I remember when. . . .
It’s the little things: by Anna May Case
Lincoln School: Since my sister attended high school when I was at Lincoln and my father didn’t
want to make two trips into town, I had to go earlier each winter morning. Until the doors opened at 8:30am I stayed
inside the door at Eckerman’s grocery store which was on the corner. I remember watching Mr. Eckerman wrap sanitary
napkin boxes in plain paper to sell. Guess it wasn’t “proper” to see the advertising on the boxes
in those days! Ha.
Miss McKinney was 3rd Grade for me and a real grouch!
I remember standing in line to go into school the very first day (I had come from Humbert School -
K through 2nd), saw Don Rekers. I remarked “He’s cute, I like him”. Wilma Wilson
responded “but he’s not very nice!”...wonder if she remembers. Speaking of Don: I taught him how to
tell time that year. He would sit across the room & I would tell him the right time by holding up the correct numbers
of fingers…silently..according to the big class clock.
Miss McKinney had an “overnight” at a farm for the class. I couldn’t
go & felt left out (thinking back - my parents probably did the right thing not letting me go).
That was the last year too I had to wear those long stockings, long underwear, and high top brown shoes.
Miss Mc Kinney one day was showing some art work at the front of the class. Don Rekers piped
up “Anna May can draw better than that”. Miss McKinney said “Anna May isn’t the ONLY artist
in the class!” I was so hurt and embarrassed. My mother called the teacher that night to complain.
I’ve often thought how great it was for her to do that, because the next year she began having her series of debilitating
strokes and was never as involved in my school days after that.
Teacher: Miss O’Bannion
I remember her “little hand”. It was deformed with a tiny thumb (she could hold paper)
and stumps for finger. Often wondered if it was a thalidomide problem. She was a sweet, sweet lady. I think
it was the study of Switzerland that precipitated the making of the cottage cheese. We also painted little slides of
mountain scenes for a slide show. One day Terry Parks was reading aloud and mispronounced “tsk” as “touch”
“touch” & the class roared.
Miss Fuller was 5th grade for me - she wore her hair pulled back in a bun/braid style.
I drew a pencil sketch of her which I still have. Several friends wanted copies of it and I remember making “carbon”
copies. I did my first demonstration speech in her class - of flower arranging. Joan Voorhees became a good friend
Miss Kingsbury taught the one class, Miss Creighton the other. Miss Kingsbury gave me a
beautiful old formal dress _ it had a variegated pastel netted skirt. She wrote poems and wrote a special one in my
autograph book at the end of school that year. I remember attending a party out towards Waverly by the “Old Oaken
Bucket”. Don’t remember if it was a party for Clayton, but we played spin the bottle & I pulled the
chair out from under him as he was about to sit down.
Jerry talks about his class (Miss Creighton’s) and “driving her crazy” so she couldn’t
take it and left for a sabbatical midway through the year. That was when he was sent to Mr. Holmes and “thrown
UP the little stairway to his office”. Mr. Holmes grabbed him by his cheeks and squeezed so he couldn’t
talk. And he had to sit in complete silence and listen to the huge old clock on the wall tick. The substitute
teacher wouldn’t stand for any monkey business the rest of the year.
7th and 8th Grades
Mr. Plank used to have the World Series blaring from a radio in his class room across from the study
hall. We could all hear it with his door open…especially as how study hall was so quiet you could hear a pin drop
- with Mr. Holmes sitting at the front desk. And Mr. Holmes would occasionally clear his throat ant the sound would
echo through the halls … a “hurrump”! I always thought of Mr. Holmes when I would see pictures of
Remember when Mr. Holmes taught 71 and 81 Math & held class in the front of the study hall?
We had to stand and recite the problems out loud!
I too remember the trampoline in the Lincoln School gym. I never did master the flip, but tried
and tried. One of my girl friends and I happened to walk through after school one day and walked in on the guys!!
Mr. Plank had the benches lined up and the guys were walking about half dressed, some in their jock straps!! Such a
shock for a sheltered girl like me!
Remember when the used to flood the playground across the street for an ice skating rink. What
fun!...and when the old water tower sometimes would overflow in the winter and the ice would be great for sledding.
Miss Lamb had those terrible migraines and would sometimes sit in front of the class with her head
in her hands. I drew her too!
And the day Mr. Hofstead lost his false teeth in Biology. Don’t remember what he was saying,
but the whole class screamed in laughter. And he laughed to. What a great guy!
And being on Student Council as a Freshman and having to report smokers who were smoking at the Triangle.
And my Soph Biology project for the Science Fair on human embryos. Knowing what I know about
medicine now a days and the rules and regulations…. It would NEVER be allowed today. But John Smith secured several
embryos for me from an anonymous doctor in Cedar Heights and I preserved them all in Jars of formaldehyde. They ranged
from 6 weeks to 5 months!
Afterwards they were returned to the physician.
I remember Anna Nielsen’s trapeze act for our Senior program…. And Jean Ann going roller
skating every Friday night. She was SO good!
Memories of Cedar Falls High School Class of ’54
Freshman Year by Sonia Melichar
I remember being totally freaked out on my first day of high school. My brothers
had convinced me that I would not be able to do well as I was so impossible in math. Both of them had been very successful
students so I believed them and knew I had hard acts to follow. As I did not attend public elementary school, I knew
very few people in the graduating class of ’54.
This lack of being known really paid off for me when Freshman Initiation Day came
around. We were told to wear a top backwards, have black and red colors somewhere, be able to sing the fight song and have
candy on us so seniors could request song or snack on demand. Since not too many people knew my name I kept a low profile
and only had to sing and dish out candy several times throughout the one day ritual. I remember Terry Parks down on his knees
giving praise of” Allah”, to one of the seniors who picked on him the whole day .It was right in front of the
drinking fountain in the lower hall. I think I ducked into the girls’ bathroom after I saw that. The boys seem to get
more attention than the girls but the seniors were truly mighty on that day.
I remember having Algebra I under Howie Elmore. My class was 6th
period of the day, especially wonderful for a math nerd. Both Anna May and Jan Lynch were in the class and Mr. Elmore
had us seated alphabetically so Jan sat next to me. One of the things he said over and over during the class was “Uhuh,
that’s correct.” One time Jan and I kept track of how many times he said it by each of us making one part of an
x when he said the phrase. I can’t remember exactly how many times he said it, but we sure had a lot of x marks in the
page that we shared. Anna May sat at the back of the room and was very successful in the class especially when he took volunteers
to write on the board.
For those of us who were in marching band in the fall, band class met at Washington
Park for first period. We had to hoof it back to be on campus for second period class which was not always easy, but we had
the advantage of not having to take P. E. that quarter. Girls could get an A in PE if you took a shower. Teacher did spot
checks to see if we were telling the truth about showering. Eventually we got to know her routine of spot checks.
Then there were the totally memorable science teachers, Anton Hoffstad and
Mr. Bixby .Mr. Bixby taught freshman science. Class was held in the corner room with the auditorium style seats so that we
could see the experiments when they were demonstrated on the long table. Table was located near the black board. I know that
John Smith sat behind me and kicked my seat to annoy me. I really got turned on to Science. Anton Hoffstad fueled
that interest when I got into biology class. I do remember the false teeth but mostly when we studied notable scientists.
Everyone was keyed to know that when he said “Koch” the sound tended to push his upper plate forward. People would
make up questions just to get that to happen. He was very good natured about it. He gave special credit for certain things.
One thing he needed one time was milk weed. I knew there was some in the ditch next to cemetery on 12th ST
so I rode my bike out and got some. I happened to notice a caterpillar so thinking that my find would grant me an extra point
or two, I took it in. It hatched over the weekend but we were able to observe it do its thing.
Then there were Mr. Green’s study halls. He needed to get the opportunity
to read the morning newspaper at the back of the room or he would be grouchy. Occasionally he would look up and say, “Too
much noise in this room…who wants detention?” He caught me passing a note once .but he didn’t read it.
Then there was Ruth Adamson who taught English, speech and drama. In our freshman
class we had to find a humorous reading and read it into a microphone for the class .Really quite a challenging experience
to make fellow students laugh .She also identified “golden voices”…mine was not one of them She was a snazzy
dresser wearing high heels and lots of wonderful scarves and was quite dramatic in her teaching style. I really enjoyed her
even though most of the time the class did not understand her assignments but “Merchant of Venice” was very exciting
reading under her direction.
Not to be forgotten were the weekend dances that we all went to. When the
recreation center was competed we transferred most activity to that location. I remember asking Bud Nichols to a Sadie Hawkins
dance and making him an enormous corsage he had to wear. Anna May helped me make a large nickel out of paper which was attached
to it. I also remember that at one of the New Year’s Eve parties at the rec center, all the boys arranged for the lights
to go out for a period and they went around kissing all the girls. Since it was pitch dark one never knew who greeted you
for the New Year. Don’t think that happened in the freshman year though. Boys had to get a little older to get sophisticated
with the devious.
Well, classmates this is long enough. I am sure there are many of you
who have similar memories so don’t be shy. My one last memory is of a wonderful Principal, Mr. CC Stanard.
He really enjoyed kids but he held a good tight rein us. We were just about to graduate when I got called into his office
.What now? Sitting around a table in his office were a number of teachers including Ms. McDowell and Mrs. Stryke and other
teachers. Mr. Stanard said that he wanted me to know that it was the consensus of the group that
I deserved to receive an award but because my father taught in the system they did not want to appear partial to teacher’s
kids. .So, I wasn’t given the award but the ovation I got from Mr. Stanard and the group
was a far greater gift .I have applied the learning from this meeting many times in my life. Cedar Falls High School and the
Red and Black gave me a lot.. so thanks to all of you who shared this very unique experience…..
PS I passed my math classes and ended up loving geometry under Ms. Raitt.
I think using geometry is one of the reasons I like quilting design.