Rushville Republican


May 21, 2013

Barada: 50 years ago and counting

RUSHVILLE — My, does time fly! On June 22 next month, the Rushville High School Class of 1963 will celebrate its 50th anniversary. To be honest, 1963 doesn’t sound all that long ago, until one considers that, when we graduated in June 1963, the Class of 1913 was celebrating its 50th anniversary! Now, 1913 seemed like a long time ago when I was just 17 years old. The year 1913 was four years before the United States entered World War One.

In years gone by, when I have attended the annual RHS/RCHS Alumni Association Reunion, the Silver Anniversary class seemed like really old people to me, far older than we seem now. It all has to do with perspective, I suppose. Nevertheless, 50 years seems like a very long time ago; and, yet, in many ways, it just seems like yesterday. The memories of my high school years are still vivid and clear. We were one of the last classes to go through that last period of innocence: before the war in Vietnam, the antiwar protests, the drug culture, flower power, and the whole “Make love not War” movement. The final years of the 1960s were a time of upheaval, unrest, and the beginning of the counter-culture movement.

Locally, 1963 was also one of the last years before consolidation, a bitter memory still painful for those who recall when there were high schools in Arlington, Carthage, Mays, New Salem, Milroy and Manilla. Consolidation didn’t take place until 1968 when most of the members of the Class of 1963 were either starting their careers, finishing college, or being drafted into the Army.

The years we spent in high school were wonderful years of innocent fun like riding up and down Main Street, going to the bowling alley, taking part in all sorts of high school activities, and occasionally sneaking out the family car before we were old enough to drive. Ben Early was the high school principal and, by today’s standards, a far stricter administrator than most of us would have preferred. He had come to Rushville from one of the tough Muncie high schools, and it is still rumored that he carried a lead pipe behind his back at every high school basketball game (in case there was trouble, which, of course, there never was).

We were fortunate in another respect, also. We had some of the best teachers ever to pass through the doors of the high school. Florence Madden; Maude Jones; Madeline Knight; Grayson Mahan, who was, by the way, current Principal Matt Vance’s grandfather; and Justine Mitchell, who taught Latin, were some of the finest teachers this high school has ever had. All of them were tough and tolerated no nonsense during class, but they were also caring, compassionate instructors who gave us the start we would need as we moved on to college or careers. Those of us who were in high school during the early 1960s were blessed with an exceptional cadre of teachers who truly cared about teaching and, more importantly, cared about their students.

The four years we were in high school were a special time in other ways. We made lifelong friendships. If one looks at the high school yearbook, the Holcad, for the 1962-63 academic year, one will find a pretty decent looking, clean-cut, engaged bunch of kids. We didn’t cause trouble. We didn’t smoke, do drugs, or drink as a regular part of our daily lives. About the worse thing a bunch of us did, at least as far as I can recall, was try to move a cannon across town one night with the goal of putting it on Pat Kennedy’s porch. The cannon, or its companion, now sits on the southeast corner of the courthouse lawn. Naïve as we were, we thought we’d actually be able to roll that artillery piece though the alleys all the way over to north Morgan Street. Of course, we didn’t make it. It’s just not possible to roll a cannon quietly down alleys without somebody hearing the noise. At the corner of 12th and Morgan the city police showed up. Several were caught, but several of us managed to get away (scared to death).

About the worst thing we ever did “in” school was pitch pennies and occasionally throw them at a very large brass plaque that used to hang on the library wall. The trick was to hit the brass plaque with a penny, which would cause a very loud “gong” which disturbed the librarian, Mrs. Bishop, immensely! I remember one particular incident of penny throwing. Jim Marshall heaved a penny, which struck the plaque with a resounding gong. Everyone in the library who had been looking down at a book or paper immediately looked up, while Jim immediately looked down. Mrs. Bishop knew immediately who had done it. Everybody in the library was looking around to figure out who might have thrown the penny. Jim was the only one with his head in a book. Mrs. Bishop said, “Jim Marshall! You come up here this minute!” We all had a good laugh at Jim’s expense while he had to go see Mr. Early of lead pipe legend.

One final note: We’ve already started to receive cards from members of our class who will be coming from places like Connecticut, Mississippi and Florida. Guess where the classmates are from who claim they can’t make it. Right here in Rushville. Come on guys! We probably won’t do this again.

That’s -30- for this week.


Text Only
  • The best years of your life

    As people age they often look back to fondly recall the best years of their lives. Natural timeframes are the college years or that certain age before the daily grind of work and family take over the bulk of the day. Associations are to being carefree with limited responsibilities, a light and airy existence.

    August 13, 2013

  • Ziemke: My Summer Homework

    Even though session has been out for a little more than a month, the General Assembly still has much work to do. I had a brief break where I got to go home and mow the lawn, spend time at my restaurant, the Brau Haus, and attend a few festivals in addition to continuing to work on constituent concerns. The time has come for work on summer study committees to commence and I’m ready to get back at it.

    June 28, 2013

  • Mauzy: Rush County: The hope and the despair

    Moments arise when hope and despair briefly intersect. During these emotional overlaps, it’s a toss-up as to which energy will win even though we desire the best. Two recent high-profile events present the overlapping calamity often noticed in this community.

    June 28, 2013

  • Asbestos awareness is an important topic

    Dear Editor:
    My father, sister and husband all died because of asbestos. Now my brother has asbestosis. I set up my website because of the death of my husband to let people know of the dangers. It was the first website designed by a person on the internet at that time instead of by lawyers. The stories are to honour those effected by asbestos and to make sure they are never forgotten. I had just finished the last sentence when I heard of Janelle’s death.

    June 27, 2013

  • Proposed parade route

    Dear Editor:
    I see room for compromise on the 4th of July parade route. Up Main Street to 5th Street then take 5th Street to Harrison Street to 11th Street.
    Gene Monroe

    June 26, 2013

  • Barada: Good advice for parents and college students

    This week’s column is more for the parents of kids about to head to college than unsolicited advice for students about to go. Why? Because kids going away from home, some for the very first time ever, can be an even more traumatic event for the parents than for their children!

    June 25, 2013

  • Stop the student loan interest rate hike

    The key to a great life is a good education. But paying for a college education is tough. Many families are taking out second mortgages. Some are putting-off deserved vacations. Others are telling their kids they just can’t afford to attend the school of their choice.

    June 19, 2013

  • Mauzy: Recent graduates are free to explore

    Two weeks have now passed since Rush County Schools released new graduates from a state required academic curriculum.

    June 18, 2013

  • Parade should be on Harrison Street

    Dear Editor:
    There was good reason for not moving the parade back onto Main Street after the third lane was rammed through: we learned Harrison Street is a better route for both the participants and the spectators.

    June 18, 2013

  • Barada: The right people in key places

    For the first time in years, this community has exceptionally good people in key places within organizations involved directly with helping make Rush County a better place in which to live!

    June 18, 2013

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