This afternoon I spoke with many folks, the young and the old. It was a final tour of the ol’ Elmhurst High, Sunday, June 13, 2010. All of these people were graduates coming back for one final chat, one final look, one final goodbye.
Students, alumni, teachers were all given a chance to reminisce about their time at Elmhurst and relive memories of being a Trojan.
JoAnn Watkins Gorrell, a graduate in 1949 and Rosalie Watkins Hall, graduated in 1947, joined up with a graduate from 1946 Marilyn Rayl. These grads, along with Sharon Smith Bowser, Class of 1955 – remembered the fun times. Dances, carrying the flag in the Memorial Day Parade and the ball games. Standing beside the lockers in the hall, the ladies commented, “Everyone knew you and everyone spoke to you, up and down the hall.”
Elaine Herring and Chris Rowlett knew of each other during their years at Elmhurst. And after they graduated in 1989 they got to know each other a little bit better—they got married.
Even better friends.
In 1984 Clay and Lisa Stark met in the hallway at Elmhurst High School, dated, went steady and in 1990 got married.
1968-1969 Elmhurst won the Boy’s Basketball City Championship title under Coach Eytcheson, who also taught English. “It looks the same to me,” he said commenting on the school/gym as he shook hands with Paul Mathias (now, Indiana Court of Appeals Judge), then a student and ball player under Coach Eytcheson in 1971, when the Elmhurst Basketball team won Sectional.
Underneath the school’s gym was the Rifle Club coached by Mr. Reed, the shop teacher. Richard Poor was the Assistant Coach. “In 1958 the Rifle Team became National Champions.” Poor went on to say, “I taught math, algebra, and started the first calculus class here in 1969.”
Standing in the auditorium was a huge crowd lined up to greet and reminisce with Mr. Don Goss. Mr. Goss not only graduated from Elmhurst, he also taught, for 5 decades. He was the first to teach photography in the area. As an art, drama, and photography teacher, this was his life. He put his heart and soul into what he did~teaching students the love of art and theatre.
Relationships were built here at Elmhurst, 3829 Sandpoint Road, starting as far back as a 10-room county/township school in 1929 and later in the mid-20th century when the school became a part of Fort Wayne Community Schools.
Some people limited their relationships with only one close friend while others chose to have many friends.
Teachers, classmates, friends all shared a hands-on goodbye, not the distant cell phone entry or Facebook chat. A chat with a connection to never be forgotten.
The memorabilia, banners, trophies, pictures, people all had a story to tell – a story about one big family that was the anchor in Waynedale.
What do you do with all these achievements? Shove them in a closet somewhere?
We certainly hope not.
The history of Elmhurst will live on. At least that’s what The Waynedale News hopes to do by establishing a project for historic preservation of Waynedale history items as well as displaying those items in a location where the residents of Waynedale and visitors could freely view and partake in the rich history of Waynedale. We have been pursuing the possibility of including the Elmhurst collection within the entirety of the “Waynedale Museum.” We have taken steps to contact other museums and historic preservation groups within the area as partnership and guidance for preservation, organization and display possibilities. We have also taken time to contact local authorities, politicians, our 4th District Councilman Mitch Harper and Wayne Township Trustee Richard Stevenson and have gained their full support.