Friday, April 10, 2009

Jody Schwich Remembers

I [Jody] know that Plum Creek was beyond our roaming territory in 1956-60. The CTC campus, the houses on Columbia where Meyers and Juergensons lived, and the St. John’s playground were about as far as we could go.

Like Jenny [Mueller], I remember spending my nickel allowance in the vending machines in the basement of Founders Hall. Husker pop cost a dime and that was usually more than any of us had. We did salvage Husker pop bottles from under the football grandstands and turn them in for deposit money.

I remember the April night in 1957 when a tornado almost flattened Milford. Around that same time our cocker spaniel Sandy ran away—and I think we got Con-Te-Co the bulldog (Mom called him Pookie) after that. Not long before she ran away, Sandy had puppies. Around that time my brother Bill was lifting my brother Danny up to look in the incinerator in the backyard near Hillcrest when he slipped. Danny was fairly badly burned and spent time recuperating in the house with the new puppies.

When I was 6 in 1956, I used to throw a tennis ball up against the side of the “Hackman house” where we lived and catch it with my baseball glove. Paul Rosel (the music professor who lived next door) noticed that I (the baseball coach’s daughter) was throwing off the wrong foot. He corrected that and should receive partial credit for the fact that 14 years later I was an All-American softball player with the Utah Shamrocks.

I remember seeing a dishwasher for the first time in Rosel’s house when they lived next door to us (probably in 1957). I remember watching the Kennedy-Nixon debate on TV in the Rosel house in 1960. In all those Faculty Lane years we only watched CBS-TV (which came from Lincoln) because we couldn’t get the Omaha stations. I remember seeing a blender for the first time when Carol Beck used it to make chocolate milk shakes at a picnic in their backyard.

Eddie Hackman and I were the oldest kids in the four big white houses. We had a “secret place” in the big tree that was in their yard behind the garage that the Hackmans and Schwichs shared. None of the younger kids could get up there because they were too short. Dennis Langevin who lived on the corner of Hillcrest and Plainview (where we later lived with Lavonne Riemer) and who was also in our class at St. John’s would sometimes try to come over and play with us, but I recall that Eddie and I were sometimes mean to him.

The Schwichs had so go inside when the street lights (those pretty classic ones) came on—so play for everyone pretty much ended then. I remember fun summer evenings of “kick the can” and catching lightning bugs when we did get to stay out after dark—usually because the adults were also outside. (Did we barbeque? I don’t remember.)

I remember when they paved Faculty Lane. It must have been about 1957 or 1958. I also remember running through the spray when the mosquito tractor ran down the street in the summertime. That was DDT, wasn’t it?

Shortly after we moved to Faculty Lane, my baby brother Rob had a hernia operation. He caught an infection in the hospital and almost died. I remember praying for him with my head down on my desk in Miss Grotelueschen’s first grade classroom.

After we moved to the Rosel house, Lavonne Riemer spent several summers with us when Dad was gone to Salt Lake City working on his doctorate. Lavonne built all kinds of cool things, including a storage lean-to on our side of the garage and a covered sand box. Billy and I used to play make-believe Major League Baseball games with our baseball cards in the sand (Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Warren Spaun, and my favorite, Eddie Matthews). We were Milwaukee Braves fans because Lavonne (who lived in Wisconsin) brought us Braves caps and shirts.

Our Rosel backyard did have at least one plum and one apple tree (and maybe a pear tree)—and I think we did have some grapes and a garden. But there was still plenty of room to play baseball. We also played baseball on the “new” tennis courts (where the science building was later built).

One spring or summer I remember that Dad taught a folk dancing class on the double tennis courts. I guess that kind of dancing was OK!

I remember when our whole family would take shopping trips to Lincoln—usually about once a month to buy clothes and shoes at Gold’s and Miller and Paine and to redeem S&H Green Stamps. If it was a Cornhusker football Saturday, students on street corners would hand out red and white feathers with an “N” (for Nebraska).

In the fall of 1957, I rode on a Homecoming float. I think I was dressed as an Indian. That afternoon I got sick and was rushed to the hospital for an appendectomy. That must have been the same fall when Susan Wilbert died.

I remember when Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend went on their scary, murder spree and when there was a shooting in Jesse Hall—both in 1958, I think. Then I remember when Starkweather went to the electric chair. About that same time I remember Mom’s reading Charlotte’s Web to us; it was running in installations in the Omaha World Herald.

As Steve [Sylwester] mentioned, we didn’t have anything to do with the “public-schoolers.” But we all remember, I’m sure, using the Seward High School gym for CTC basketball games and for the big St. John’s Lutheran Church Christmas program (and getting a bag of candy and peanuts afterwards).

I remember that Tommy Zimmerman had all this cool army gear. We would sometimes play in their basement—which you entered through some kind of a metal, slanting cellar door.

In the winter, we sledded down Faculty Lane from in front of Hackman’s, past Griesse’s (and then Sylwester’s) to that street in front of the new gym (I’ve forgotten its name).

After the new gym was built, we had fun faculty swim nights in the new pool.

Somebody earlier remembered that we used to look for treasure when the CTC students moved out in the spring. I remember that Lois Meyer had a huge collection of salvaged jewelry and perfume in her upstairs closet that we used to play with. We also used to read MAD magazine at the Meyers. I think Alan had a subscription.

No comments:

Post a Comment