Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends






Wednesday, June 4, 2014

First Post - Lago's Get-Together, Class of 1966



Guy Johnson, MHS 68, came to Lago's to have lunch with the 66ers. Guy went to Garfield and Coolidge. We both enjoyed comic books and read tons of them. Guy was a lot of fun at lunch. He has been around the area forever and is retired, but working on refurbishing WWII planes.

We will have some more photos when I return to Arkansas. Lago's was a sardine can as a busload arrived just as we came in looking for seats. Some MHS66ers were: Kym Dennhardt, Linda Nelson, Ruth Durham, Ruth Chelstrom, Steve Quick, Glenda Berg, Billie Seasland and her sister, and your humble scribe, Greg Jackson.



 The Moline High Class of 1966 organized a special mini-reunion since most of us were turning 66 this year. Besides that, we were born in 1948 (with some exceptions) and this is our 48th year after graduating.

If you happen to be younger and reading this, then I will repeat what I often heard from my parents. You will not believe how fast time flies as the years add up.

At the 45th reunion - Lagomarcino's was a required stop.

I last saw Guy in high school in 1966. We lived about one block apart, went to the same grade school (Garfield), the same junior high (Coolidge), and graduated two years apart. He had my mother for a teacher, which was true of well over 1,000 students.

We had some laughs about how she handled students by inflicting brief moments of pain. One source was her rock ring. Another was the knuckle rap. A third was the neck pinch. In a crisis, she could drag a student kicking and struggling into the principal's office. I watched that once, thinking,"You can't win this one, kid."

Many friendships span the decades, and we care about each other's needs.

The school chose my mother to teach under-performing junior high students. She agreed only if she could use physical punishment. The principal quailed, insisting on signed parental permission slips. The parents were glad to sign, and my mother turned a bunch of undisciplined kids into very good students.

One student just wrote on Facebook - "Your mother was the meanest teacher I ever had."

On the next line, he wrote, "Also the best."

Guy is now restoring WWII aircraft with other volunteers. He has also gone around town and photographed our schools and identified what has changed over the years. That means a lot as time goes by. I remember the "new" part of Garfield, another school being closed. We marched up on the stage and sang Christmas songs, and put on various skits for our parents and teachers.

Coolidge was the junior high where we started to grow into adults. We took shop - print, metal, and woodworking. The system has turned it into an alternative school, so that has all changed, too.

I usually walked to Garfield, and Guy met me on the way. We had great discussions that led to a mutual swapping and reading of comic books.

A few people have browbeaten me for not keeping all those comic books, which are now collectibles. But, how does one explain boxes and boxes of comic books to adults. "What are those?" -

"Oh, Superman comics, and Batman, and Justice League, and Flash, and Classics Illustrated, and some random military ones. Why?"

The comics encouraged imagination and an interest in science. By reading all the Classics Illustrated I had the background for about 100 of the best known works of literature. I bought and collected those works, sold some, and gave many away to students. Next semester, I am teaching World Literature.

The Moline school system gave us a great start. No area of education or the fine arts was neglected, and they had great sports teams as well. I was in the band, so I got to see a lot more sports than I cared to watch. But marching and concert band created a large group of friends - several of them at Lago's today.
Barb Garst Day at Moline High

Being in band meant we played for Barb Garst Day, honoring our English teacher. My head appears over the shoulder of the principal. The sax player is Jim - from the Medd family, pioneers in the Dairy Queen business and inventors of the DQ Blizzard. Jim became a pilot for TWA after serving in the military. Behind him is Carl Zobrist, who became a well known lawyer and also served in the military.

I was going on 18 in that picture. Our granddaughter turned 18 and just graduated from her high school.