Meyers High of the 60s

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Happy Easter everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful day.

When I arrived at Meyers in 1962 the Mighty Mohawks were on top.  Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that was the year the Mohawks won their fifth football title in as many years.  I can still hear the cheer, “Behind our team one hundred percent and we’re out for number five we know.” 

 

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It was a great time to go to the football games.  That was when the west side still had teams like the Kingston Huskies, the Plymouth Shawnee, the Swoyersville Sailors, and the Larksville Green Wave.  The stadium was packed, especially for the showdown with GAR on Thanksgiving.  I still can’t believe that game isn’t played on Thanksgiving anymore.  I might have been close to GAR and I had a lot of friends from GAR, but when it came to the game, I was a Mohawk all the way.

I actually played football in my freshman year.  I was right tackle on offense and left linebacker on defense; in those days the players played both ways.   I actually started a few games.  My favorite thing was pulling on sweeps and my big highlight was sacking the quarterback once.  It all ended when they wanted me to practice in the summer before my sophomore year.  Playing was fun but cutting into my summer hangout time was out of the question.  Hanging at the Parrish Street Pool required all of my time and attention.

I wasn’t what you would call a good student.  I hated homework and I don’t think I ever learned the proper way to study.  In fact, I believe that was a flaw in education then, and it still is today.  Everyone tell kids to study but they really don’t tell them how.  I was lucky to have been born with a good memory and I was smart enough to listen in class.  I would listen and do my homework in study hall and I never took a book home.  My greatest anguish were the reports that took more time and effort than could be done in study hall.  I managed to maintain Bs and Cs and that was enough to keep my parents and the teachers from complaining.

I wasn’t outgoing in school but that didn’t mean that I didn’t notice the young ladies.  I thought Meyers High had a whole lot of very pretty girls.  Even at twelve years old I was impressed.  I remember two young ladies in seventh grade that really caught my eye.  There was a blonde girl named Ruth and other, a raven haired lass, named Suzanne.  They had my attention anytime they walked in the classroom.  In six years, I never said a word to either of them.  I knew they were way out of my league, but they sure were fine.

I’m sure everyone has memories of curtain teachers.  Some of the memories are good, some are bad, and some are just funny.  Let’s see if anyone can remember who I’m talking about without mentioning any names.  I had a history teacher in eighth grade that was rather old.  She was a member of the famous Planter’s Peanut Family.  In ninth grade I remember PA History.  I remember our teacher was a fairly big guy.  One time he was talking about the native Americans in the area and how the warriors would challenge each other.  I had stood to answer a question about the subject and he said something about if I challenged him that I wouldn’t have much of a chance and I said, “I don’t know, with a bow and arrow, you make a pretty big target.”  He just laughed, he was a good guy.

There were a few teachers that could make me like learning.  One was my Earth and Space Science teacher in ninth grade.  He also happened to be the coach of the football team.  He caught me messing around in class and he put the fear of God in me.  I got straight As in his class after that.  Another was my English teacher in my senior year.  I felt that he really cared what happened to me.

It may not have been the complete focus of my attention during those years, but Elmer L. Meyers High School was a great place to make the transition from a boy to a man.  I will finish with the poem I wrote as a tribute to my old Alma Mater.

Mohawks by Name

 The world was new

back in 62,

when we first walked those long winding halls.

Our rooms still held the toys

of good girls and boys,

and super heroes hung on our walls.

 

Those six years did fly,

like a wink of an eye,

at least it seems so some how.

In those years we grew,

and bore witness to,

the formation of who we are now.

 

We came from close by,

or down the hill we did fly,

or bused in from Warrior Run.

From wherever we came;

we were Mohawks by name,

and will be till the death of the sun.

 

We united a again,

Saying, “Remember when”,

telling stories from beginning to end.

I have one regret,

that I let shyness prevent,

me from calling more of you friend.

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About

Pete is a retired software developer, a writer, and a martial arts instructor. He lives in Maryland with his wife Cathy and they are enjoying their retirement. Pete is the author of four novels, "The Teacher", 500 Years from Home", and "The Long Journey Home" are available at Lulu.com; and "Pioneers" in available at the Kindle Book Store.

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Posted in Growing Up, Memories, Wilkes-Barre

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