This sight may look familiar to a few of my friends whom I grew up with and went to school with.
Late yesterday afternoon Ali, Zach and I attended my nephew Patrick’s basketball game at the local elementary school, which was the school I attended from 5th-12th grades and graduated from. We sat with his family as we cheered Patrick and his team on and enjoyed watching him play.
As we walked out of the gym, which was an addition to the building after I graduated, the hallway that led out of the gym was open. My brother Pat asked me if I had ever seen or walked down our former hallways. I hadn’t (at least I don’t remember doing so), and at that point, I really wanted to.
We kept walking through the open hallway and came to an 4-way intersection. I looked to the left and was taken back…the above picture is the sight that captured me.
Memories came flooding back…so many memories. Here I was, standing in the hallway that 25+ years ago I spent much of my time in, loving life and carrying on with my friends! Here I was, standing in the area that so many good times of my life were experienced in. And the most humbling thought was…”I can’t believe I’m standing in the very hallway of my high school with my teenage children at my side! I was Zach’s age when I was roaming this hallway!”
Now, this may not seem a big deal to those friends of mine who have had children who followed in their footsteps and have attended this school. But to me, it was a HUGE deal! I couldn’t seem to take it all in.
Pat and I reminisced about which teacher had which classroom. To our right at the end of the hallway was the science room (Mr. Akers) and maybe the art room? Those rooms were added one of the years we were there.
We recalled Mrs. Harms’ room and Mr. McNamara’s room. Mrs. Harms was my Spanish teacher. I’m still friends with Mrs. Harms (Trudy Johansen to me now), and was blessed to spend time with her last month! Mr. McNamara was my Psychology teacher (and another class that I can’t remember for the life of me). I remember sneaking bags of Hershey’s Kisses into Psychology class and eating them during class with my buddy Bill Brockschink. 🙂 Sorry, David McNamara! (We are friends through facebook!) In that class or in another of Mr. McNamara’s classes, I also remember hearing our Principal come over the loudspeaker and share the devastating news of the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding after take-off. I can still picture what the loudspeaker looked like in his room from staring at it for so long that morning.
We then realized the hallway we were standing in was actually the teachers’ lounge when we were in school! (There was a pop machine in the teachers’ lounge!)
The room to our left was Mrs. Notton-Stumpff’s room. Oh, the memories I have of that room! Mrs. Notton-Stumpff made learning fun. I still remember some of fun sayings she taught us to help us learn and remember things…my, mine, your, yours… And the infamous rock bands, commercials, and news shows we did during Speech class! I can’t believe I ever dressed up as Paul Stanley of the rock band KISS. Oh my. (Please don’t judge me…I was 18 at the time.) Gosh we had fun! I’ve reconnected with Nancy Notton-Stumpff (NN-S) through facebook this year as well!
We decided to walk down the hallway. We figured it was okay since a janitor was cleaning. The stuff next to the wall in the hallway was not there when we attended school. It held all the current students’ bags, boots, etc. And neither were the yellow and blue stripes on the walls. Our colors were purple and gold.
Memories came rushing back of the fun that happened in that hallway. I remember Jake walking through the hallway “glomming” people. I remember when I’d see my brother Pat in the hallway. (That always warmed my heart.) I recalled how the hallway would be decorated during Homecoming week. And I remember the yellow lockers…that are still there. They were installed, I believe, my Freshman year. I found my locker (or what I thought was my locker). 🙂 Standing in front of it, I painfully remembered having my locker door slammed on my finger which was one of the most painful things I ever experienced! The hallway looked a whole lot skinnier than I remember it being!
We walked by rooms that I remember being Mr. Crosby’s room, Mrs. Denley’s room and a room I had study hall in with Mr. Fink. This hallway was our main hallway that got us to most of our classes. I thought of Ali & Zach’s high school and the numerous hallways they travel(ed) down each day. How different this was compared to theirs! One hallway. Yep, that was Norway High.
We got to the bathrooms. But the boys’ bathroom was now the girls’ bathroom and vice versa. I know we girls had some pretty deep conversations in that bathroom. 🙂 Pat and I both recalled the time one of the students blew up a toilet in the boys’ bathroom with a M-80. That was quite the day!
The school office is still there, and the Guidance Counselor’s room and Principal’s office was still there. I’m not sure what each are used for now though. (For the record, I was never called into the Principal’s office. I’m thinking Pat was though.) 🙂 And we recalled Dorothy who worked in the office and also Thelma. Two of the sweetest women you’d ever meet. We loved how Dorothy would make her announcements over the loudspeaker. 🙂
We made it to the main entrance hallway which led to the Multi-Purpose Room–which was our lunchroom and small gym. Pat said that’s where he had his first “dunk” (in basketball). That’s where I fell in love with volleyball. And we talked about doing the high jump for track in that gym and landing on those blackish-gray foam blocks as our pit. (Ick!)
And the main entrance is where I would see my brother Steve each afternoon at the end of the day as he waited for the kids to hop on the school bus he drove for the district. I always figured he waited at the entrance to say hi to his sister too. 🙂
Norway High School was a pretty special place. I had 27 in my graduating class. We knew everyone in our high school (and almost everyone in the entire school since we were in one building). It was like a family. I’m proud to call Norway my alma mater. High school was some of the most memorable years of my life!
As we drove through the parking lot to head south to home, I said to Ali and Zach, “I don’t ever remember driving to school in high school. I either walked or Grandpa took me.” Their response was in disbelief, “Really?” Yes, really. Times have certainly changed, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
“Hats off to Norway High!”
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