knew about it. Every day, we'd say, OK, who's going to give the girls a thrill today? Sometimes we'd flip a coin, or draw straws, or something.
BeBop LOL !!!!!!!!!
BobbySox LMAO!!
Crewcut When we played away games we always dressed in the girls dressing rooms. So we found out about your dressing rooms. You sure had a lot better dressing rooms than the boys did. In every school we went to, the girls always had better dressing rooms. We had these big open rooms and big open showers. You girls had those nice little private dressing cubicles and private little showers. You had little benches or chairs to sit on, and shelves and hook to hang clothes on. We had nothing. We had to change clothes standing up and leave our street clothes in a pile on the floor while we were out in gym or practice. Lots of times the water from the big open showers would run across the floor so our clothes would get wet laying there on the floor. And there you'd be with those nice hooks and shelves for your stuff. Whose idea was this?
Ponytail That was to serve you guys right for how mean you were to us all the time. We were delicate little things and needed pampering.
Saddleshoes Do you remember that painting in the junior high gym? Remember there was that little recess in the wall on the front hall side, and there was that scene painted there. I seem to remember it was an outdoor scene, with a tree and everything.
BeBop Wow. I do remember that. I hadn't thought of that since we left junior high.
Dago Did they do the rope climbing unit with you girls? In boys classes, we let the ropes down, remember they were attached to the ceiling, and we had to climb them to the top and slide back down. First we could use our feet and legs to grab the rope while we moved our arms up. Then we had to do it with just our hands and not use our feet or legs. It was tough. They put the mats on the floor in case you fell. Lots of guys fell.
BobbySox I don't remember anything like that.
LugNut Hey everybody. When Margie sent out that email, I was expecting a one page site with a few announcements. Nothing like this. It's taken me almost an hour to look at all the pictures and read all the stuff.
Ponytail Hey Lugnut. C'mon in.
Lugnut About those ropes. I remember our having war on the ropes. Two guys would climb up adjacent ropes. When Holpfer blew the whistle, you got the ropes swinging until they got close enough. The object was to climb over to the other guy's rope above where he was, so you could force him down. If both of you ended up way at the top, when one of you got knocked off, you fell a pretty good distance.
Hot Rod Looking back on it, I think Holpfer was evil. He was always putting us in some kind of hand to hand combat. Remember the boxing and wrestling matches?
Crewcut Yes. And he always liked to put the biggest kid in the class against the smallest kid. He liked to see quickness going against size and strength. He'd put the biggest kid against the little kid, then cheer for the little kid.
Dago I remember those gymnastics weeks. They'd haul those balance beams and things out and we had to get up on them. I never had that kind of body balance and I'd always fall off. And so would everybody else. Oh, and there were those rings, too. I couldn't do those, either.
Hot Rod I don't remember actually using that equipment. I do remember it being there. We'd have to move it around. Sometimes we'd sit on them, or lean against them. But I have no memory of getting up on it. I doubt I could do it.
BeBop I remember gymnastics. We always started off tumbling on the mats on the floor. Then we'd work up to the bigger equipment. It was my favorite part of gym.
Crewcut Hey. I hadn't thought about this for years. How many of you guys did tumbling down at the YMCA in grade school?
Dago I did. Didn't we have that every Saturday morning?
Crewcut Yes. I seem to remember having meets against other YMCAs.
Dago I guess this means you and I were both down there together.
Lugnut I was there, too. We had a lot of guys down there. Did they have a girls team ?
Crewcut I wouldn't think so. It was the Young Men's Christian Association. Not the Young Women's.
Saddleshoes Today that would be discrimination.
Hot Rod No it's not. You go to a YWCA. I think they had one over in Sewickley. I don't know if it's still there.
Saddleshoes How were we supposed to get over to Sewickley? Today it would be discrimination. There was a lot of discrimination back then. We just took it for granted. Then after we graduated they started fighting about it and changing things.
Dago Like for instance?
Saddleshoes Like for instance I couldn't take Shop. Manual Training. Whatever they called it. And we didn't have girls teams in anything.
Dago But it was equal. I couldn't take Home Ec, either. I couldn't go out for cheerleading. Why would I want to?
Saddleshoes Listen to yourself. This is 2009. Boys should be able to take Home Ec and be cheerleaders. Girls should be able to take Shop and go out for football. It doesn't matter if most girls want to. Or most boys want to. The few that do should be able to.
Dago It's odd Michael or Harriet or Janet didn't make a big thing about that.
BeBop Why list those three in particular?
Dago Because they were always the ones to stand up for stuff. In student council, or class discussions, or just out in the hall. Those three were always the ones, they'd stand up for stuff. It's a wonder they didn't all become big time lawyers.
Ponytail Let's change the subject. Way back in grade school, does anybody remember going to the plays?
BobbySox I remember that. Down at the high school.
Lugnut I have no idea what you're talking about.
Ponytail In grade school. Every year they had three plays. You bought tickets. They'd be in the afternoon. You'd go down and watch the play in the auditorium. You got to miss the whole afternoon.
BeBop I remember that. I loved those. I always bought the set of all three tickets at the beginning of the year.
Hot Rod I used to sign up to get out of class when we were in high school to help them haul the stuff in and set up and then take it all down and haul it back out to the van.
Saddleshoes Yes. I used to go. I hadn't thought of those in years. They were pretty cool. I always wanted to go down in the morning and watch them set everything up. I thought it was so incredible they would come in here in that big van, and set this whole thing up, and put on the play, and then just take it all away. To me it was like the circus or a carnival or something.
Lugnut Remember we used to have the carnival come every year down at the Armory. They'd set up and stay a week.
Ponytail I remember that. We always went. But my Dad never trusted the high rides. The TiltaWhirl and MerrygoRound were ok, but he'd never let us ride the Ferris Wheel or Octopus. He said that was what Kennywood was for.
BeBop I thought those carnival workers were really, really scary people. My Mom always told us they would kidnap kids and take them with them to work on the carnival. She said every so often after a carnival had been in a town some kid was missing and they never found them.
Dago I don't know about stealing kids, but I'll guarantee you they stole your money. Those carnival games were rigged 10 different ways. We'd go down and hang around the carnival in the morning, before they opened. We'd check stuff out. It was all crooked. They had the basketball shoot. The baskets were about half as big as a real one. They had stuff where you threw something at a pin or something to knock it over. It was glued down. Or nailed down. After I got out of high school, I haven't been back to a carnival since.
Crewcut We got on one of those big stainless steel cylinder rides one time where it turns you upside down. It was way at the back, in that corner by LaBello's Restaurant. The guy started it up and then walked over and started talking with this girl. He forgot all about us. We just kept spinning around and around and around and he was trying to put the moves on that girl. When he finally remembered and came over and stopped the ride we were all dizzy. I remember finding a place to sit down over by that chain link fence and just sitting there for a while until my head stopped spinning. Usually those rides last about two minutes. I think we were on that one for 15 minutes.
Blondie My sister and I used to go down in the morning and look through the fence at the carnival people. They were all living in tiny trailers. I felt sorry for them.
Hot Rod I remember the guy would come to town about a month ahead of the carnival and put those signs up on all the telephone poles. He had a big roll of wire on his belt. He'd run the wire around the pole through holes in the corners of the signs.
BobbySox I never was big on carnivals. What I liked was the circus. We went every year. Some years we went twice. Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey. Remember they set it up below the tracks. I think it was on Ewing Field. I loved it. I remember when they announced they weren't coming anymore. We were in high school, but I cried. I really missed it. If they came and set up anywhere near me now, I'd stil go. My whole life, I never have understood why they stopped coming around.
Ponytail I remember that. They quit coming to the small towns. They quit setting up the big tents. The circus still comes around, but now it comes to big cities and sets up in big arenas.
BobbySox What good is that? I went to it once in one of those big arenas. It's not the same. Those tents were special. And having it right here where you live, that made it special. It was like it belonged to you. Like they were coming to visit you. If you have to go see them in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia or someplace, it's just like any other business. There's no magic.
BeBop I remember they always came by train. They had their own train. Even the engines were decorated in circus colors. They'd pull the train in there by the field and unload. The circus train coming was like Santa Claus coming. We always knew when they were coming because they posted those signs all over town. So my Mom would take us down and we'd sit by the Mill Street station all night waiting for the train. Every time we'd hear a whistle in the distance, we'd hope it was the circus, but it wouldn't be, so we'd wrap back up in the blanket and wait. And somehow you could tell when it really WAS the circus train, because their whistle was different. It was the biggest thrill to see it pulling in. The elephants and lions and giraffes in their cages would be looking out and there'd be the big calliope car and all the passenger cars with all the circus people sleeping. And since it would be stopping it would be already slowing down, so we got a real good look at everything. God, I can't believe we're on this website talking about all this stuff I haven't thought about in years. I think I'm going to cry. Can we go back and do it all again?
Lugnut The guy used to come a few days ahead and sign boys up to work. We'd mostly haul stuff, like water for the animals or coils of rope or rolled up banners. Sometimes they'd give us long handled brushes and hoses and we'd help wash the elephants. We had to report down at the tracks early in the morning, maybe 8 or 9, then work til about noon. Then we'd get paid with free passes. So we could go to every show over and over. It was a good deal. We were in maybe fifth or sixth grade at the beginning, and I think we worked every year while we were in junior high. I seem to recall it was always in the Summer but I would have cut school for it.
Saddleshoes You said Ewings Field. I do remember it setting up on Ewing Field. But I also remember several years when they set up on that other field closer to the big passenger station. Last time I was down there there was one of those big block long stores in there, but remember when we were kids the whole block was vacant. But I remember that train parked there for the week they were here.
Blondie The circus was always sponsored by the Firemen. Our neighbor was a fireman and he always told us they made a lot of money every year off the circus. They ran the fire department all year with the money from the circus.
Crewcut Do you remember Halloween? I loved Halloween. I felt bad my own kids never had the kind of Halloweens we had. Remember the Halloween Parades? They had that judging platform set up in front of the borough building, and all the people in the parade had a number taped to their back. One by one, they would walk up the stairs and across the stage, and the judges would pick the best in each category. There were prizes, like $100 for first place, $75 for second and $50 for third.
Dago Yes. They had prizes for grade school, junior high school and high school. But the big deal was the adults. I remember some of our parents and the businessmen really getting serious about that.
Ponytail It's funny what we remember. I can still see that big Glow Worm with about five people under it, and that ciagarette package with legs walking down Fifth Avenue,, and that airplane with legs.
BeBop Don't forget that big silver robot. It was just cardboard boxes painted silver and maybe some stovepipes for arms and legs. But it was really something to see it clanking down the street. My uncle was always a car. He won third and second place a few times but never took first.
Lugnut The parade was great, but Trick or Treating was what I liked. We went all over town. Some years it was really cold and we about froze to death but we still went and we weren't about to come home early.
Hot Rod We always got the best stuff up on The Heights and up on Montour Hill. That area between Central School and Maple Street was pretty good, too.
BobbySox Halloween anymore isn't anything like what we had. It had fallen off a lot by the time my kids came along, and now with my grand kids it's almost gone completely. The big thing is, today it's supposed to only be for little kids. We could enter the parade and go trick or treating all the way through high school. All the best costumes were done by the high school kids, and we couldn't buy ours. We had to make them.
Saddleshoes How many of us made masks out of paper mache? Does anybody even know what paper mache is anymore?
BeBop We made masks out of paper mache. Where did we learn how to do that? Did they teach us in art class at school? I don't remember learning it, but we did it a lot.
Ponytail I think maybe we learned it in Girl Scouts. Or Brownies.
BobbySox I seem to recall learning it in Sunday School. Or Vacation Bible School. But I do remember doing it. It was so simple. You just needed newspapers and plaster of paris. Why don't kids do this stuff anymore?
BeBop Do they even sell plaster of paris anymore? I haven't heard of it for years.
Dago We made an awful lot of school projects out of plaster of paris. I remember making volcanoes, castles, mountain ranges, forts, all kinds of stuff, right there on our kitchen table, out of plaster of paris.
Crewcut Getting back to Halloween, I also remember always having Halloween in school. We'd wear our costumes, pick the best, make stuff in art class to put on the windows, make a big deal out of it. Didn't we always get out early for Halloween?
Saddleshoes I think we did in grade school. I seem to remember getting out at 2:30. We'd go home and decorate and get our costumes ready.
Lugnut I don't remember getting out early, but I do know these days they don't do anything at all with Halloween in school. I think they're trying to get rid of the holiday altogerher.
Dago It's scary to think about how almost everything we did that made our childhoods so special they're now trying to get rid of. What's the matter with everybody?
Hot Rod Another big deal I remember is the YMCA Fair.
BeBop Yes. It was kind of hokey, but we always had a blast. And it lasted three nights.
Saddleshoes I remember that big round water tank they'd set up, and there was this seat sticking out over it, and you threw a baseball at a target and if you hit the target whoever was sitting on the seat fell into the water. They'd get one of the coaches or teachers or players to sit up there. Everybody wanted to knock them in the water. They made a fortune on that thing.
Ponytail I remember they always started with a parade Thursday night. We always had to march in it.
Crewcut The Y gym was filled with game booths. The place was always jammed. They opened all the doors and windows to keep it cool.
BobbySox They always had a queen contest. Being named Y Queen was a big deal. They crowned the queen Saturday night.
BeBop There was always lots of food. For some reason, I remember always having a candied apple at the Y Fair. They made it right in front of you. I don't think I've had one since, but they were sure good. I can still taste them.
Lugnut I remember the pie booth. Mothers would bake pies. You bought it by the slice. I used to go by about four times a night and buy a slice of pie, a different flavor every time. My Mom wasn't big on baking pies, so that was my big chance to get some. I remember apple, cherry, lemon meringue, coconut cream, peach and some sort of real sweet brownish looking pie. Sitting here thinking about this, I don't remember the last time I had a piece of pie. My wife never bakes a pie. Is it possible I haven't had a piece of pie since the Y Fair??
Hot Rod Most of us guys would spend our time at the milk bottle booth. They had wooden milk bottles and you got three baseballs for a dollar to throw at them. They had the bottles stacked, with three on the bottom, then two, then one. If you knocked the whole stack over you got a prize. We didn't care about the prize. We just wanted to prove we were the best baseball thrower.
Blondie Most of us girls liked that booth where you had that bowling pin sitting on a table and a ball hanging from a string. You had to let the ball swing one direction, then knock over the pin on the way back. It required more finesse than strength. Boys had a lot of trouble doing it. Most of the winners were girls.
Ponytail It was always so crowded. Everybody in Coraopolis and most of the people in Neville and Moon were there. We'd go inside for a while, then get something to drink and go out in the nice cool and sit on the steps or the wall or someplace and just talk.
Hot Rod I remember they used to raffle off a brand new car at the Y Fair. You bought a ticket for about $5 and they announced the winner Saturday night just before the queen was announced.
Saddleshoes I remember we always bought a ticket. That was about the only chance we had to ever own a new car. But we never won. We weren't poor, but I was married before we ever got a brand new car.
Crewcut Remember how you could go upstairs at the Y and walk around the balcony looking down on the gym?
BobbySox Who was the Y Fair Queen our senior year?
BeBop Was it Ginger McFadden from Neville Island? I seem to remember she won it one of our years in high school. She was George Pessy's girl when we were juniors.
Blondie I don't think it was one of us our senior year. Maybe Claudia Eberle from Moon.
Dago How did they pick the queen? Were there judges or did everybody pay a dollar and vote, or what?
Ponytail There weren't judges. I think you paid a dollar and voted. It was a fundraiser. The whole Y Fair was a fundriaser for the Y.
BobbySox That would be why our girls didn't win. We had the prettiest girls but the outlying areas would get together and support one of their girls.
Lugnut We had an awful lot of gorgeous girls, but those ones you've mentioned, Ginger McFadden from Neville and Claudia Eberle--she was from down in Stoops Ferry in Crescent--plus Kathy Curry from Moon and Linda Chenoweth from Robinson, they were all really good looking.
Crewcut Don't forget Patti DeGiacobe from Moon.
Saddleshoes So you didn't think we had the best looking girls in the area?
Dago We had more good looking girls and ours were really intelligent and sexy and sweet, but what we're saying is Neville and Moon and Robinson had some, too. They had a lot more kids so obviously they'd come up with some good looking girls.
Hot Rod There was one coming up a few years behind us over at Neville who should have been Miss America. That was Janet Yuknavitch. She ended up being Miss Everything But Miss America, but she should have won that, too.
Ponytail I knew her. She was really pretty. But I don't think she was any prettier than the girls we had in Coraopolis.
Lugnut I certainly agree with you. Let me tell you what the problem was. All of those really good looking girls we had were too short. They were very, very atttractive, but that's not enough. I had two cousins who got involved in that beauty pageant business. They were taller than our girls, but not enough taller. If you notice, no girl wins any of those contests unless she's at least 5-10, and the really big contests, like Miss Pennsylvania, Miss Universe or Miss America, go to girls 5-11 or even 6-0. And it's not just tall. The height has to be in the legs. All those queens have incredibly long legs. Our girls just weren't tall enough, and didn't have the legs.
BeBop I know one thing. My granddaugheters do not care one bit how they look. They go to school every day looking like homeless people. Back in our day, us girls spent quite a bit of time worrying about how we looked. Our whole identity was wrapped up in how we looked. It sure was a different time.
Crewcut You did a fine job. You made coming to school every day a lot less painful than it otherwise would have been. When we were really bored with algebra or history we could always just look around the room at all the girls.
BobbySox I hate to shatter your ego way back there, but we were not fixing ourselves up to impress you guys. We were doing it to impress each other. Us girls were our own worst critics.
Ponytail Speak for yourself. I was trying to impress the guys. Several guys in particular.
Saddleshoes These girls today don't realize how they have it made. They can ask a guy out and nobody thinks that's a bad thing. Plus, they have their own cell phones so their mother's not listening to every word they say because the phone's in the kitchen.
BeBop That's the truth. Any call I got, my mother would answer the phone, then hover nearby pretending to be busy with something, but still there.
Dago It was worse for us. We had our phones in the kitchen, too. Any girl I called, there was my mother listening. No telling how much better my social life would have been if I'd had a cell phone.
Lugnut Or a computer. Just email a girl. Or 10 girls. I could have played the numbers. Emailed 10 girls and asked them out and the first one to reply got the date.
Ponytail Oh, you'd have been real popular with that approach. Somehow I think getting a phone call was a bit more romantic.
Lugnut Since I don't know for sure who you are, I don't know whether I ever called you or not. But if I did, you would know my phone manner was not too smooth at age 16.
Ponytail No matter how much stuttering and stammering and beating around the bush, your phone call would have had to be more personal than an email message. I can see it now : "Hey Babe. Friday nite at 8. Hit me back." That's a sure way to a girl's heart.
Lugnut Even at 16, I think I could have done better than that.
Ponytail Well, let's hope so. Maybe sometime in the next 10 years they'll invent a time machine and we can all go back and find out.
Crewcut Hate to break up the soap opera, but while you were looking around at all these great women, who was your favorite teacher?
BeBop I liked Miss McClenahan. I had her for several classes.
Saddleshoes Miss Horton. I had her for Latin. She had a major crush on Julius Caesar. Latin was hard, especially second year, but she was great.
Ponytail Miss Griffith. I had her for three classes. Speech, Problems of Democracy, and some other class where we did a lot of discussion.
Lugnut Mr. O'Connor. I had him for American History. He was pretty cool.
BobbySox Miss Brunton. I had her for gym and health.
HotRod Mr. Rogers. He was the hardest teacher I had but I loved all those Physics labs.
Dago Miss Malter. Math was my worst subject but I thought she was a trip. The guys in my class used to call her Bat Malterson. Never mind who it was, but somebody used to come in early after lunch. She always left her gradebook out on her desk. He wouldn't bother doing his homework, so she'd leave the space blank. So he'd open up her gradebook and write a grade in for hmself and several other kids.
Crewcut I have to agree on Mr. Rogers. He was the best. But there were three others that I really got a big kick out of. One was Miss Crawford. We all called her Mama Bear. Remember how every year she'd write the senior play herself. They were hokey and awful but she thought she was saving the school money by not buying a play. Remember how our senior year two of us snuck into her room and stole a copy of the exam. They would have gotten away with it but they made copies and handed them out to every body. That got them caught. The second teacher was Miss Pfingstlilil. She was a good enough teacher but she was so ditsy. And the third was Miss Beech, the librarian with the blue hair.
Ponytail My greatest memories of high school are the running adventures of Miss Beech and Nick. They could be a tv comedy series.
Saddleshoes OMG. I remember that. I thought I would die. Poor Miss Beech had that bad limp and after we read Moby Dick in Miss Donaldson's class Nick started calling her Lady Ahab. It was really tasteless but it was so funny.
BeBop I was in the library the day Nick did the scratching thing. She always made everybody stay so quiet. So Nick sat over there with his one hand under the table scratching the underside real loud. You could hear it all over the library. So Miss Beech would look all around. Then everything would get quiet. Nick would scratch again. This went on for a while. Miss Beech was patrolling around the library trying to catch the guilty party. When she was real close Nick was totally engrossed in reading the paper. When she'd be across the library, he'd scratch again. Finally about the dozenth time, Nick scratched real loud and looked up and said, "Miss Beech! Will you please stop scratching your wooden leg so loud? I can't concentrate over here!!" And as usual she dragged Nick down to the office. I think she dragged him down to the office every day all year.
BobbySox I was there the day he did the pencil sharpener trick. He would walk all around the library dumping the pencil sharpener shavings on the floor. Then he went over and sat down for a while. Then he pretended to be taking the newspaper back to the rack, and acted real surprised. "Miss Beech!!" he said. "Have you been shaving your wooden leg in the library again?" So she dragged him down to the office again.
Ponytail He was always pretty funny. I think the only time he was serious was in sports.
Dago He was pretty funny in practices and on the bus, too. The only time he was serious was when he was actually in the game.
Crewcut Does anybody remember the time Mr. Rogers and Angelo got into it -- I don't remember if it was in class, home room or study hall -- and Rogers took us all down to the gym, rolled out a mat, and he and Ange went at it. Rogers kept giving Ange the first move and then he'd use some karate move on him and take him down. After each takedown, Rogers would ask if Ange had enough, and Ange kept thinking, well, he was twice as big and next time surely he could get something done. After about six takedowns, when Rogers asked if he'd had enough, Ange finally said Yes. And we all went back to class like nothing ever happened. After that, Ange and Rogers got along fine.
BeBop I was in that class. Or homeroom or study hall, whatever. I don't remember, either, but I remember the scene down in the gym. We sat down along the left side of the gym, the side along Rogers' room.
Hot Rod My funniest memory is of waiting for basketball practice. Looking back now, it was mean and I'm embarassed. But at the time it was hysterical. The JV guys had to wait until the varsity finished. Meanwhile, the custodians were cleaning the rooms. They had Mr. Brown's, Miss Brunton's, Mr. Rogers' and that other room down near the gym. The custodians would drag this huge cardboard box around the hall and dump trash into it and empty their brooms into it. So they'd park the box in the hall and go into a room. We would steal the box, carry it upstairs and park it in a bathroom or somewhere. Then we'd all go back and lay on the mats waiting for the varsity practice to end. The custodians would come out in the hall, look around, and start cussing. Coach Letteri would hear them and come up the stairs and find out what was going on. He'd stomp down and confront us and make us go up and bring the box back down. What was funny was this went on all season. We'd steal the box at least twice a week.
Peggy Sue What are we doing here, writing our own novel? This is incredible. When Margie said we had a website, I expected a page of announcements. Instead, I've spent a whole evening looking at pictures, reading the captions and finally working my way down through these posts. How do you remember all this stuff? Now that you mention them, I remember all these little things, but I didn't even know they were still tucked away in my memory. I haven't thought about this stuff for 50 years.
Ponytail Well, just add yours. We need all the memories we can get.
Dago My funniest memory isn't of one thing, but of one person : Lucy. Remember how she was always fussing at somebody, usually one of us guys, about something. We'd say stuff to her just get her all riled up. She'd be fuming and stomping around and we'd just be dying laughing. I always thought the character Lucy in Peanuts was based on her.
Lugnut That's for sure. Do you remember the time Danny tried to convince her her feet were too big?
Dago Oh, God yes. She was so mad she could have chewed nails.
Blondie I must have missed that. What happened?
Lugnut She was sort of limping around and Danny asked her what was wrong. She said she had a new pair of shoes and they must be too small because they hurt her feet. He said, well, let's see, put one of your feet up here. So he slipped off her shoe and felt all around her foot and got this real serious look on his face and said, hmmmm, let's see that other foot. So he did the same thing with it, and then he looked at Lucy and said, No, the problem's not with your shoes, Stand over here. So she did and he pretended like he was studying her legs. Then he said, See, your shoes are fine and your legs are the right length. The problem is your feet are too big. And Lucy got this ferocious look on her face and said What??? And Danny kept a real straight face and said, your feet's too big. It happens with a lot of girls. Their feet grow too big, and until the rest of them catch up with their feet they have a hard time finding shoes to fit. And Lucy just explodes. She's ranting and raving about that being the dumbest thing she's ever heard and how dare he call her feet too big and she ought to beat him with a big ugly stick and anyway anybody with that stupid curl should keep quiet and on and on, and all of us were just rolling on the floor laughing.
Dago What was so funny was that from seventh grade on we were all continuously aggravating her. Danny, Ange, Nick, Dom, Dave, Bill, all the guys just loved getting her all riled up. We'd try to aggravate Janet but she was too cool. She'd just give us that Drop Dead Stare of hers. Marianne was too sweet to aggravate and Kloog would have beat us up. So we just aggravated Lucy.
Hot Rod Yeah. Every once in a while we'd try to aggravate Carol and she'd roll her eyes and give us that Oh God How Much Longer Do I Have To Put Up With This sigh. So we'd go find Lucy and bother her. She was more fun than anybody. God she could get mad.
Ponytail Were you there in the library the day Nick got on her about the drive in movie?
Dago You're going to have to remind me.
Ponytail Nick was sitting there in his usual chair over by the window. Lucy was in her usual chair by the newspaper rack. Remember 5th hour the same people came to the library every day. It's all quiet. Nick says, So, Lucy, how'd you like that movie Saturday night? Lucy says Don't bother me I'm doing my Trig. Nick says, Yeah, well, I could see why you wouldn't want to talk about it. Lucy just glares at him and keeps on working. So Danny says, Well, Nick, what movie did she go to? About this time Miss Beech tells them to be quiet. Lucy says, Just ignore him. I didn't go to any movie. I stayed home. Nick says, Sure, I could see why you wouldn't want to talk about it. Then he looks over at me and says, She and that loser boyfriend of hers went to the Kenmawr Drive In to see Closed For The Winter. Miss Beech is telling Nick to be quiet and we're all gagging to keep from laughing and Sarah says, I never heard of that, what's that about? So we all laugh again. Nick says Hey Lucy did you think it was strange there were so few cars in there with you? Lucy just lets out one of those big sighs of hers and glares at him, tapping her pencil. Nick says, And what did you think when you went to the concession stand and there was nobody there? So Lucy explodes and starts ranting about Are You Done Yet? Don't You Ever Shut Up? So Miss Beech takes Nick back down to the office for the 90th day in a row. So while he's being dragged across the library to the door, Nick says to Lucy, Hey, did they charge you full price or did you get a discount? And Lucy asks him if he doesn't have a football to go dribble somewhere.
Hot Rod It's a wonder they let Nick play in any games at all. He was always in the office. He was really funny but he would not shut up.
Peggy Sue You should have been in Yearbook 6th hour. Danny and Lucy would argue the whole hour every single day. I guess they were the first people to multitask. They'd be doing their work just fine, Danny over there typing stories and Lucy working on layouts. But they'e be arguing about something the whole time.
Ponytail What did they argue about?
Peggy Sue Anything at all. Bill or George would get it started and Lucy would go off and whatever she said, they'd take off on that.
Ponytail I'll bet those arguments weren't as good as the ones Bill would get into with Ann and Michael in Miss Griffith's class. They would get so mad at him Miss Griffith would have to call them down. But those arguments all had something to do with American Government. Ann and Michael would always take the liberal left side of things, and Bill was always such a conservative. I'll bet he's a Republican.
Crewcut Who were your favorite teachers back in junior high?
BeBop I thought Mr. Arndt was pretty good. I never did like math and wasn't good at it, but he seemed to make it real clear and I was able to get pretty good at it. From seventh grade on I never had any trouble with my math classes except for one.I really like him for that.
Dago I thought Mr. Caledonio was pretty good in mechanical drawing. That was my favorite class.
BobbySox Miss Dull. I always thought she should have changed her name. Her class was not dull. I loved Geography and I learned more of it from her than anyone. I thought all the projects we did were really interesting.
Blondie You're going to laugh at me. But I not only still remember one of those projects, I still have mine hanging on the wall here. It was that map of the U.S. on a sheet. Do you remember that? She gave us each a big map of the country. We had to trace it onto part of a bed sheet, then color it with crayolas and letter it. We put the rivers and lakes and oceans on it and mark the capitals. Then, I forget the details but there was some process with newspaper and wax paper and we either had our mothers do it or did it ourselves but we ended up ironing the sheet which sealed the colors on. Then we fringed the edge all the way around. When we brought ours all in to school and displayed them it was so impressive. Anyway, when we got them back and I took mine home, my Dad framed it. He put ir under glass and hung it on our wall. And when I got married I took it with me. It's hanging right here right now. So go ahead and laugh.
Hot Rod Nobody's laughing. The chair I sit in all the time to watch tv in the living room has an end table next to it that I made in Shop under Mr. Henry. I cut the pieces, notched everything, stained them, fit it together, glued it, varnished it, polished it and put in a few nails to make sure it lasted forever. It's a really nice end table. I'm real proud of it. I think I was in eighth grade when I made it.
LugNut I have a lamp on the wall over our kitchen table I made in Shop. I still remember making the wood piece on the lathe. I loved the lathe. Then we had to bend the curled metal frame, paint it, wire it all up, install the light socket, and add the hook and the shade. It was in either 8th or 9th grade, I don't remember.
Ponytail I'll tell you one teacher that was not my favorite was Miss Picard the librarian. She got off to a bad start with me and I never did forgive her. When we were in grade school I was a big reader and I had almost read the whole Nancy Drew series. So all Summer I was thinking Well I can get to that big Junior High library and check out the few books I hadn't read yet. So the first chance I got I went to the library and looked for Nancy Drew. When I couldn't find them I went up to the desk and asked Miss Picard where they were and she gave me this lecture. She told me Nancy Drew books were really childish and weren't literature at all and I needed to grow up and start reading some real books which she, of course, would be happy to recommend. I left the library in tears. I never did check out one of her books. I used the Public Library the whole time I was in Junior High. My parents bought me the last few books in the series for Christmas so I got to read them.
Saddleshoes I liked Mr. Snell. He was this big principal but he was always out in the hall when we were changing classes and he'd say Hello and ask all of us how we were and how things were going and everything. One Winter I fell on the steps and hurt my knee and he gave me a ride home. He was more like an uncle or grandfather than a principal. You got the impression he really cared about us. When my own kids were in Middle School I wish they could have had a Mr. Snell.
Crewcut Mr. Jewart was my favorite. I had him for History, but we also had him for seventh grade basketball. He was a good coach. I thought he was a lot better coach than Mr. Holpfer. I think I learned more basketball from Mr. Jewart than from any other coach we had. And I never had been much interested in history but he made it really interesting. I guess he was the best history teacher I had until I got to college.
Lugnut He was a good coach. I never had been much of a shot. I used to make maybe a third of my shots. In one year he taught me how to shoot. He straightened out my arm, showed me how to square up to the basket, how to flex my wrist, everything. After seventh grade, I was making about two thirds of my shots. The other coaches we had were organized and ran the program and could motivate us and keep everything disciplined. But Coach Jewart was a teacher of the game.
Ponytail My favorite teacher might have been Mr. Kelly. We had him for ninth grade English. He might have been the best English teacher I ever had before college. Up until him, all we ever did was grammar and spelling, day after day, and read those stupid short stories out of those stupid books. He had us reading novels and plays and then we'd spend class time discussing them. I remember doing Romeo & Juliet. That was the first time I had any exposure to Shakespeare. It was hard, but it was really something. I remember all us girls cried at the end and the boys made fun of us. And we read Treasure Island. I'd read a lot of books growing up, but they were like The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew and Sweet Sixteen. I'd sure never read anything like Treasure Island. My Mom said Well, that's a boy's book. But Mr. Kelley was the first man teacher we ever had for English so no wonder. The guys all loved it.
Saddleshoes He was Dr. Kelley. He got his doctorate from Pitt.
Bebop He ended up teaching at the high school and won Pennsylvania Teacher Of The Year. Then he went on to teach at Penn State.
Dago I just remember his bowties.
Crewcut I remember we had to write a theme a week. Every Thursday night I'd be writing a theme.
Blondie I don't remember all the themes but I remember all the poetry. We had to read a bunch of it. I remember The Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner. We had to memorize a part of it. Let's see...Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink. We memorized a whole section and that's all I can remember. And then we had to write our own poetry and stand up in class and read it and he put the best of them up on the wall for Parent's Night.
Dago Oh, Hell. Parent's Night. I'd forgot all about Parent's Night. Every year I'd get in trouble over Parent's Night. My parents would go talk to all my teachers and then come home mad. Then I wouldn't be allowed to watch tv or do much of anything until it all wore off several weeks later.
Saddleshoes This is embarassing. I can't remember the name of our art teacher. I can still see her in my mind. I remember her art room. It was along the front of the building, on the first floor, right under the library, with the windows looking out on the street. I remember the stuff we did in there. But I have no idea what her name was. Anyway, I liked her. I liked her class.
Bebop I remember the tree assignment. She took us all outside and we had to pick a tree around the school or across the street. Then we'd sit there the whole hour and draw the tree. God, that was hard. I remember the hard part was the branches pointing toward you. How do you draw a branch so it looks like it's extending toward you? Louie and Marilyn and David just thought that was the easiest thing in the world and I had to keep redoing mine every day for about two weeks until it satisfied the teacher and it still didn't look very good.
Lugnut The one I remember was drawing the Junior High building. We all went across the street to that big yard up from the library and sat there in the grass all hour and drew the building. What made it hard was we were looking at the corner so then heading off in both directions we had to get the angles right. Coming along the front, along Ridge Avenue, the roof, the windows, the bottom and the curb all had to be parallel. Then that side of the building heading up School Street had to have everything parallel. It was supposed to teach us how to draw perspective. The same week we were doing that in art class we were doing the same thing in Mechanical Drawing class, and I was having trouble with it both places.
Hot Rod I notice nobody's mentioning Dr. Jones as their favorite teacher.
Dago You got that right. She was my worst nightmare. Her and her subject : Algebra. In my entire life I've never felt so stupid as I felt every single day in her class.
Blondie You do have to give her credit, though. She really knew Algebra. She wrote the book we were using. The whole state used her book.
Dago That just made it worse. Somebody would try to say the book doesn't make this clear, could you explain this to me, and she'd get all defensive because you'd insulted her book, and instead of explaining it she'd tell you how stupid you were or how lazy.
Bebop She was the only teacher who ever made me cry. And she did it a whole bunch of times. She'd call on me, and even if I got the answer right, she'd cross examine me to try to trip me up, so she could see if I really really understood the problem. Well, I was always so nervous, she'd eventually trip me up just because I'd get flustered, so it looked like I didn't understand when I really did. I think between seventh and 12th grade, I made my lowest grade in her class.
Bobbysox What I remember is she wore the same dress all week. She'd lean against the board Monday and get some formula across the back of her dress and it would still be there Friday.
Lurk I was in trouble from Day One in there. First day of class, she takes roll and comes to my name. She looks up and asks me if I was Frank's son. Yes, I said. Oh, she says. That Oh was really dangerous sounding. It sort of echoed around the room. So then she says, I had your father and he didn't do very well in here. Then I had your brother and he didn't do very well in here. Then she just looked real hard at me for about a minute. So I was trapped in Hell. I couldn't drop the class and I had to have a decent grade. All through ninth grade, I probably spent half my time on all my other classes combined, and half my time on Algebra.
Ponytail I remember Binomial Equasions. It was like my whole world was just Binomial Equasions for most of ninth grade.
Blondie I remember spending two hours on homework, making it all neat and correct, and getting it back with red ink over every inch of it.
Saddleshoes My other nightmare was Mr. Rogers. And the thing was I really liked him. He would always say Hello to me and ask me how I was doing and when he was explaining something he'd stop and look around the room and I was one of the ones he'd look at when he'd ask if anybody had any questions, and if I did, he'd go back over it real thoroughly. So he tried to be good to me. But he must have thought I was a blithering idiot. I understood all the basic ideas, but that math. Lord, Lord, that math. When it came to balancing those equasions, I was just swimming in deep water. I remember Moles. I got all the way through college chemistry and still don't understand Moles. And it seemed like everybody else was just cruising along. I'd look over and Bill and Jim and Jan and Stan and everybody would be finishing up and handing in their work and I'd be on the first problem. And then we got to high school and they transferred him to the high school so we knew we'd have to have him again in 11th grade for Chemistry, and I was like, God, What Did I Do To Deserve This So I Can Never Never Do It Again???
Lugnut Well, I know Rogers was hard but I loved his class. Up until then, science had been just a bunch of reading the book and doing the questions and memorizing a bunch of stuff, but all of a sudden in his class we were setting stuff up and running experiments and I started thinking, hey, I can DO this. I still remember that salt experiment we did, and the distilling apparatus we rigged up, and the oxygen column. I remember doing stuff inside that bell jar. He was big on the bell jar. We used it again in Chemistry and Physics. One of my sharp memories of school was our going outside and picking a fresh rose, putting it in the bell jar, sealing everything, lowering down the pressure and temperature, then opening it up, picking up the rose and shattering it against the table. It splintered into a thousand pieces like it was made of glass. And I was like, hey, man, Science Is Cool.
Crewcut What I liked about Rogers was we used to go in after school and he'd help us just play around with the equipment. He'd show us how to rig different stuff up and run different experiments. It didn't have anything to do with class so there was no pressure but we'd spend like two hours and he was in no hurry to go home. I learned more science after school than I did in class.
Saddleshoes It must have been a guy thing.
Ponytail Well, I never went in after school, but I do remember the units we did in ninth grade on colors and vision and sound and stuff. I thought they were pretty neat. He had a bunch of prisms and tuning forks. That was just fascinating to me.
Hot Rod A bunch of us would go in after school and talk about cars. I learned a whole lot about internal combustion engines from him that I still use today. Remember he had that Briggs & Stratton one cylinder lawn mower engine to demonstrate compression and every thing. It broke it down so simple you could figure out the basic principles. I learned how mufflers worked from him.
Crewcut I remember going in after school and building a bottle rocket. It was a kit he'd got from one of those catalogues. Then four or five of us went with him up to the stadium, this was in the Spring, maybe May because we had to schedule it on a day the track team had an away meet, and we set up and launched that bottle rocket. Man. It looked like it was gonna go to the Moon. It finally topped out and the little parachute opened and it drifted back down into the woods over there past Wildcat Rock. We never got it back. But I'll always remember that.
Bobbysox What amazed me so much about his class was that he was this little short guy but his classes were the best behaved. It was all business in there. He just made it clear from Day One that if you couldn't behave you were Out. He had Zero Tolerance.
Bebop I remember a test every Friday. I remember studying hard for his tests every single Thursday night.
Dago I remember lab writeups. We did one lab a week in class and then had to go home and write it up. He graded those lab reports pretty strict, too. We had to spend a lot of time on those writeups.
Ponytail The thing I always gave him a lot of credit for was that he believed in us. The stuff he was teaching was hard. All that math. And especially us girls, a lot of us had trouble with it. And he would tell us a hundred times a day, Don't Worry, this is just new, you can do this, it just takes a little time and practice, you'll be ok, you're doing fine, it took me a long time to get it down, too, just keep working, it'll all start making sense pretty soon. He made sure we didn't think we were stupid or that it was beyond us. And we did finally catch on. He might not have been our favorite teacher, but he might have been our best teacher.
White Bucks I am absolutely not believing this. It sure beats Classmates.com. How long have you people been at this? It has taken me two whole evenings to go through everything on this site. I'm just amazed. I wanted to join in this conversation but you've covered so much I don't even know what to add.
Saddleshoes Well, from one pair of shoes to another, welcome aboard.
Crewcut Yeah, we need another guy here. The women have us outnumbered.
Dago I want to change the subject but the memory I want to talk about is kind of nasty. Does anybody remember, I think we were in the ninth grade, when we found the dead guy at Lunch? We were all walking back from Lunch and this guy had died in his car right in front of Olinger's. His car was parked along the curb, the window was down, and his head was leaning against the window sill. As the kids came on up to school and told everybody, kids ran down to take a look, and pretty soon there were a hundred kids running down and back, so Mr. Snell and the teachers came out and called police and asked us all to come back to the school.
Bebop Oh, wow, I do remember that. I was one of the kids walking back from Lunch who first saw it. I about got sick right there.
Lugnut Yeah, I was already at school and was one of the ones who ran down to see. At first I was like yeah, right, how dumb do you think we are, but the girls who told us were obviously shook up, so we started believing them. That was awful. The poor guy.
Saddleshoes I don't remember that at all. I must have been absent that day. It would seem the kind of thing I would never forget.
Hot Rod Oh, I remember it. I ran down, too.
Ponytail I definitely remember it now that you mention it, but I had forgotten about it for 50 years.
Crewcut

I remember it. We barely made it back to class on time at 1:00. They said he died of a heart attack.

Saddleshoes We were talking about Dr. Kelley. I think his first name was Harvey. But anyway, we were talking about literature. I remember in 10th grade we had Miss Pfingstll. Her name was Isabella. I always thought that was a great name : Isabella Pfingstll. But anyway, I remember those two novels we read in her class : Silas Marner and The Mayor of Casterbridge. Wow, were they wierd. Way back there in England about a thousand years ago. I remember Ange would come in every day and bang his head on the desk and moan about how awful it was. And Jesse kept trying to argue with her. He'd come in every day and ask what possible use this could be, why in the world did we have to read these books? Some days we'd read parts out loud. I don't remember a thing about what we read in Junior or Senior English, but I can still see us sitting in Miss Pfingstll's class. Her room was right in the front of the building looking out on State Avenue.
Bebop Oh, I loved her. She was real ditsy, but real sweet. She taught typing and a lot of other business courses. You had to get used to her, but she was a good teacher. All the kids in the Commercial Track loved her.
Ponytail I had her for typing. I remember those huge old Remington typewriters. They weighed about a ton. Just think : we took Typing I and Typing II and now they don't even teach typing anymore.
Lugnut Or use typewriters.
Bebop One of my funniest memories of high school was the first day of Typing I. She would always stand out there at the door between classes, right at the back of the auditorium. So we all came in and sat down at one of those little typing tables. All the rest of us just sat there talking to each other waiting for the bell. But Danny came in and sat down and put a sheet of paper in his typewriter and started typing. He'd been working down at the Record for about our whole lives and had learned to type about 100 mph with two fingers. So we were talking and all of a sudden there's this loud clattering like some airplane flying low and it's Danny typing with two fingers. He's looking down at the paper and typing away 100 mph and Miss Pfingstll comes in the room and just spazzes out.She just kind of went AAAAArrrrgggghhhhh!!!! I guess he was breaking every one of her three thousand rules all at once. So she grabbed him by the arm and hauled him out of the room and down to Rovilea's office and made them transfer him to another class. I don't think she ever did let him back in Typing.
Saddleshoes Oh God I remember that. I asked him about it later and he said he'd never had a real class in typing and he'd been looking forward to learning how to do it the right way and now it didn't look like he ever would get to take the class.
Ponytail What I remember about Miss Pfingstll's English class was we read Julius Caesar. The guys didn't like that much, either.
BeBop Yes. I remember that line, "Et Tu, Brute." That's my total 50 year ago memory of Julius Casesar. I had no idea what it means. I read it again in college and understood it.
Crewcut It means "You, too, Brutus." Everybody else was stabbing Caesar but he thought Brutus was his best friend and then Brutus also stabbed him, so those were Caesar's last words.
Bebop Thank you. Where were you in 10th grade when we needed you?
Dago I can't believe you'd remember those two books and that Shakespeare thing from 10th grade English and not remember the really good stuff we read in Junior English. We had Miss Donaldson. We read Huckleberry Finn, Moby Dick, some play about witches, and The Great Gatsby. Now I remember that class like it was yesterday.
Bebop I don't remember anything at all about Junior English, except we had Mrs. Donaldson.
Ponytail Noi, I think we all had to have regular Junior English and then the girls in the Commercial Track also had to have Business English. I don't remember being in Junior English, but I remember having Miss Donaldson for something. That must have been it.
White Bucks Didn't we also read Our Town in Junior English? I remember thinking it was about the dumbest thing we ever read. Don't I remember the characters were all these dead people out in the cemetery talking about back when they were alive?
Crewcut Oh, I remember that. I agree. It was dumb.
Lugnut Hey, guys, that's us. We're the guys in Our Town.
Crewcut Huh?
Lugnut We're the guys in the play. Here we are, on this website, talking about back in our previous life.
Saddleshoes Oh, that's all we need. Lugnut the teacher to show us the inner meaning in our conversation.
Lugnut Hey. I'm just saying.
Hot Rod That play about witches was The Crucible. That was the best thing we read in school. They hung all those people. It was cool.
Crewcut I liked Huckleberry Finn. He wrote like I wrote.
Dago I liked that book, too, because he didn't like school.
BobbySox Well I remember one book we read in there that was the worst experience of my life. It was Moby Dick. This guy was chasing this whale. it was stupid to begin with and it just went on and on and on. I didn't think we were ever going to get to the end of it. I kept wanting the whale to show up and eat him and end the book.
Lugnut The thing I remember about Miss Donaldson's class was we had to do all that writing. We had to write about the books we read, write something funny, write about something at school, write about last Summer, it was always something. I think I used up a pack of paper writing all those assignments for her.
BobbySox We had to give speeches in there, too. I didn't like to get up in front of the class.
Ponytail When it came to speeches I remember Miss Griffith's class.
Crewcut Now, I remember that. That was one of my favorite classes.
Bebop It was over in the corner by the stairs.
White Bucks I remember Kitty Lou and Al were the best speakers in there.
Lugnut The ones I remember are the How To Do It speeches. People did their speeches on how to ride a bike, bake a cake, build a bird house and so on. I remember somebody---I think it was Jesse---did one on how to make a double play in baseball. I seem to remember Ange and maybe Nick doing one on how to hand off a football. Every day for about two weeks we got to go to class and just sit there and listen. Of course, then we had to do our own. That was never fun.
Ponytail I remember after each one finished we had to go around the room and list what we thought was the biggest strength and biggest weakness of each one.
Dago Yeah. So we'd all say like what a great voice or he was enthusiastic or he was real sincere. Then we'd say but he didn't know what he was talking about or I couldn't understand a word he was saying.
Ponytail You're mean. Or at least you were mean 50 years ago.
Dago I'm just telling you that's how it was.
Ponytail Miss Griffith also taught her other classes in Problems of Democracy or something like that. That was the class Bill, Michael and Anne got into such huge arguments in. I mean knock down, pound on the desk, jump up and down type arguments. Bill just made them so mad. Michael or Anne would make some outrageous statement and they'd sit there looking all smug, and Bill would stay real calm and give them that big ice cream eating smile of his and real patient like say, "As usual, you're confused. Now let me explain all the different logical fallacies behind your thinking on this..." and he'd talk to them like they were in about third grade and the girls would get so angry.
Bebop I remember we'd be coming out of Miss Horton's class right next door and Miss Griffith's class would just be letting out. Bill and Michael and Ann would be coming out the door still yammering at each other. They'd all three be talking at once heading down the stairs, the ones further down looking back up the stairs. It's a wonder one of them didn't trip and fall and break their neck. And this would happen at least two or three days a week all year.
Lugnut There was a class I didn't look forward to. Miss Horton. I liked her. She was cool. And she was a good teacher. But I just hated all that translation. I had her for Latin. The clock moved slower in that class than anyplace else.
Dago When we got to where we couldn't stand it anymore, we'd ask her something about Julius Caesar and she'd go off on about a 20 minute tangent. She could have written a book on Julius Caesar.
Saddleshoes Do you remember when all the St. Joe's services were in Latin? If you didn't know Latin you never knew what was going on. So we all had to take Latin.
Dago I took Latin two years and worked my butt off and still never knew what the priest was saying. I was glad when they finally started preaching in English.
BobbySox Does anybody remember Father Healey?
Hot Rod Oh, God Yes.When I first moved to Coraopolis I thought he was some Satanic agent of God. He'd look at me and it was like he was possessed with the Evil Eye. I'd be like, Here It Is, I'm Going To Hell in About Five Minutes And I Don't Know What I Did But He Does. He was like a whole third parent. Everywhere you went in town there he'd be, spying on you. And you had to go to Confession every Saturday and you knew he'd been watching you all week.
Lugnut I think the worst trouble we ever got into was the time we played a joke on Father Healey. We thought it was hilarious. He thought it was disrespectful. We got about six guys together one Saturday. The first guy went into Confession and you know how it went. Father Healey would step into the little box and you'd step in your side and he'd do that little opening chant, and then you'd say Father, Forgive Me for I have Sinned. And he'd ask what you'd done, and you'd tell him. So the first guy said, Oh, Father, I threw Peanuts in the River. And he said, and is that all, my Son? And the guy said yes, but I am so sorry. And so he'd say God Forgives You My Son Go Forth And Sin No More. So the guy left and the next guy came in and said the exact same thing. And we kept running guys in and finally the sixth guy came in and we had him all fixed up in wet clothes and old tore up clothes and he said Father Please Help Me I'm Having A Terrible Week My Name Is Peanuts And The Guys Keep Throwing Me In The River. We really thought it was funny. And man did he get mad. He said we were disrespecting the rituals of the church and God would not look kindly on us and he called all of our parents and they all about beat us to death.
Saddleshoes I remember none of us girls could ever go into the church without covering our heads. It's amazing to think how the Catholic church has lightened up over the years. My grand kids have no idea.
Bebop You guys were a bunch of delinquents. It's a wonder God didn't strike you all down with lightning.
Lugnut That's what my mother said.
Saddleshoes I remember we all had to give up something for Lent. Every year. Lent was a big deal back then.
Dago Remember Ash Wednesday?
Saddleshoes

Sure do.

Lugnut And fish on Fridays.
Saddleshoes The Protestant kids had no idea how easy they had it.
Bebop Oh, sure. They just tried to drown all the Baptist kids when they were in about 8th grade. I had a few friends who talked about it.
Ponytail About gave us double pneumonia.
BobbySox Speaking of religion, I got to thinking today about school at holiday times. We would decorate windows and classroom doors, have a Christmas tree, and have assemblies just before we got out early for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. By the time my own kids got to school, they didn't decorate anymore or have assemblies but they still got out. Now, my grandkids don't even get out for Easter, not even for Good Friday, and they still get out for Christmas but they call it Winter Break, not Christmas Vacation.
Saddleshoes I loved Valentine's Day. In grade school we would decorate a big box with a slot in it and put it on a table in front of the room. We would use Art Class for several weeks making valentines. Day by day, we'd put them in the box. Then on Valentine's Day we'd have a Valentine Party all afternoon and the teacher would open the box and hand out all the valentines.
Bebop Yes. We would even have a few minutes right after lunch where we could go visit other classrooms and drop valentines in their boxes, since most of us had friends a year or two older or younger.
Dago I liked Halloween. We would use Art Class and make decorations for the windows, doors and walls. When somebody drove past the school they knew what season it was by what decorations were on the windows.
Lugnut I still remember wearing our costumes to school. We'd go normally dressed for the morning session, then change into our costume at lunchtime. We'd walk back with our mask in our hand so we could see, then put it on as we reached the school ground.
Ponytail We'd read or hear about a lot of Halloween traditions but the only place I ever did some of that stuff was at school. We bobbed for apples in a big tub. I never bobbed for apples anywhere else.
Crewcut You know, I haven't thought about this until right now, but something interesting has happened. As best I can remember, no one at all decorated their houses for Halloween. We'd put out a pumpkin the day of Halloween and maybe put a cardboard witch on a broom in the window, but all the real decorating went on at school. We worked hard on decorating the school and decorations were up for a couple of weeks. Since the schools quit doing it, it seems like the decorating has all moved to the homes. Now, people spend lots of time and money decorating their yards, trees, bushes, porches, rooftops, windows and doors. It's almost like we have this need to decorate, and the school provided the outlet for a long time, but if they're not going to, well, we're going to do it some where.
Saddleshoes These school administrators need to get a life. They don't like Halloween because they think it's Satanic. For Heaven's Sake. We'd dress up like Cinderella, Tinker Bell or Walt Disney characters. Boys would come as Pirates, Cowboys or Soldiers. Where was the Satan in that? Mr. Houtz and our teachers knew we worked hard in school and every once in a while we needed to have fun.
White Bucks Maybe that was why we all liked school. I mean, we might not have enjoyed arithmetic, but we liked coming to school. Today I hear kids all the time talking about how they just hate school. It's painful for them. They see it like jail. That's sad.
Bebop It was more than fun. It was educational. Halloween, Thanksgiving, all those holidays, they had a history to them. There was music and art and whole bunch of stuff to learn about. We used the holidays to do art, sing songs, talk about where way back there in history the holiday began, how it had changed. My grandkids today don't learn anything about Christmas, Easter, or any holiday. So I tell them, and they get all wide eyed and ask, Granma, how do you know all this stuff. And I tell them I learned it in school, and they can't imagine that.
Hot Rod People ask me, wouldn't I like to go back and be a kid again. And I always say, absolutely, who wouldn't, BUT I would only want to if I could go back and be a kid again in Coraopolis in the fifties. I definitely would not want to be a kid today. I don't think they have it near as good as we did. They have more STUFF but we had more fun.
Natalie So much. So much. How long have you been at this? I've been working two whole nights just to look at this whole website. I got so inspired I went up in the attic and dug out my old trunk and got out my record player with the big thick center post and the tiny records with the big holes, and I've got it here on the table playing --- can you believe it still works?? --- and now every night I'm going to play the Everly Brothers and Ricky Nelson and read your posts.
Ponytail Welcome. Don't just read ours. Make your own.
BobbySox I remember our mothers baked for Halloween. You'd go to different houses for about a week and get to eat good stuff. They made all those sugsr cookies in the shape of black cats, witches, crescent moons, ghosts and tombstones, with colored icing and sprinkles on them. And there would be candy apples, popcorn, and pumpkin pie. Then most mothers would set out bowls of that candy corn they'd buy down at the Giant Eagle. It's a wonder we didn't all grow up fat we ate so much.
Bebop We couldn't grow up fat. We had to walk and ride our bikes everywhere. My grandkids spend all their time watching tv and on the computer. We were outside. We were even outside when it was cold.
Saddleshoes And when we were inside we were helping our mothers vacuum, wash dishes, cook dinner, do laundry, scrub down the kitchen or bathroom or windows, or dust, or make the beds or whatever. It was always something. I don't remember ever just spending an evening laying around. We'd watch a little tv, but maybe two shows in a row. Not a whole evening.
Crewcut Count your blessings. At least you were inside. Us guys had to cut the grass, rake leaves, shovel snow, carry out the trash, trim the hedge, weed the garden, I don't even remember all the outside chores. We'd be out there all bundled up with our gloves on and our collars up and our Dads giving orders.
Natalie But after you cut the grass we had to sweep the sidewalk and porch.
Ponytail I think my mother swept the sidewalk and porch every day. Then she'd take a bucket of water out there once a week and give it a total scrubbing. Our sidewalks and porches were as clean as the kitchen floor.
Lugnut Our Dads had us out there helping them wash and wax the car every week from when we were old enough to walk. And we'd rig up the vacuum cleaner with an extension cord and vacuum out the inside. We'd polish the chrome. We had our cars shining.
Dago I remember raking the leaves up in a huge pile and then jumping in it. Fall was my favorite season because we got to jump in the leaves.
White Bucks One of the good things about working outside in the cold weather was we got to come in and warm up with hot chocolate. My Mom always put marshmallows in ours. Hot chocolate these days is never as good as what ours used to be.
Lugnut Turtle Wax. I remember we used Turtle Wax. First we put on the wax, then we had to polish it off.
Natalie I was sitting out on the porch today thinking about this website and all the stuff you've talked about on here. It was odd, but you know what I suddenly remembered. Tablets. They gave us tablets. I still remember those tablets. They had a big picture of the state of Pennsylvania on the cover with all the counties and county seats. We would all color in the counties different colors and make a mosaic. And they gave us a new one every six weeks. Didn't cost us a thing.
Bebop And book covers. Remember those brown heavy paper book covers. They had a picture of the Statue of Liberty on them. You had to fold them around a certain way and then they lasted about three months and you could get new ones whenever you needed. The teachers all kept a box of them.
Ponytail And pencils with red erasers. We popped the erasers onto the tops of the pencils. When you wore down the eraser you got a new one.
BobbySox My kids had bookbags to haul their books around in. We had to carry ours. I remember everybody used what we called a knapsack when they went hiking. So why didn't we use them at school?
Saddleshoes Mainly because if you'd shown up with one you'd have been made fun of.
BobbySox But why?? They would have made perfect sense. I'd get home from school and my arms would be so tired from carrying books.
Ponytail You just needed to be sweet and lovable so one of the boys would carry them for you.
Lugnut Yeah, right. We had our hands full with our own books. If I'd have carried some girl's books I'd have needed a shopping cart.
Crewcut Remember when we got older we got those plastic blue and white book covers with the big blue devil on the front? They lasted a whole year.
Dago I guess I used to sweat pretty heavy, because I'd always wear holes in those paper covers right where my hand gripped the book. I never had that problem with the plastic ones.
Blondie Are you people all retired? Do you just sit around all day and post on here? I have a hard time finding time to get on.
BobbySox I've started doing this instead of watching tv. I've had about all the reality shows, talent contests and CNN I can take. I like this better.
Saddleshoes You know what my kids and grandkids had but we never had? Lockers. They had lockers all the way through and we never did.
Bebop Yes, we did, too. We had them in junior high. But not in high school.
Natalie In grade school we had cloak rooms. They had hooks for our coats and cubbies for our stuff.
Ponytail I don't remember where we hung our coats in high school. We couldn't have hung them out in the hall, but we didn't have cloak rooms.
Blondie You know, I can't remember. We had to have hung them somewhere because I don't remember wearing them to class.
Dago I don't know. We had to have had cloakrooms but I can't see them in my mind. But I can see those long hallways on the second floor going toward Miss Donaldson's room and Miss Malter's room, and I know there weren't a bunch of coats and hooks along there. So the kids in their homerooms had to be hanging their coats inside their rooms, but I can't see any cloakrooms in my mind and I know we had blackboard or windows all around so there could not have been hooks. I don't know. Isn't that odd ?
White Bucks Am I imagining this, or was the hallway down in the gym, the one that ran along the back of the bleachers where the coaches had their offices, lined with hooks. Do I remember walking to class along that hall with everybody's winter coats hanging there?
Dago I sure don't remember that and I spent a lot of time down there.
Crewcut There were bathrooms right up against Miss Griffith's and Miss Crawford's rooms, so they couldn't have had cloakrooms. And there were blackboards and windows all around in there, too. So I don't know.
BobbySox Maybe we laid all our heavy coats on seats in the auditorium and in warmer weather just carried them with us and hung them on the back of our seats in each class.
Lugnut

I thought maybe that was possible, so I just went back and looked at all the classroom pictures on this website. There's not a single seat in any of them with anything draped over it. So I'd have to say No.

Natalie Isn't this something? Everybody on here has such a good memory and a lot of the little details you came up with I remembered after you mentioned it, even though I haven't thought about it for 50 years. But this high school cloakroom thing is a mystery. I can't remember it at all. I have no idea where I hung my coat every day for three years. How could a person forget such an obvious thing?
Bebop I've been sitting here thinking hard about this. Don't I remember a double row of hooks all along the hall just outside the library? I seem to see walking to class past all those heavy coats hanging there.
Blondie I don't know. My mind's a blank on this.
White Bucks If I'm right and the kids in homerooms down around the gym hung their coats in that hall, and Bebop's right and the kids upstairs hung theirs along the library, then where did the kids on the main floor hang theirs?
Dago I can't remember, but I know this : I know it was a different time, and I know we all got along pretty well, but if we were so honest we could hang 300 coats out in the halls and no one ever had anything stolen while the whole school walked past their coat eight times a day, think about what that says about how much integrity we had. Today, not only would kids go through pockets, but the whole coat would be gone.
Lugnut That's true.
BobbySox My kids had lockers and still had stuff stolen. Other kids would break into lockers. You're right. It was a different time. I liked our time better.
Natalie You know, this is such a little thing but such a big thing. A huge thing. If we just hung our coats out in the hall and didn't worry about it until the end of the day and all of us kept our hands off everybody else's stuff, doesn't it just make you want to cry? Not for us, but for what this country has come to. Because these kids today can't ever know what we took for granted. I want to go back.
Dago Well, speaking along those same lines, how about how we all teased each other all the time and nobody ever got mad? By the time my grand children were in school, everybody was so touchy. Nobody could say anything. Even if you didn't mean any offense, somebody out there would take offense anyway. They'd make an insult where no insult was intended.
Lugnut Oh, it never stopped. Remember capping? We'd stand around at lunchtime and make fun of each other's mothers. If you tried that today you'd be arrested and expelled.
Hot Rod Especially in sports. On the bus on the way to away games, we'd insult each other all the way there and all the way back. And you know we loved each other. We would have died for each other. That was just the way we were.
Crewcut Teachers, too. Remember how we used to make fun of Miss Malter, calling her The Bat and BatLady, and referring to her room as the BatCave?
Bebop I remember you guys going on and on about that and I never did understand it. How did that get started?
Dago There was this tv show on about Bat Masterson. So we transferred the name to Bat Malterson. And then there was this Saturday Serial down at the movie about Batman. So the whole Bat thing got all mixed up together. It all made sense in a looney kind of way.
BobbySox I remember everybody called Miss Crawford Mama Bear.
Ponytail And don't forget Nick calling Miss Beech Miss Bleach because she overdid it and had blue hair.
Hot Rod One of my funniest memories from high school was our sophomore year. Somehow one of the guys had gotten his hands on a box of YMCA pins. They had that triangle symbol and YMCA on them. So he brings them on the bus on one of our away basketball games. He hands them out to everyone, so we all have these pins on. So they form this imaginary club called the YMCA Club, but they pronounce it like it's a real word, YumKah. The Yumkah Club. And they elected Bob Croasman, Bill Brenneisen and Due Walker officers. Well, this goes on for a while and pretty soon we're all signing the YMCA Song. Riding down the highway, on our way to a game, singing the YMCA Song, with Puddn Wilson and Due Walker back there standing up in the aisle dancing. And Coach Milanovich and Frank Letteri sitting up front, just behind the cheerleaders, just rolling their eyes.
Dago Almost everybody on the basketball team was a character. Stan must have wondered if he was the only sane person on the whole team. Even the cheerleaders were characters. Janet and Grace were always funny.
Hot Rod People had no idea. We'd be getting on the bus and Due would be laying back there all the way across the back seat. So Nick would get on in the dark and be walking toward the back. And he'd say something like, "Are those two golf balls floating around back there or is that somebody laying there looking at me?" And Due would say, "Are you just standing there or are you practicing your white boy dance steps?" And Nick would say, "Don't you have a watermelon to go steal?" And Due would say, "That's why you're so short. You eat all that spaghetti. You come with me, start eatin lots of watermelon, someday you can grow up and be a man like me." And this would go on and on. Today they'd be accused of racism. But we all got along. We liked each other enough to tease each other.
Ponytail They could have filmed a tv sitcom about our class.
White Bucks But we lost several of the funniest guys in our class. Kenny, Chuck, Dale, Vite, Joe, they were all comedians.
Ponytail I never knew the Lincoln guys.
White Bucks You missed a great time in grade school. The funniest thing I remember about my whole growing up was the time Kenny and Chuck rubbed Ben Gay on Mrs. McGillicuddy's cat. I didn't even live up there, but we all used to go up and visit Danny and play in the woods. Well, this one day, we'd been up in that hollow by Grace Street, and we came out of the woods down at the Pump House. We all sat up on the hill cooling off in the shade and we saw Chuck and Kenny down below on Cliff Street crawling back along the fence by McGillicuddy's. Now, you have to realize everybody hated that cat. It was the biggest, fattest cat you ever saw and it was arrogant. It would be out in the yard and you'd come walking by and it would puff up and and hiss at you. Obnoxious cat. Well, I don't know if you girls remember it, but when we would strain or over use a muscle, we'd use Ben Gay on it. In high school they called it Analgesic Balm, but it was just Ben Gay. You rubbed it on the area and it created heat which helped heal the muscle. So Chuck has this string and some catnip with him. They get to the side gate and he opens the gate and throws the catnip out in the yard. As the cat comes over, he slowly reels in the string until the cat gets real close, then Kenny reaches out and grabs it. The cat, of course, is yowling, but Chuck squeezes out a big handful of Ben Gay and rubs it on the cat's butt. Real thick. So then he tosses the cat back in the yard and closes the gate. Then he and Kenny scurry back along the fence, across the street and sit in the grass down of the bottom of Pumphouse Hill, down below us. By this time the cat is starting to sort of dance around faster and faster and let out little yowls. Pretty soon it starts running. Then it disappears down along the side of the house. In a minute it comes up the other side, across the front and back down the side. On the front porch of the next house over, Old Sam is sitting there. We never did know his last name. Just Old Sam. So he notices the cat start circling the house, faster and faster. Pretty soon as the cat rounds the corner by the porch it drops its butt down into the thick grass and drags it across, then resumes running. Round and round, dragging its butt every time. About this time Old Mrs. McGillicuddy comes out on the front porch, sees the cat burning a path around her house and calls out "What In The World Is Going On Here?" Old Sam calls over the fence, "Looks like your cat got rabies." The old lady puts her hands on her hips. "My cat does NOT have rabies." Here comes the cat, a blur racing around the house. "Once they get it, can't do nothin for it," Old Sam says. Mrs. McGilliciddu just glares at him. "Have to shoot them." She throws her hands in the air. "Ain't nobody shooting my cat." Cat comes around again, dragging its butt through the grass. "I could do it for you," Old Sam says. She makes a shooing motion at him. "You ain't shooting my cat" she says. She's looking around for something to use. Cat comes around again. "Stuff just happens." Sam's talking. "Sad. Can't help it. Just get a new cat." By this time Mrs. McGillicuddy has stomped down her steps and turned on the garden hose. Next time the cat comes blazing around the corner she turns the hose on it full blast. The cat lets out a big yowl and the water rolls it over several times. The cat is laying out there on the front yard, soaking wet, exhausted. Old Sam is over there just shaking his head all disappointed looking. The whole time we're up there on the hill across the street just dying laughing but gagging to keep from making any noise.
Bebop You guys were all delinquents. All these years and I never knew until now. I went to school with a bunch of delinquents.
Dago We weren't delinquents. It was a CAT. We were good to dogs and little kids. But cats think they're better than we are. They need to have an attitude adjustment every once in a while.
Saddleshoes If you did that to one of my cats I'd call the police.
White Bucks If you had a cat that ate too much and then came out and hissed at passersby it would deserve it. The police would understand. I think they call it Justifiable Felicide.
Blondie OMG
Lugnut You would have really had a hard time with us tying two cats' tails together and hanging them over the clothesline.
Saddleshoes Please tell me you never really did that.
Lugnut Of course we did it. We did it more than once. A whole bunch of us did it. You gotta keep cats under control. Otherwise they get Uppity.
White Bucks We never tied their tails together. We used to see guys doing that but we never did it.
Saddleshoes Well, that's good to hear.
White Bucks We always thought it would be too easy for them to get loose. We preferred to stuff two cats in a burlap sack, tie it shut, then hang the sack from the clothesline. You could hear them fighting inside there for hours. It was really entertaining.
Saddleshoes NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Blondie LOL
Hot Rod We fed Old Lady Dinardo's cat a whole box of X Lax once. THAT was really entertaining. Now that was another cat weighed twice what it should have. It was a wonder it could walk it was so fat. It sure slimmed down for about a week after the X Lax feast.
Ponytail So did you guys just roam around town looking for cats to torture?
Dago Of course not. We only adjusted cats' attitudes when they got Uppity, like Lugnut says. We usually had lots more important stuff to do.
Ponytail Like what for instance?
Dago Oh, you know, guy stuff.
Ponytail Hm-mmm.
Crewcut Do you remember the time we pumped Ed Braun's tires full of water?
Dago Heck yea. I think that's one of our better pranks.
Blondie I just know this is gonna be good.
Crewcut Remember Ed Braun had that 1938 Plymouth in mint condition. He only drove it to church and the grocery. But he was a grouch. He had that huge garden up there on the hill and he was real picky. Just because we'd borrow watermelons and stuff out of his garden in the middle of the night, he was always fussing at us.
Ponytail Oh, well, I mean, how unreasonable. Why would anyone mind people stealing stuff out of their garden?
Crewcut That's what we thought. So this one week everybody had their garden hoses laying out after watering their yards and gardens and we thought, hmmm, we can use these. So we went down to the hardware and bought one of those little fixtures, and around midnight we replaced the nozzle on the hose with our little gizmo that fit over the tire valve, and we filled all his tires with water. We did that on a Friday night because every Saturday morning about 11 he'd drive down to the grocery. So we were all lined up the next morning down at the corner, and sure enough, here he comes out the driveway. Now, with your tires full of water, the car doesn't drive any different than usual. Until you try to turn the wheels. So he gets out of his driveway and tries to turn left to head down into town and the wheels seem like they weigh a ton. He ends up crossways in the street. So he gets out of the car and walks all around looking at the tires, and they all seem ok, not a flat or anything, so he gets back in, and still can't turn. He wrestles with both hands on the wheel and finally gets the car turned enough to head down the street. So we manage to hold it in til he's past and then we all lay on the grass laughing. Well, we're walking back downtown and we get to Bill Graf's gas station, and Bill motions us over. He says, now you guys wouldn't have had anything to do with why I had to pump 300 pounds of water out of Ed Braun's tires a little while ago, would you? So we all burst out laughing. Bill Graf tells us Ed pulled in and said, you've got to find out what happened to my steering. It feels like this steering wheel weighs a ton. The spindle must be broken or something. So I get in and turn the wheel a few times and there's obviously nothing wrong with the steering wheel so I get out to check the tires. I kick one of the tires and it sloshes. I reach down and push an air needle into the valve and water spurts up. So I look up at Ed, who's standing there watching, and he just gets this ferocious look on his face and clenches his fists and says "Them Damn Kids!!!!!"
Bebop Delinquents. Every one of you. Delinquents. Should have been locked up. I went to school with delinquents.
Ponytail Did you really stuff out of people's gardens? I mean, c'mon. Really?
Dago Well, not a lot of stuff. Mainly watermelons. And cantaloupes. But we was real good about it. We just stole what we needed.
Bondie Needed.
Dago You know, six or seven guys on a hot August night need a good watermelon. But we would only take one. We warn't greedy.
Bondie Oh, well, I feel a lot better knowing that.
Ponytail Did you just steal watermelons all over town or did you have certain gardens you liked more than others.
Dago Well, now, I don't want to sound prejudiced, but the truth is, everybody raised watermelon but most people didn't do a very good job of it. Old black guys and old Italian guys raised the best watermelon. They just had a talent. The only exception to this rule we knew was Ed Braun. He was an old German guy but his watermelon were right up there with the best.
Ponytail So you would roam all over town in the middle of the night looking for the best watermelon?
Dago Not exactly. We had ethics. The old black guys, we pretty well left their gardens for Due and Puddn and their buddies. And they pretty well left the old Italian gardens for us.
Saddleshoes So you were a bunch of racist watermelon thieves.
Dago I bet you never had a good piece of watermelon at midnight out in the woods under a full moon, have you?
Saddleshoes Can't say that I have. Nor do I remember any of you guys in high school inviting me to stop off on the way home from a dance or a movie and share in one of your little feasts. What would you do---take us girls home, then all meet at Ed Braun's garden and get on with your melon stealing?
Dago Sometimes. But actually, even though Ed raised good watermelon, as long as Old Man Sabbatini had any spares ready to pick, we preferred his.
Blondie Spares?
Dago Like I said, we had ethics. If a guy only had one or two watermelon ready to pick, we'd never take one. Those were for him. But most of these guys, they'd raise way too much. So there would be seven or eight laying out there. Well, some of those would just rot, because one old guy couldn't eat them all. So we just sort of helped him out and harvested a few so he wouldn't feel bad. You know, a guy spends all Summer raising watermelon, down deep inside he wants them watermelon to be appreciated, loved, eaten.
Saddleshoes Even if it's by a bunch of racist middle of the night hoodlums.
Dago Well, just to keep up appearances, those old guys would usually fuss about us, but we knew down deep inside they liked the fact we preferred their watermelon over anyone else's. It was a matter of pride.
Saddleshoes This is just a real insight into the teenage male psyche.
Dago Well anyway, we'd carry a pair of pruning shears so we could clip the watermelon real neat and quick like, then we'd get over the fence and off into the woods. From Mr. Sabbatini's garden --- remember he lived up there on that hillside below the Girl Scout lodge, kind of halfway between Nick's and Tom's houses, with the woods all around him on three sides---we'd follow the trail around to Wildcat Rock. It was pretty hard getting that watermelon up the steep climb, so we usually just sat down on the rocks at the bottom and cut it up and ate it.
Ponytail And he never had you arrested for this?
Dago No. He'd come out and shoot at us every once in a while. We had to drop the watermelon a few times so we could get away.
Blondie Shoot at you? OMG. Are you serious?
Dago Yea. He had worked down at Forgings apparently since they opened, and before he retired he brought home some old machine they were throwing out, and he had it rigged up so it would cut up pennies into little tiny pieces. He had that old garage out there that was too small for a car and he used it for a workshop. So during the daytime every once in a while we'd go by and visit and he'd be working in there, so we got to see the machine. Anyway, he'd cut up a bunch of old pennies and then use them in his old shotgun. Usually he'd shoot at groundhogs or raccoons or whatever was stealing his tomatoes or peppers, but every so often he'd shoot at us.
Ponytail Did he ever hit any of you?
Dago No. The worst we ever got was up at Braun's. He rigged up an electric fence all around his garden and down through his tomato and watermelon patch, and hooked it up to several car batteries. We got pretty good shocks from that thing several times. We knew it was there and in the moonlight we could be real careful, but sometimes on cloudy nights we couldn't see as well so we'd touch the wire.
Bebop Delinquents. I went to school with a bunch of delinquents.
Lugnut Oh, heck, stealing a few watermelon was pretty harmless. We come a lot closer to getting in trouble over dragracing on Neville Island at 3 in the morning.
Ponytail WHAT???
Lugnut Well, the longest straightest no intersection stretch of road in the whole area was the Neville Island Straight from the Stowe bridge down to Dravo. So we'd go over there to drag race in the early morning when there wasn't any traffic
Ponytail At 3 in the morning?
Lugnut We didn't have a lot of choice. During the day and the evening there would be traffic on the road. After about 2 or so it got real empty. We'd have an hour or so before it started picking up again.
Blondie And how many times did you get arrested over there?
Lugnut Not very many. But we got real good at avoiding it. The trick was, if the Neville Police showed up, we'd cut our lights. Then they couldn't see us. Then we'd duck into one of the driveways and slip in behind one of the mills.
Bebop Did you bunch of criminals do anything in broad daylight, or is that when you slept?
Dago That was when we slept.
Crewcut Not all of us. I was never into the 3 am dragracing. My parents had this notion they wanted me home in bed. But we got into lots of stuff during the day. Like the Lynette Air Raid.
Ponytail Oh, No. I don't like the sounds of this.
White Bucks I remember that. It definitely makes the Top 10.
Crewcut I don't know. It might have been Nunber One.
Lugnut God, she was gorgeous. I think every one of us in her part of town was secretly in love with her.
Bebop Then why would you do something mean to her?
Crewcut It wasn't mean. It was funny.
Ponytail Are we going to find out what you did?
Crewcut Well, a lot of afternoons in the Summer she would go out back and lay on that chaise lounge and work on her suntan. We knew that. So you remember Michael's? It was that hobby shop just up from Cahen's. He was especially big on model airplanes. So he got this new model in that actually dropped bombs. It had these little claws hanging down and you inserted one of these little balloons full of water and flew the plane somewhere and by remote control released the claws and the balloon dropped and "blew up" on the sidewalk. As soon as we saw it, we just knew how great this was gonna be. So we put our money in together and got the plane plus a really expensive muffler for that little tiny internal combustion engine and several extra packages of balloons. Then we went up to the Stadium and practiced flying the plane and releasing the balloons until we had it down pat. We even practiced aiming the balloons at targets and retrieving the plane in midflight so it wouldn't actually have to land. That muffler was great. We could fly right up behind a bird and not even scare it.
Bebop I just know where this is heading.
Crewcut So --- never mind who but you can probably figure out who since we all know where we all lived --- the next time Lynette went out back and set up her chaise lounge, our spy next door called us and we got down there right away. We'd filled the balloon with water and kept it in the refrigerator for several days, and as soon as we got over there we put it in his freezer compartment to chill it down as cold as possible without freezing it solid. So after about half an hour Lynette put down her magazine and laid down for a nap and a suntan. We waited another 15 minutes until she was really enjoying that nap. Then we real quiet like went outside and launched the plane. One of us ran around the other side and waited in the street. We flew the plane over, not making a sound, released the balloon, and it was perfect. It exploded with a burst of ice water right on her belly button. You never heard such a shriek in your life. She jumped up, looking around. But the plane had already disappeared over the shrubs. We flew it low skimming straight over the next yard behind her, and as it came out on the street we just scooped it up, wrapped a towel over the propeller, and ran.
Bebop Delinquents. I went to school with delinquents.
Crewcut What was really funny was we waited about two weeks and none of us said a single word to anyone. Then we went back and did it again. And we waited another couple of weeks and did it a third time. We got away with it all three times. We considered trying a fourth time, but decided we'd better quit while we were ahead. But it was worth every penny we paid for that plane and muffler.
Ponytail Poor Lynette. Don't you guys feel bad now that she's not here anymore?
Crewcut I definitely feel bad she's not here anymore. I'd rather see her at reunion than anybody else. If she wasn't the most beautiful girl in our class she was sure one of the top two or three.
Corey

Hey Everybody :

I'm impressed. And amazed. We thought maybe we'd get 500 responses by July 2010 and instead we've maxed out in August 2009. So we're going to move to a bigger format. The "room" we're moving to is called Vanilla. It will require that you actually sign in rather than just come to the site and post. But it will have a capacity of 10,000 responses, which will surely serve our needs. Just click on "Even More Discussion" below, pick up your chairs, carry them into the new room, and let the good times continue...

Even More Discussion