I remember the good old 1950’s in Findlay well. Moving from Detroit in 1948 with my parents was a memorable time for me. We were moving from a large city where I was not allowed to venture far from my house to a smaller town (where my mother was born) Our new house had recently been built and it was on a quiet street and there were “kids” my age to play with. My younger sister, suddenly had a new best friend, who lived across the street.
I was in the 4th grade and we were told I would attend Bigelow School. Since mother didn’t drive and dad was out of town, mother and I walked to Bigelow School from our house on 19th Street, where we were told that “NO” I would have to go to Washington School. So, we walked clear to Washington School and took the city bus for our return trip home.
I started school the next day. Since I had a rather outgoing personality it was easy to make friends. I was able to buy 4 bus tickets for $1.00 only to be used for rainy days. There were times I prayed for rain as the mile trek to school seemed so long. But, I had a short school year of 2 ½ months as I didn’t start until the end of February. I had friends on Main Street and Nancy and Jane Gates, and Mary Jill Smith were my grade school pals. The Gates family had cherry trees and during the summer months, we picked cherries and sold them in front of their house. There were no houses behind ours but there was a wonderful creek that when frozen in the winter, we could ice skate for miles until we were tired.
Grade school seemed to pass quickly. I loved being in J. P. Scothorn’s homeroom as Mr. Scothorn was not only our music teacher but he was the school principal and I got to be a “runner”. This meant, when the phone in the office, rang – I got to run to the office and answer it. Seemed fun at the time. Mr. Scothorn only taught for ½ day and the other ½, he spent in his office. Mabel Vance was our afternoon teacher.
At, last Junior High School. I attended Glenwood Junior High which was on the next street from where I lived. Junior High Saturdays were spent walking downtown to the movies with a group of friends. Sometimes, we would stop at Wilson’s for a hamburger and Dietsch’s for an ice cream cone. The Harris theater had a balcony and this is where we would congregate – hoping that boys would join us. Then, the long trek back home. I started babysitting during this time for the 3 children next door which was a real learning experience.
Speaking of learning – I have co-authored several books on some of the history of Findlay with Linda Paul. My love of history, actually started at Glenwood Junior High School though my history teacher – Vera Summers. She made history come alive for her students. While she was teaching, she was drawing her subjects on the blackboard, which made her subjects come alive. The old adage – “A picture is worth a thousand words” was very true for me. Every day, I walked to school, I looked up at the north side of the building, where these words were inscribed “Education is the Safeguard of Liberty”. A lesson for all!
This blog post was written by Visit Findlay blogger Pat Bauman. Pat is a Findlay history buff, author, mom and grandmother. That isn’t much, is it? Learn more about Pat and read her other blog posts here!