Grover Cleveland Memoirs

by Myrna Wagner Ketcham

 (transcribed by Donna Frame Swope)

    I was surprised when I received a copy of the Times Recorder article about Grover Cleveland Jr. High, from former classmate, Donna (Frame) Swope, who now lives in Florida. We both attended Grover Cleveland Jr. High.

    It brought back so many memories for both my husband Ron and I. We started naming off teachers we remembered, and he even dug up some copies of "The Cleveland Beacon" the school publication, from 1948, 1949, and 1950. It's amazing, how many of the people mentioned in the articles we remembered.

    One specifically brought to mind, a sad and difficult time for a lot of us. In the June, 1950 publication, Patty Toth (in the class will), left the book, "How To Stay Short", to her sister Mary in the 7th grade. Little did she know that Mary would never graduate from Jr. High. Mary contracted spinal meningitis the following year, and passed away. I'm sure many of our classmates still remember her. Luckily the good times more than outweighed the bad.

    Our "Group" entered G.C. in the fall of 1949, from Wilson, and blended in with the kids from several other grade schools in our area. Garfield, Munson, Grant, etc. Were were no longer all in the same room all day. Some of us were in different home rooms, and went to different classes. We were really growing up. We traveled the halls going from class to class. We loved it.

    Our little bunch of friends was soon expanded, as we added some new ones, from other schools. We now had school dances, plays, intramural sports, and much more. Some of those were "Friday Nighters", held on Friday nights in the school gym. Oh what fun! The bad part was, that most of the boys didn't dance. It was further aggravated by the girls and boys having to enter the gym from locker room doors on opposite sides of the gym. Therefore, the girls ended up on one side, and the boys on the other. Another drawback was, the ping pong table in the upper enclosed area, on the south end of the gym. So much for dancing with the boys.

    I remember some of the faculty, but not all of them, always there, ready to help if necessary. Mr. Leslie Bone, our principal, and Miss Balentine, our school secretary. Miss Heinle, science teacher, who told us "we should breathe from our diaphragm". Don't know what that had to do with science, but we listened. Hilda Printz, library, and advisor for "Cleveland Beacon". Miss Stewart and Vesta Bateman, our Enlish teachers. Miss Tracy, our algebra teacher. One look from her was all it took. She never had to raise her voice to get your attention. Ms. Maxwell, for cooking and health. She taught us to make a real good coffee cake. Faye Kennison - sewing. I still have the pot holder and the tea towel we made, and embroidered in the 7th grade. Some of us took 9th grade sewing as well. Mad a skirt there. There was also Mr. McCurdy, B.O. Roberts, Mr. Faulk, Leonard White, and others who helped us to get through those Jr. High years. And since a lot of us had older sisters, and brothers who had already passed through these doors, the teachers were not above telling us that we weren't doing as well as our siblings had done. They didn't usually mention if we were doing better.

    When our graduation day came, with our class prophecies and wills all made out, we were more than ready to head downtown to Lash High. As it turned out, we did not graduate from Lash. Our class, the class of 1955, was the first to graduate from the new Zanesville High High School. We will celebrate our Class Reunion in 2005. We will meet, as we have every 5 years, and get re-acquainted and reminisce about Grade School, Jr. High, and High School. And what memories we have.

    Another reason Grover Cleveland means a lot to me, is because I lived across the street from the school, after moving there during the fourth grade. We neighborhood kids played on those school grounds. I remember roller skating, not only on the Pershing Road sidewalk, but on the sidewalk around the school. We also spent a lot of evenings playing hide and seek around the building. Grover Cleveland was one of the schools where activities were planned as part of the City's Summer Program for children. We had arts and crafts, stories, paddle tennis, etc. We attended every day for a few hours. One event, I'm not sure how often, a movie would be shown on the grounds outside. Kept us all busy and out of trouble.

    Even though it is hard to imagine our old school being torn down, as many others have been, I'm sure we also realize it is impossible to fix them up. I just hope you have a main door going into the new middle school gymnasium, instead of separate entrances for the boys & girls. It sure would get those boys dancing and mixing faster!

To Good Memories

Myrna W. Ketcham

Myrna passed away Mar. 20, 2005

Myrna Wagner Ketcham's twin great grandchildren have arrived!
March 26, 2006

Brooklynn Page Lang
5 lb, 4 oz, 18 in. long

Brynlynn Abigail Lang
4 lb, 12 oz, 17.5 in long

Brynlynn & Brooklynn Sept. 2006

 Brynlynn & Brooklynn Feb 2007