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    • CommentAuthorBelAir
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2011
     
    Wow. have you been back to the main Grade School page lately? Corey has posted some new photos and one of them is inside Lincoln in one of our classrooms. It sure brings a lot of memories flooding back. Just LOOK at those high ceilings and big windows!! They sure don't make schools like that anymore. We must have been out of our minds to let them take a wrecking ball to that building.
    • CommentAuthorSchwinn
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2011
     
    Yes. If Coraopolis insisted on abandoning it, it's too bad someone with deep pockets didn't come in, buy it and reopen it as a private academy. It would have been perfect. Even when we went to it, it looked more like a private academy than a public school. Eventually, as they did some fund raising, they could have added on a library, gym and auditorium, but the core building was wonderful.
    • CommentAuthorSkinny Kid
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2011
     
    It's been a long time since I have enjoyed the Thanksgiving Holiday in our hometown of Coraopolis. Still have those memories. Wishing all of my Lincoln classmates a Wonderful Thanksgiving.
  1.  
    Skinny Kid, I'm jealous. I'd give anything to be back in Coraopolis for Thanksgiving. I'd love to see all the people, but since I imagine very few of them are still there, I'd enjoy just walking the streets and maybe hiking out into the woods. It would be a little sad, I imagine. Like a lot of people have posted on here, what I'd really like to do is climb inside a Time Machine and go back and actually relive a few of those weeks. Especially some of the sledriding weeks. If you see any of the old gang, be sure and say Hello for me.
    • CommentAuthorSkinny Kid
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2011
     
    Dead End Kid I may have mislead you I am not in Coraopolis, however I wish I were. I am actually 2000 miles away. I like your idea of the time machine. I have gone back home every year for 46 years, however never during the holidays. My
    Mother lived to be one hundred years old and we went back to visit family and friends every summer. For her big celebration we had a great party at Jr's on Fifth Ave. and she was presented the key to Coraopolis by the Mayor. She passed away in 2006 and we have only been back a couple of times since then. Before much more time passes it would be great to have a Lincoln Reunion. Happy Turkey Day to you and your family.
    • CommentAuthorPilgrim
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2011
     
    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I certainly vote for a Lincoln Reunion. Except for poor Joyce and Ed, I think all of us are still around and pretty healthy. I heard Marilyn had a few health problems a while back but is OK now. Some of us guys are just too ornery to get old. And the girls are too good looking to get old. If I could go back in a Time Machine I'd want to do it the week we scaled the Cliffs of Mordor. To me that was the epic achievement and adventure of our Lincoln era. I still can't believe we had the imagination and courage and skill to do that. Could you imagine a bunch of 10 year olds today doing that? They couldn't climb over the fence into the neighbor's back yard. I am so disappointed in how wimpy my grandkids are. I love them and they're bright and talented but they don't have that sense of adventure we did. They're not free ranging. All their adventures occur in their living room or on the computer.
  2.  
    They're over on the main thread talking about that Penn State situation and wondering why those kids didn't have anyone to go confide in about it when that creep first started trying something with them. They're saying back in Coraopolis they would have gone straight to Coach Letteri. I left partway through 7th grade so I never post over there. But the news reports say those kids were 12. That should have put them in 6th grade, not 7th. So it could have happened to us while we were still in grade school. If it had happened to me, the first time some creepy guy made some advance on me, I would have gone straight to Dr. Houtz. We could always go to him with a problem. He LISTENED to us. He was this great, dignified, stern taskmaster, but he respected us kids, and took us seriously. Then, after he listened, he was so intelligent, he would have known what to do. And then, he would have had the courage to do it. And it wouldn't have been any Joe Paterno situation where he reported it and let it alone. He was used to bucking the establishment, and doing it again would have been just another day at the office. So I fear those kids didn't have a guy like Dr. Houtz in their middle school world they could go to. It would have made all the difference. Dr. Houtz imposed high expectations on us, and did not suffer fools and delinquents lightly, but he also made it clear nobody better mess with any of his kids. We were all his kids. The wrath of God would have descended on anyone who messed with us. Dr. Houtz had his problems with me for a couple of years there, and he had to come down pretty hard on me a few times, but that was my own fault. He was still there for me. Once he got me straightened out, the few times I had problems and went to him, he took care of them right away. He would have put a stop to this.
    • CommentAuthorCritter
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2011
     
    Absolutely. I would have gone to Coach Jewart first, I think. THEN I would have gone to Dr. Houtz. BOTH of them had our backs. The longer we live, and the more we see and hear, the more we realize how many layers of protection we had that we never paid attention to until now places don't have all those layers and stuff happens. Lots of guys on here have bragged about how free ranging and adventurous we all were, but truth is, there were adults watching every move we made that we didn't even know about until we got to be adults ourselves.
  3.  
    Yes. I would have gone to Dr. Houtz. He was my honorary grandfather. ILike you, I have absolute confidence he would have put a stop to this kind of nonsense immediately if he had to call Dwight D. Eisenhower in the White House to do it. While this grand jury is investigating the campus and the football program, they need to investigate the elementary school administrators and teachers and coaches. Did NONE of those people have any kind of relationship with any of their students or players that the kids would have felt like telling them? Talk about a cold school. I would not have wanted to grow up there or send my kids or grandkids to school there. Based on four thousand posts on these two message boards and all this sex abuse crap in the media lately, I have a new theory of education.

    If you can't roll up your sleeves and loosen your tie and kneel down in the dust and show a kid how to throw a baseball, if you can't give a kid a ride home when he's sick, and if you can't sit in your coat and tie on the front steps of the school and give a kid a hug when he tells you about his dog getting hit by a car, then it doesn't matter what credentials you have, you're not qualified to be either a teacher or an administrator in a school.

    Forget Occupy Wall Street. Let's Occupy Schools. Take Back The Schools. Out With The Beauracrats. Bring Back the Educators.
    • CommentAuthorBelAir
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2011
     
    BobbySox is over on the other thread ranting about her grandkids, who appear to be in either middle or high school, being forced to leave school every day as soon as the last bell rings. I could join that rant about grandkids in elementary school. I'm sure Central and McKinley were the same way, but I bet all of you remember hanging around Lincoln after school. The guys would be playing basketball, baseball or touch football on the playground. A lot of the girls would go home, drop off books, change clothes, then walk or ride bikes back to school. We'd climb around on those sloping wooden doors, on the fire escape, or the front steps. We'd play jacks or hopskotch or jump rope. Remember some of those great games of whatever we called it when teams would go out and capture opposing team members and put them in prison and then somebody would try to sneak in and tag the jail and free everybody? Sometimes the guys would have big marble games. We'd spend two hours at school and only go home because it was supper time. And sometimes we'd just hang around and talk to our friends. Teachers would come out on their way home and stop and talk to us. Dr. Houtz would come out on his way home and stop and show the boys stuff about whatever sport they were playing. Lincoln was like our neighborhood Rec Center. So now schools build fences around their playgrounds and lock them up right after school. They don't want the kids around. School's Over --- Go Away. I have as many memories of Lincoln School AFTER SCHOOL as I do DURING SCHOOL. Our grandkids --- or at least my grandkids --- won't have any of those memories because they're locked out. Locked out of their own school playground!! And then we can't figure out why kids today don't like school?
    • CommentAuthorsmiles
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2011
     
    The problem with schools these days stems from the fact that they are no longer small neighborhood schools with teachers and administrators who also live in the neighborhood. Students, like our grandchildren, are bused many miles to a campus of schools, attending with students from many communities. Teachers in those schools may come from 50 miles away, administrators change frequently and teachers come and go.
    Teachers and administrators don't know the parents, the home situation or where a student lives. Administrators don't know what is being taught in classrooms, they don't know the curriculum and they rarely know a student's name unless they are a consistent discipline problem or have done something really outstanding. I was a teacher for thirty years and each of my principals (no matter where I was teaching) visited my classroom once a year for evaluation purposes!!
    Our classroom size at Lincoln School was usually around 25 students, an average number. Everyone of our teachers lived in the community or nearby and so did our administrators (Miss Pugh lived next door to Lincoln!). At school, Dr. Houtz was seen as a professional, someone to respect, but was also seen mowing the lawn around his house, shoveling snow on his sidewalk and as a Dad to his two daughters. He made home visits, sometimes about student problems, but also about extracurricular activities for students, encouraging parent participation and getting thoughts and ideas from PTO parents. I'll bet that he knew most student names, where they lived and talked with their parents on a regular basis in the grocery store or other places around town when he was shopping. Teachers spent a whole career in one school knowing generations of families and it wasn't just a job, but a rewarding career loaded with respect from both students and parents.
    It is a much different world today in education and it is certainly not better. We were lucky!
    • CommentAuthorSkinny Kid
    • CommentTimeDec 25th 2011
     
    Smiles I agree it is a different world today. Liability does play a key factor in the change of our school system on many levels. Parents today are likely to sue where as our folks or a neighbor patched us up and sent us on our way. Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night.
    • CommentAuthorSchwinn
    • CommentTimeDec 25th 2011
     
    A very Merry Christmas to everyone. There's no snow here, so I find myself reminiscing about those great Christmases back in Coraopolis when we always had snow. So many of us got sleds for Christmas presents and we could go out and use them Christmas afternoon and every day for two weeks until we had to go back to school. I also remember visiting everyone's house so we could see their train layouts. The girls not so much, but every boy had a train display under the tree. I especially remember Jimmy Picard's, Danny's, Bobby & Dickie Smith's, and Ed Lemley's. All those Lionel trains, with their deep whistles, smokestacks puffing smoke, and wheel rods pumping furiously as they cranked up the hills on those miniature mountain ranges. We thought that was the way the whole world was. We didn't find out til later that it was only a Western Pennsylvania thing. The other places I've lived, nobody but me has a train layout under the tree. Everybody thinks it's wierd.
  4.  
    First of all wishing everybody a belated "Happy New Year" and to all my Lincoln classmates" Happy Easter." Have missed reading thoughts, ideas and all the fun comments of our past. Celebrating my 71st Birthday this month. How did that happen? Time Marches On !!!
  5.  
    Well, the old message board has been pretty quiet lately. I have to admit I miss it. I've spent the last several days in Coraopolis on a business trip. I had an old safety deposit box in the bank I needed to clean out. My wife is not in good health so I haven't been able to come back for a while, but I finally just took a few days off and came up, and since I was here, I just stayed a few extra days. I spent a lot of time walking the streets, standing there looking at the homes of all my classmares, and looking at the junior high and the high school, which of course are apartment complexes now. I would loved to have stood there and looked at Lincoln School, but of course it's been torn down for decades. I hiked out into the woods and walked around downtown. As has been said by everyone on here, the town isn't what it used to be. The mills are gone and the downtown isn't as busy as it was. But the damndest thing happened. A couple of different times, I was just walking along and all of a sudden realized there were tears on my cheeks. Here I am, about to turn 70 years old, and I found myself crying. It was really an amazing thing. I hadn't thought about it all these years, but the truth is, I've lived in five different places and never had any attachment to any of them like I have for Coraopolis. I was no star athlete, no top student, not particularly active socially, but looking back on it I had such good friends there, and absolutely zero enemies. I can't remember anyone from Coraopolis who was mean. I've met a lot of people since who were just really mean spirited. I can't say that about a single person in Coraopolis. And the friends I had there were such reliable friends. There was no drama, no betrayals, no let downs. When I needed someone, they were there. Maybe everybody has friends like that growing up. Maybe at ages 5-18 we just form closer bonds. I wouldn't know. I never lived anywhere else. I lived in the same house all my life until I left for the Navy. But I know those were sure good friends I made in kindergarten and kept until graduation. I was also astonished to find the woods just like I remembered them. I know we've talked on here about them but even though I've been back numerous times over the years, I've never taken the time to actually explore the woods. I did this time. I could pick out places we used to camp, the trails we used to hike, everything. It's amazing to me that in such a heavily populated area those woods have never been cut down and used for a big housing development. I knocked on Danny's door. I knew he wouldn't be there, but the place looks lived in. Since nobody answered, I walked on down along that old sled riding track, which is still there and looks as steep and fast as I remember it, and that football field, where we spent so many hours tackling each other. All in all, it was quite a nostalgic visit. I think I miss the place and the people more right now than I ever have. As has been mentioned so many times, I wish I could go back in a Time Machine and spend a few weeks.
    • CommentAuthorCorey
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2012
     
    For those of you who don't check the main board, I have just posted terrible news. Pete is dead. Apparently he was jogging on the Montour Trail and had a heart attack. In a class of great people, Pete was surely one of our best. Now that he's gone, I'm sure he won't mind my revealing the thinly veiled secret that his identity on this board was Hot Rod. Of course, most of you knew that long ago, from his mentions of arriving in Coraopolis during the Summer before 7th grade, his home on Devonshire Road, his involvement in football, basketball and baseball and his later years at Michigan State. He was a good student, a good athlete and a good guy. Pete was never part of the Lincoln School group but he commented on Lincoln School discussions when he had some perspective to add.
  6.  
    Oh Noooooooo. Pete was my catecorner next door neighbor for six years. The corner of their property touched the corner of ours. He was a good guy. We played a lot of baseball, football and basketball together, walked to school together, etc. This is the first one of my immediate circle of friends from back then that has died, so it's particularly hard to take. With those sisters of mine, Pete was the closest thing to a brother I had. What are the funeral arrangements?
    • CommentAuthorPilgrim
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2012
     
    This is Awful. Pete was one of our best all round athletes : football, basketball and baseball. He was a lot smarter and wiser than most of us and probably kept us from doing some stupid stuff over the years. We played a lot of games in the middle of the street right in front of his house, pausing for a moment whenever a car came. I remember that great train layout he always had at Christmas. It took up two thirds of the living room. RIP Pete.
    • CommentAuthorBelAir
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2012
     
    What Tragic News. I remember from the first day of seventh grade until we graduated, Pete had the biggest crush on Jean. She lived right across Vine Street from him so of course he saw her every time she came or went or stopped at that little store up there or rode her bike. He really liked Jean and finally realized his big dream when she went to the Prom with him. I thought it was cute he was so excited about that Prom date. Pete was such a sweet guy. I never went out with him but I always liked him.
    • CommentAuthorCritter
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2012
     
    Hard News. Hard News.
    Always rough to bid a brother farewell.
    The one this will really hit will be Danny.
    He lost all three of his best buddies
    Patrick, Dale and then Kenny.
    He was feeling really stranded.
    Then Pete moved in.
    Danny taught Pete all about the woods,
    and they played basketball together every day.
    They played with their trains at each others' houses.
    Pete would sledride up at Omlors Hill
    and Danny would join Pete over on Vine Street.
    Pete helped Danny in Math, Physics and Chemistry
    and Danny helped Pete in English, Latin and Biology.
    Danny was trying to be a quarterback
    and Pete was trying to be a wide receiver.
    So they'd work for hours up in that field,
    Danny passing several hundred times a day to Pete.
    Pete never had a woods where he came from.
    He found our adventuring in the woods really strange.
    We were way out there on a hike one day,
    stopped for a drink and a snack.
    Danny was pointing something out.
    I still remember Pete said to him,
    "You know everything there is to know about these woods, don't you?"
    Danny shook his head.
    "No," he said. "Not yet. But I intend to."
    And then a year or so later, they were sitting on that wall across from Pete's house.
    Pete was helping Danny with his Arithmetic homework.
    Danny said, "You can work every problem in this book, can't you?"
    Pete shook his head.
    "No," he said. "Not yet. But I intend to."
    I can't believe he's gone.
  7.  
    At the very beginning of 7th grade, Jeannie had that slight lisp. Not serious, just enough to be noticeable. When we all started to junior high, a few of those crude downtown guys tried making fun of her. Pete would rise to the rescue and tell them to stop. They'd ask him, WhatRYou, Her Boyfriend? And Pete would say No, But She's My Neighbor and My Friend And You Leave Her Alone. After several of those episodes, Jeannie developed a real soft spot for Pete. He went several years before he got the nerve to actually ask her out. Poor Pete. He didn't realize she would have gladly gone out with him any time from 7th grade on. There was a potential romance there that never materialized because neither one of them had the nerve to take the first step. By the time Pete asked her to the Senior Prom, it was too late for much of a romance to develop.
  8.  
    Was saddened to hear of the passing of Pete. Would appreciate any information on services. Good times and good memories, many years ago.
  9.  
    Pete really had a hard time with us. Not arriving until the seventh grade, he didn't grow up from kindergarten with the backyard engineering and woodsy adventuring. Instead of slowly growing into it, it just hit him like a brick wall at age 12. He went a whole year continuously saying, "You Guys Are All Nuts." The Caboose, the Flying Bicycle, the whole approach to life took him years to get used to. But the final big episode was the Railbike. Danny took him for a whole day ride on the Railbike. I still remember Pete telling me about it the next day. He said he was scared to death for six straight hours. The only time he wasn't scared to death was when they stopped for lunch, pulled the bike off the tracks, and relaxed for an hour on that hill above Imperial. He said he absolutely knew they were going to be run over by a train. Of course, we'd grown up with the Montour Railroad and knew their schedule,so Danny knew perfectly well no train was coming. But no matter how many times he explained this to Pete, it didn't matter. Pete was convinced he was doomed. He talked all the time about what a culture shock it was moving from Stowe Township to Montour Hill.
  10.  
    Pete was kind of unusual in that he was really interested in Art. We didn't grow up together, so we had zero in common and he didn't know me at all. But whenever he'd see me working on a drawing or a painting, he'd always stop and want to talk about it. How was I doing the shading? How did I know how to draw this line or how big to make this or what color to use? It was like he didn't think he personally had any art ability but he wanted to analyze it scientifically, just come to understand it. People have mentioned how he was a good guy to talk to. I think the secret to that was he just liked people, was interested in them, wanted to know what different people thought and what made them tick.
    • CommentAuthorPilgrim
    • CommentTimeJul 5th 2012
     
    The arrival of the Corteses on Devonshire Road was pretty interesting. The whole East End, the Lincoln School neighborhood, was predominantly German with a few Blacks, Poles, Spanish and Hungarians thrown in for variety. There were a few old Italian guys farming the hillsides, but Pete was our first Italian kid. We thought it was cool. We hadn't started to junior high yet where there were so many Italians, so Pete was a real novelty. Their culture shock was also pretty noticeable. Pete kept telling us we were Nuts. Then after about two weeks my Dad came home one night and said Well I Met Your New Friend's Dad At The Store. So we talked. He said Mr. Cortese told my Dad he thought all us kids were Nuts. The camping way out in the woods, the Caboose, the Rocket Sled, everything we did, he thought was just way over the top. So My Dad said he asked Mr. Cortese what he thought about all this. Mr. Cortese told him Hell Yes. This is why we moved here. I wanted my kid to have a real childhood like the kind you read about in books and it looks like we came to the right place. I just wish we'd moved here when he was born because look what he missed all these years. So right from the start, Pete was just one of the gang.
  11.  
    Pete was also lucky because right across the street lived Tommy Myl. Tommy was a few years behind us in school but that didn't matter much. He was never into adventuring out in the woods or any of our backyard engineering projects. He wasn't into building or creating things. But he was the ultimate consumer. His Dad was Pete Myl, who owned the Chrysler Dealership downtown. Tommy was an only child and the Myls had money. They built a little room on the back of the house and converted that plus the basement into Tommy's headquarters. He had every toy, piece of equipment, game or model. We all had train layouts, but we just added one item a year. Once you had a couple of engines, you didn't need any more. Most of us were still running the engines our Dads had gotten when they were kids. So we could go over to Tommy's and run all the brand new diesels and switching engines. We had all the traditional accessories, like the coal loader, milk loader, log loader, etc. But Tommy got all the new accessories, like the rocket launching car and the fire extinguisher car. We built mountains, roads, streams and towns on our home layouts, and Pete had a nice one in his living room. Tommy didn't fool with that. He just had a huge platform crammed with track so five or six trains could run at once. Tommy also had all those electric games : basketball, baseball, football and hockey. He'd stage whole tournaments over there, lasting a whole weekend. So at the age of 12 or 13 Pete could walk across the street and play with all sorts of neat stuff. He and Tommy were good friends. I think Mr. Myl kind of liked Pete because they had the same first name. But whatever the reason, Myls took Pete lots of places. Not just movies and restaurants and Pirate, Steeler and Hornet games. Really big trips like out to California to Disneyland. By the time we got into high school, Pete had gotten to eat in lots of restaurants and been lots of places because he got to go there with Tommy. Tommy and his father took the rest of us places, too, but over the years Pete got to go to the most.
    • CommentAuthorCritter
    • CommentTimeJul 6th 2012
     
    All these anecdotes are true,
    but it took Pete the Summer to gear up.
    When he first got here,
    he wasn't used to the high energy level.
    We'd get up in the morning and hit the chores.
    The idea was to get them done by noon so we could play.
    We'd mow lawns, weed gardens, pick beans, sweep walks,
    all with mothers watching from the porch or kitchen window
    to make sure we met
    their high standards.
    Then it was in for a quick lunch,
    and out the door.
    On non expedition days, we'd usually start by playing baseball
    at that vacant lot on Devonsire
    while everybody gathered.
    Then it was off to the woods,
    either the Caboose or one of our "camps."
    By 3 or so we would hit the swimming holes,
    either The Chute or The Deep,
    unless we decided to bike over to Dravo and swim in the pool,
    in which case we'd leave right after lunch.
    Back for dinner and then out for an evening of football.
    Around dark we'd play basketball
    since our driveway courts were easily lit.
    To cap off the evening we'd head back to the woods
    for a nice campfire.
    We'd usually sleep out in someone's yard in tents.
    Sometimes we'd go from Memorial to Labor Day and never sleep under roof.
    On expedition days we'd meet around 9 and head into the woods
    or out the Montour Railroad
    with our backpacks
    or out to Clinton Lake
    on our bikes.
    Well, at first, whenever we'd stop for a minute,
    Pete would be sprawled out on the ground.
    "Don't you guys ever get tired?" he would ask.
    Tired? Tired?
    We were 12, white (well, there were Ed and Alex, but we'd known them since kindergarten;
    we didn't think of them as black; we just thought they had funny hair) and it was High Summer.
    We didn't have time to get tired.
    Apparently Pete wasn't used to this pace.
    So it took him a while.
    But by August he had geared up nicely
    and could keep up with the best of us.
    From then on
    Life Was Good.
  12.  
    Except for the Rocket Sled. That was the only one of our projects Pete would never try. Remember he used to watch us on it and shake his head and say, "Not Me. Somebody's going to get killed on that and it's not going to be me. There's lots better ways to commit suicide. I can just play football without a helmet or jump off the Neville Island Bridge. I am NOT getting on that thing." And he never did.
  13.  
    Beginning with our very first snow, Pete was determined to become a good sledrider, but it took him a while. He lived right there next to Vine Street, the hairiest run in town. I walked him down the whole street and showed him Tompkins Bend and explained to him how to deal with it and we stood there and watched a dozen or so guys coming down and making the bend. But the first time Pete came screaming down past the cliffs he didn't make the turn and ended up on the front porch of that house that sits just below street level on the bend. The black lady that lived there came to the door and opened it and looked out and there was Pete sort of stunned still sitting on his sled right at her feet. She just shook her head and went back in the house. The next time he came down he almost made it but ended up in the front yard of that orange brick house further on down. Finally on the third try Pete made it all the way down the hill to the ashes. So from then on he was OK with Vine Street. Then he had to learn how to navigate Omlors Hill at night, when we would be sledriding through the dark woods by moonlight. For a bunch of 12 year olds it was pretty scary. We started Pete out during the daytime, so he could get the general layout figured out and learn how to make the turns and deal with that ski jump where you got some airtime before your sled touched back down. But doing it at night was another matter. He finished upside down in the snowdrifts several times before he finally got the hang of it. But boy he became a sledrider from then on. He loved it. Even when we were in high school, he was still up for sledriding anytime it snowed.
    • CommentAuthorSkinny Kid
    • CommentTimeOct 27th 2012
     
    Hey Dead End Kid,

    Just checking in with you to see where you line up in regards to that storm coming in from the East Coast. Seems to me it was not long ago that you were facing similar circumstances. Hopefully the storm will not hit your area. Stay safe.
    Just an old friend from out past the pump house.
  14.  
    Hey, Man, How Ya Doin? Thanks for asking. We're OK. We got a lot of water in the streets and some trees down but we didn't take a direct hit. They'll be cleaning up for a while down along the beaches and harbors. Some boats took some damage. We sit a little higher here than down on The Outer Banks or that long stretch up the DelMarVa Penninsula, New Jersey and New York, where the land is only a few feet above sea level. Cape May, which is probably my favorite town between here and New York, suffered a lot of damage. We need to all come back for that next reunion and go up and walk out past the Pump House to the end of Cliff Street. Good memories. Good memories.
  15.  
    Kid,

    Sure glad to hear all is well. Such a punishing storm, the damage and destruction unbelievable. Our hearts go out to all those touched by this devastating event. Yes, Cape May is truly beautiful. Our son took his basic training there at the Coast Guard Training Center back in 1988 and my wife and I went to Cape May for the graduation. We enjoyed the area very much.

    Now about that walk out to the end of Cliff Street that would be cool. We may walk a little slower, but it would be nice to conjure up memories of when we were kids. Sitting on the front porch just watching the world go by, lots of laughs and just trying to figure out what we were going to do next. A reunion sounds great. Do you have any idea if there is one planned anytime in the near future. I would sure make an effort to be there.

    I've read and reread all the different hits on Remembering Lincoln School and really have no idea of who everyone is, but it is fun to try and guess and I sure enjoy the stories. I think I have figured out the identity of Dead End Kid. Just based on some of the things you mentioned about knowing every turn and bump on Vine Street and somewhere in the discussions you mention your sisters. No names but if we ever have the reunion we will have a lot of to catch up on.

    Take care.
  16.  
    The Reunion Committee has chosen the date for next year's reunion. We have chosen not to wait the five years between reunions as in the past. Comments made by many classmates indicated they would like a reunion in three years. Mark your calendar for our next reunion on October 4-5, 2013.

    We have just sent an email to those classmates whose email addresses we have (snail mail to the rest). Complete information will be sent March/April of next year. Anyone needing additional information at this time can contact Marge Rychel, maggie625r@comcast.net.

    We look forward to seeing some new faces next year!
    • CommentAuthorSkinny Kid
    • CommentTimeNov 22nd 2012
     
    Hope all had a great Thanksgiving. Appreciate the information on the 2013 Reunion. Sounds good!!!!
    • CommentAuthorSkinny Kid
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2013
     
    Dead End Kid has the storm done any damage out your way or did you get any snow at all? Hope all is cool. Wishing you a belated Happy New Year.
  17.  
    No. We missed the whole thing. It's unseasonably warm here. Right now it's 60, one of the nicest days of the Winter. We'll probably have a few more cold spells, but once we get to March 1 we're into Spring.
    • CommentAuthorSkinny Kid
    • CommentTimeAug 19th 2013
     
    Not much discussion as of late. Anyone going to the Lincoln School reunion?
    • CommentAuthorCorey
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2015
     
    I have sad news to report. As some of you may already have learned from Margie, we have lost another class member. Nicky Hutsko died suddenly at his home in Norfolk. Nicky posted as The Dead End Kid. He was a close friend of a lot of us and kept in touch over the years. He will be greatly missed.
    • CommentAuthorBelAir
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2015
     
    Oh, No. I am so sorry. He was such a sweet guy. I remember he lived up there on Vine Street with his sisters. He was never one of my major romances, but we did go to a few movies and did some hiking and sledriding. He was always so kind and considerate. We started together in kindergarten and went all the way through to graduation and I never heard him say a mean thing about anyone.
  18.  
    Hard, hard news. He only lived a block and a half away from me growing up. We were friends even before we went to kindergarten, way down there when we were just little kids being taken for walks or riding our tricycles around the neighborhood. We played a lot of baseball and basketball and a little football together. We had lots of adventures out in that woods behind Omlor's. We spent many a cold winter evening and all day Saturday riding our sleds either down Vine Street or up at Omlor's. Nicky was in on all our backyard engineering projects---the submarine, the flying bicycle, the rail bike, the rocket sled, etc. And he helped Patrick design and build those crab apple guns over at Braun's Barn. I wasn't a bit surprised when he went in the Navy and they sent him for special training and made an engineer out of him. This is really hard news. I'm sitting here typing this with a lump in my throat and a knot in my stomach. He always kept in touch. He was really successful in the Navy and then as a real estate agent and businessman but he never forgot where he came from or the guys he grew up with.
  19.  
    I just can't believe it. I always loved Nicky. I had a major crush on him all the way through school from kindergarten to graduation. He was always so sweet. Some guys, especially in junior high and high school, could be jerks sometimes, but Nicky never was. We never really dated --- unfortunately the crush was all on my side, not his --- but he was always nice to me, and he was one of the few kids who always remembered my birthday. He did take me hiking and picking flowers a few times. And of course Vine Street ran right down past my house, so I'd get to sledride with him every time we got snow. I remember Friday Night Club. Everybody talked about Louie and David and some of the downtown guys being such good dancers, but among all the Lincoln School guys, Nicky was the best dancer. I think his sisters must have taught him. He was a better dancer in 7th grade than a lot of the guys got to be in high school. One of my classic memories of grade school must have been in 6th grade when Nicky and that whole gang of boys came wheeling that stupid Rail Bike down the street past my house. It just looked bizarre. I asked them what in the world it was and what in the world they were going to do with it. Nicky was all excited and told me it was a bicycle for riding on railroad tracks and if it worked they were all going to be rich. Well, as it turned out, it did work. He even took me for a ride on it one Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, it didn't make them rich. But that was just the way he was. Always up to something. Even though I haven't seen him for years, I kept hoping I'd see him at the next reunion. Now I never will. I cannot imagine the world without Nicky in it.
    • CommentAuthorSchwinn
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2015
     
    I have such fond memories of Nicky. He was a valued member of our gang of Lincoln School guys. He was never the instigator; it was always Danny and Patrick dreaming up bizarre stuff for us to do, and then the rest of us figuring out how to do it. But Nicky was one of those followers who was so very loyal and gave it all he had and ended up in the middle of it, wielding the screwdriver or wrench or hammer or rope or whatever. He was the guy who if he said he'd go to a particular spot and do something, you knew no matter what happened he'd be there when he was supposed to and find a way to do it, and it would be done exactly right. Except in baseball. He was the best baseball player of any of us. He loved baseball. He knew everything there was to know about not only the Pirates but every other major league team. He would go to the library and read books about baseball, about its history and about how to pitch and bat and everything. There was that guy who was from Coraopolis and played pro baseball and would come back during the offseason and he was always showing Nicky stuff, little tricks and techniques. Dr. Houtz was always stopping by the playground on his way home from the office and showing us stuff---correcting our swings, or our footwork, or our throwing motion, or whatever---and I was there the day Dr. Braden came by and took that famous photograph of Houtz kneeling down showing Nicky how to throw that sidearm pitch. That was the end of it. From that day on, none of us could get a hit off Nicky. It was great when we were playing a bunch of kids from the other side of town, or from Groveton or Pleasant View or someplace, but when we were playing among just us on the playground, we couldn't let him pitch anymore because it just ended the game. Nobody could ever get a hit. For several years there, whenever the teacher would ask us what we wanted to do when we grew up, Nicky would always say he wanted to play professional baseball. I think he would have, too, except he quit growing. If he'd wanted to be a shortstop or something he might still have made it, but he wanted to be a pitcher, and they have to have long arms and long legs and his never grew that long. He was also one of the best sledriders among us. Taking that turn on Vine Street we called Tompkins Corner was tricky and a lot of people ended up over in the yards of those houses, but Nicky could always make it. He was always a good mechanic, so it didn't surprise me a bit that he became an engineer in the Navy. This is the first loss of anyone in our class I was really close to, and it hurts a lot.
    • CommentAuthorPilgrim
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2015
     
    I remember Nicky as a good mechanic and worker with his hands. When we were real young, still in grade school, he spent a lot of time up at Elmer Braun's Barn, which was just three houses up the street from Nicky's house. Mr. Braun had all those tools and machines in there, and he taught Nicky how to do just about everything. It started out real simple, building birdhouses and stuff. But pretty soon it was fixing radios and toasters, and lawnmower engines, and washing machine motors. He also played at Patrick's and Danny's and Jimmy's a lot, helping them build stuff with their Erector Sets and every December helping them set up their model train layouts. By the time we were in 4th or 5th grade, Nicky was really good at anything involving tools. When we started to junior high, of course all us boys were required to take Shop every year. Mr. Henry had that shop at the back of the main building. He'd always start a new lesson by asking whether anyone had ever heard of such and such, or knew how to do it. Nicky would always raise his finger. Not his whole arm, or even his whole hand. Just his finger, like he didn't want anyone to think he was showing off. One day Mr. Henry asked if anyone had ever heard of soldering or had ever done it, and as usual Nicky raised his hand. So we were set up soldering our projects, and Mr. Henry stopped by Nicky's workbench and asked him who it had been teaching him all this stuff, and Nicky told him Elmer Braun. Mr. Henry got this shocked look on his face and explained to us that Elmer Braun was the Vocational Arts teacher at Moon High School and had been named Vocational Teacher Of The Year in Pennsylvania three times and now Mr. Henry understood why Nicky was so good at everything. When I found out Nicky had spent a career working in the U.S. Naval Shipyard in Norfolk as a nuclear engineer, I sort of smiled. He started training for that job when he was five years old. RIP, good buddy.
    • CommentAuthorCorey
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2015
     
    I don't usually enter into these discussions, since the role of the moderator is to stay in the background. But Nicky was a close friend from even before we started to kindergarten and we stayed in touch over the years, so I feel obligated to add a few thoughts. One thing nobody else has mentioned was his love of astronomy. As soon as all the Dads got home from the War, Patrick's father set up a telescope on their side patio. Whenever we'd be over at Patrick's, for an overnight in that magnificent tree house, or just after a game of croquet or something out in the yard as it got dark before we headed home, he'd call us over for a look at the Moon, Mars, Venus, Jupiter or whatever other planet was rotating through his line of vision that night. And sometimes he'd show us those far off nebulae. The rest of us thought that was neat. But it became a real passion for Nicky. He was always asking Patrick's Dad questions. When Dale and I would go over to the library to look up books on how to build something, Nicky would come along and look up books on astronomy. He never checked any of them out, but he would sit there in the library just leafing through, looking at the pictures and reading the text. This continued even after Patrick and his family moved away. Nicky would go to the junior high or high school library and look up books on astronomy. Whenever we had a report to do in science or English he'd always try to choose an astronomy topic. The chapters in the science books on astronomy were the ones where Nicky really came to life. Nobody thought much about this at the time. But after he went into the Navy and trained as an engineer, Nicky kept pursuing that interest in astronomy. It was like a lifetime hobby with him. And I've always thought that interest all started with Patrick's Dad setting up a telescope on his patio and inviting us to use it.
    • CommentAuthorSkinny Kid
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2015
     
    I was so shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Nicky. Certainly not the news we want to receive. Nick and I grew up together on the hill and spent great times trying to figure out this big world that we lived in. Our friendship started even before our days at Lincoln. I was ahead of Nicky in school until third grade when Miss Pugh felt it was better to hold me back a year and then I met some of the best friends a kid could have. Great memories!
    With a smile on my face I recall the fun times I had with Nicky and with tears in my eyes I say rest in peace my friend. Rest in Peace.
    • CommentAuthorReverend
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2015
     
    Learning about the loss of Nicky is hard. He lived up Vine Street from me. We did a lot of sledriding, fishing, baseball playing and, way down there in the lower grades, just general playing together. We'd play trucks and cars, build make believe towns in those piles of clay and gravel along Vine Street, play in that little woods between Vine Street and Buckingham Place, and climb the cliffs between Vine Street and Jean's house and yard. We played together even before Kindergarten, since we could see each other from our porches and yards. Having grown up with him for 18 years, I can honestly say I never saw a single instance of prejudice or racism. People in Coraopolis weren't particularly prejudiced, but there were lingering traces of it in a lot of people. Comments would slip out every once in a while. But never from Nicky. He did not appear to notice White, Black, Italian, Jewish, Hungarian, Polish, or anything else. He also did not appear to notice how rich or poor anyone was. We were all just people to him. I'm happy I grew up in a neighborhood and a town where that was pretty true most of the time with most people, but with Nicky it was 100% true all the time. Beyond that, he had an effect on me. On how I saw and experienced the world. I think, left to myself, I would have spent my time at home, on my porch, in my room, not doing much of anything. But Nicky wouldn't allow that. He was always inviting me, urging me, insisting, demanding, that I get off the porch and out of the yard and come with him and go get into things. Nicky had a thirst for adventure. Fishing down on the River, building a lean to in the woods, towing our sleds to other parts of town to try out their sledriding tracks, building kites and flying them, it was always something. Nicky dragged me into all those adventures with that wild and craxy bunch of Montour Hill guys : Danny, Jimmy, Patrick, David, and as we got older Kenny and Chucky. I would have a pretty boring childhood without Nicky, and doing all that stuff built up my confidence and skill level to where I've been able to enjoy a pretty successful adulthood. I owe him a lot.
    • CommentAuthorSchwinn
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2015 edited
     
    Wow. Nicky. These losses are getting close to the heart. Everybody else has pretty well summed up everything I remember about Nicky, but there's one quality I remember : he was such a good soldier. In any group, not everybody can be a leader. In our Lincoln School bunch, Patrick and Danny among the boys and Carol, Ann, maybe Bonnie were our leaders. But they depended on all the others to be willing to follow them. Nicky was always willing to follow. We could assign him a job and rest assured it would be done, precisely, on time, with no drama or issues. Some of those nutty projects we embarked on required the guys to really believe, and Nicky was always willing to believe. Building a submarine, a roller coaster, a flying bicycle, a railbike, whatever, demanded a LOT of faith. Nicky always believed we could do it. And he was usually one of the ones doing one of the most difficult tasks. He had a real manual dexterity. He didn't have a garage or basement of his own to work out of, but Mr. Braun up the street had that great old barn with all those tools and machines, and Nicky would spend a day or two in there and figure out how to make just about anything we needed. He was really instrumental in helping Patrick figure out how to build those crab apple machine guns for the Great Crab Apple War. He was the one who studied the up stop wheels on the Jack Rabbit at Kennywood and figured out how to use them on our roller coaster. Otherwise we'd have killed ourselves. Nicky was the one who figured out where to put the seats on the railbike so it would balance properly. And sometimes we didn't take his advice and it cost us. He opposed our flying bicycle design from the start, insisting we'd never get the bike more than a few feet off the ground that way, telling us we needed a propeller, like a helicopter, extending up from the center shaft. We ignored him. He helped us do it our way, and sure enough, we never could get the bikes very high in the air. Years later, in college, I saw an advanced Aerodynamics class in Physics do it Nicky's way, and it worked a lot better. He also argued in vain for a different way to build the propeller on the submarine that kept leaking and sinking. He was ahead of us. How ironic that he ended up being the Nuclear Engineer on a submarine. Poor Nicky. He was one of those good friends I lost track of after we went our separate ways. R.I.P., Old Buddy.