Thursday, May 04, 2017

Beloved School House, Et. Al.

This is a Thursday Throwback of sorts.  The photo above was taken yesterday morning, but this lovely building can boast a host of yesterdays where it housed the learning centers for hundreds and hundreds of local youth.  

And, I think that is very good.

Lincoln Elementary School has stood its ground for more than 100 years, and, happily,  it continues to stand proud. 

I'd say yesterday's drive past the school, where I began my education, made me as proud as ever to say I was one of those "Stinkin' Lincoln" kids. 

The school district has done a magnificent job of maintaining the structure and its grounds. This is especially satisfying, considering the fact that there was a time several decades ago when officials wanted to condemn the school and tear it down, like they did to other classic elementary schools in our area. 

A few remain but none that I can think of still function as schools. These days Lincoln serves as the alternative high school, sort of a home away from home for many students.

In my day, students, living in North Sandpoint and north of town enrolled in grades 1-6 attended Lincoln. Most of those years, a white "portable" sat on the grounds.  

We would go to the "portable" for hearing tests and sometimes special programs.  During our hearing tests, I always worried that the constant hum of the mill at Balch Lumber Co. across the street was gonna play havoc with my hearing score.  

Apparently, it did not.

One of my most vivid memories---not a very nice one for sure in those days---occurred when someone scrawled the F-word on one side of the portable.  I don't think that lasted long.

These days, a mass of affordable housing units continues to develop on that old mill site, last used by Louisiana-Pacific Corporation.  Fortunately, the site has not filled up, so I was able to pull off from North Boyer into the open lot to take the photo. 

Lincoln served as the foundation for our 3 R's along with a lot of other memorable and formative activities.  We had our first male teacher at Lincoln in sixth grade when Mr. Scheibe teamed up with our principal Marvel Ekholm to prepare us for the big transition to junior high. 

I remember each teacher vividly and with differing perspectives on how they impacted me and my education.  They all did their best, I'm sure, but some stood out more than others and for again differing reasons.  

First grade:  Mrs. Kinney---sharp red fingernails, occasionally used as weapons
Second grade: Mrs. Lunn---U's for penmanship when I did not put long-enough curved tails on my S's or 5's. 
Third grade:  Miss Young---not much personality, gave S's no matter how hard or how little we worked. 
Fourth grade:  Mrs. Sutliff----everyone's favorite, even when she caught me on all fours between the rows, finishing up a noontime conversation following the afternoon bell. 
Fifth grade:  Mrs. Beck----a very sweet lady.  She weighed us; I was the first in my class to weigh 100----not exactly a badge of honor. 
Sixth grade:  Mr. Scheibe and Mrs. Ekholm.  One day she stared at me through the glass window of our classroom, then summoned me to the office.  "Spit out your gum," she ordered.  Only problem: I was not chewing gum at the time. 
Update:  Thanks to, Diana, an alert reader, I am reminded---and don't know how I could forget---Frances Fredstrom.  We all loved her and not just because her daughter Karen was in our class.  Mrs. Fredstrom was very kind to us. 

At Lincoln School I made my first friends besides those whom we already knew through family. 

Many Lincoln-ites who are still with us remain steadfast, treasured friends.  It was that Lincoln bond that united so many of us forever. 

At Lincoln I played softball and learned tether ball from Mr. Sodorff, then principal at Washington, who later became my boss at Sandpoint High School.  I also started a girls' football team.  

Marvel Ekholm did not like that either. I remember her staring once again through a window from the sixth-grade classroom, announcing there would be no girls playing football at Lincoln School.  Twas fun while it lasted. 

Those of us who attended Lincoln in the early 1950s will never forget the day in December, 1953, when a jet crashed in the pole yard northwest of the school, less than two blocks away.  

I was bent over at the time, putting workbooks in a bookcase when the entire building shook and windows broke.  Twas a scary time for us and for every parent who had children at the school.  

More than 60 years later, we all appreciate the knowledge that we heard after the crash, that the pilot knew he was in trouble and tried to get as far out of town as he could.  I don't know that to be fact, but I do know it was comforting after such a scare. 

Lots and lots of good memories etched in my mind of the time spent at Lincoln Elementary.  

While growing up, we always kinda thought of ourselves as the kids on that other side of the tracks, which we were in a way, with all the railroad tracks north of the school.  Still, there was a certain pride of most graduates of that school, knowing that we survived and that most of us did okay in life. 

I'm sure that anyone whoever attended that school, grade school or high school, shares my love for the fact that it is still standing and looking prettier than ever.  

All Hail Lincoln, all hail those who take such good care of the place and May the Fourth be with you.  Enjoy the photos, which also include a Lovestead with a newly mown lawn, just like I saw at Lincoln School yesterday.  

There's a little local history with this flower.  When my friend Kathy was closely affiliated with the Seasons at Sandpoint, back in its youth, the groundskeeper changed the flower arrangements.

So, Kathy gave me some bulbs that had been dug up to make room for the new plants.  Not too many of them still bloom, but this one looked mighty pretty yesterday. 

Festus out and about after I mowed the lawn.  Since Festus' diabetes has been under control, he's out and about all the time.  A very happy cat, indeed.

1 comment:

Ann Dutson-Sater said...

I went to Lincoln from 2nd grade through 6th (spent 1st grade at Old Farmin). 2nd Grade: Mrs. Robinson - sharp fingernails that she dug into my shoulder, which sent my mother in to inform her NEVER to touch me again... I also remember swallowing a dime during class (I sat there in pain and never said a word since she was so scary).
3rd Grade: Ms. Young - you're right, not much remarkable about her. I figured out I needed glasses in that class when I couldn't read the chalkboard.
4th Grade: Mrs. Therian - I liked her. She was from Clark Fork, I think.
5th Grade: Mrs. McCormick - one of my favorite teachers, mother of Mindi Bradetich, she was friendly and smiled a lot. However, she had absolutely no control over our class and we were overrun with unruly boys.
6th Grade: Lois Marley in the mornings and Mrs. Sutliff in the afternoons. I liked both teachers, even though Mrs. Sutliff was a little stern, especially when I tried to put a fake coin in the ice cream machine and it jammed and she figured out it was me....
Those were great years, even with the "stinkin' Lincoln" stigma. The small size of classrooms meant that all of the kids had to play nice and get along. I still love driving past it.