Graduation Time


     I recently found this photo of our graduation amid other memorabilia kept by Betty (Harr) Baxter all these years.  It was May 24, 1957, 8 PM, in the SHS gymnasium.  (My memory's not that good; I was given a copy of the program.)  I've already shown on this web site a grainy newspaper photo of this graduation and a glossy print of the practice session.

     We are arranged alphabetically except for the four class officers in the front row, left edge of this photo.  In addition to the officers, there's a good chance of spotting such "A" people as an Abbott and Ardyn, but spotting a Zimmerschied or Zook in the rear darkness is a challenge I'm not up to. 

     Late this month is the 59th anniversary of this event, so I thought now is a good time to retrieve it temporarily back from the past.




          100-Year Old Bricks In New Crosswalks

                  From Salina Journal web site of April 2, 2016


     There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new crosswalks on East Iron Ave. after the street's renovations.

     “The crosswalks are just great,” said Salina Engineer Dan Stack. “There were at least three different sizes of bricks used on this job. When they put those bricks back in they had to find the right kind of bricks and have them turned correctly.”

     In replacing the street, the bricks under the asphalt were taken up and the best were saved to create the crosswalks.

     “Originally the road was brick. It was overlaid with asphalt at some point. That asphalt has been overlaid, taken up and overlaid again,” he said.

     “It was not an easy job,” he said of the crosswalks. “I think they will last a long time. Hopefully, another 100 years.”

     Iron Avenue, from Ohio street to Front street, opened to the public March 4 after renovations were completed there. The final phase of the $3.17 million project from Ohio east to Delaware should be finished a month ahead of time, around the end of April.

          (The article included this sentence.)

     Projects, costing $100 million or more, include a field house, upscale hotel, bowling alley and entertainment center, car museum and a possible design change to a portion of Santa Fe Avenue through downtown Salina have been planned.


Shorting after read this article, I spend a couple of days in Salina gathering goodies for this web site.  So I went to see these old bricks in new crosswalks.  Sheri took this inaction photo of an elderly man stumbling his way over the old bricks.  That's Oakdale grade school in the background.  There are now many intersections on East Iron Ave. just like this one.  And look at all that smooth new concrete making the roadway!



This is a closeup of the bricks in the previous photo of a crosswalk.  Even these, the best of the old bricks, have rounded corners and chips.  But they had ten decades of tough traffic rolling over them at all hours of the many days.

I was surprised how easy it is to still find complete streets of bricks in Salina.  This is near Lowell grade school, but I found them all over when away from the main drags.  The streets aren't as smooth now as they probably were when new, but they are still serviceable.



While driving around Salina I unexpectedly found some bricks on 9th St. where the battered layer of asphalt had worn off.  I think this was 9th and Lincoln, just north of the tracks where the streets are in poor repair.


Were the half-bricks broken pieces or were they part of a deliberate design?  And why that single complete brick at the "wrong" angle instead of two halves?  We'll never know.


Salina long had its own brick yard.  Without looking it up, I somehow think it was near Iron Ave. part way to Marymount where there may have been some raw materials (like clay soil and water from the Smoky Hill River).


          End of brick obsession...for now.




               Dancing and Singing


     One of the school plays when we were sophomores was Paint Your Wagon (Spring 1955)There was dancing, of course, and the photo below (from Ginny's scrapbook) shows some of the dancers in a publicity photo.  Three of the girls are in our class.



     The photo below from the show Carousel (Fall 1955) features the lead in the play as a junior, Kay Vickroy, in action.  Far as I know, Kay was a singer and played the violin, but didn't do any dancing on stage (I could be wrong, of course).

     I know what you're asking.  This was indeed the same calendar year as the photo above but we were now juniors at this time, barely.  This photo is from a scrapbook kept by Kate (Kay Miller) Forsterk and serves to blend us into the Junior scrapbook of Ginny's next time.  (I'm just making this up as I go along.)



     Dances for Paint Your Wagon and Carousel, and many others before and after "our" time, were created by Bessie (Mrs. Bob) Caldwell.  See the Personals page this month for much more about the Caldwell duo.

     A 1977 Salina Journal says that Bob Sanders became a songster at supper and night clubs, based in Nashville, TN.  He was set to appear at the Smoky Hill River Festival in June, 1977. 



          War Stories


     A war-time tale from Sheri's gift book Sod Houses and The Dirty Thirties.  This was written by Larry D. Hobson, born 1935.


     When we moved to Salina in 1942 [I was 7] I attended Lowell and Oakdale schools.  The classrooms were so crowded we didn’t hardly know the teacher’s name nor she ours.  [The crowd probably existed because of the war-time influx of people to the Smoky Hill Air Force Base and Camp Phillips Army Base.] 

      During school at Oakdale we were taken to the basement to see pictures of Japanese, German, British, and American airplanes and memorize them.  If you were in the top of the class, 4-8 boys, you were taken to Smoky Hill where we were allowed to get in a B-17 flying fortress, plus got to see a P-51 (left) up close, the fastest airplane in the world.  What a thrill for a 10 year old kid.  [It'd be thrill for me even today!]



     Before WWII the "brains" in the Army Air Force decided that heavily armed B-17 bombers wouldn't need fighter plane escorts over enemy territory.  Experience flying over Germany soon proved this to be fatal to many airmen.  The P-51 was rushed into production as a long-range fighter to accompany and protect B-17s from German interceptors.

     I remember in the 1940s having a deck of playing cards, each showing a German or Japanese military plane.  We learned to be spotters of enemy aircraft but never found a use for all the knowledge.

     Back in the '50s sly little George Gobel said that during the war he was in the Army Air Force stationed in Tulsa, OK rather than close to the action in Europe or the Pacific.  He defended this with "You laugh, but I assure you that not a single enemy airplane got past Tulsa!"





        Just for Fun


     It seems like we just got started on old stuff from our sophomore year as recorded in Ginny's scrap books and now we are ready to wrap them up already.  But as I said a month or two ago, as mere sophomores we just weren't in as many newsworthy activities as our elders.  At least, that's my take on the situation.


     There are some old and new photos on this page without much to connect them except,,,well, not that much really.  Something just kept popping up and I'd add it on the page while reluctant to remove an earlier idea.  I'm enjoying this temporary wealth of material.