Friday, April 10, 2009

Steve Sylwester Remembers

My [Steve's] early Faculty Lane memories include:

Racing popsicle sticks in the street gutter during summer downpours. As I recall, the races would start in front of the brick houses and end at the bottom of the small hill at the end of Faculty Lane across from CTC gym.

Playing team Monopoly under the big tree in the backyard behind Hackmanns during the summer. Remember, the tree had a treehouse platform up in it. We played team Monopoly because more people could play that way. Eddie Hackmann always let me be his teammate until one game when I landed on a fully hoteled Boardwalk and bankrupted us. I cannot ever remember being his teammate after that (I recall Eddie shunned me for awhile after that, or at least it seemed that we to me at the time).

The CTC Homecoming celebrations. The CTC students would park a junker car in the gravel parking lot across the street from our house and sell sledge hammer whacks to raise money. The car would be painted with Homecoming slogans against the visiting team. The various dorms made Homecoming floats on the campus lawn and then included the floats in the Homecoming parade. I once was asked to carry a sandwich board through the Seward downtown area to advertise the coming Homecoming events. I remember the CTC beanies that the freshmen had to wear as an initiation. I loved Homecoming at CTC — the whole event from the run-up through the afternoon football game.

The CHS football game played at night in a blizzard. The announcer finally called out for the visiting fans to all come over to the CHS grandstands because they might be better able to stay warm if they bundled up with the home fans. The blizzard was so bad that you could not even see the visiting fans across the field when the announcer made his invitation.

Summer scavenger hunts for the Faculty Lane kids. I am not sure who organized the scavenger hunts, but I thought they were great fun.

Neighborhood plays in the Schwich's garage. I recall Danny being an enthusiastic actor.

The big apple tree behind the Mueller/Stelmachowicz brick house. I used to climb up in that tree and eat apples until I was sick. There were pear trees in the Becks' backyard, and there were rows of grapevines with grapes separating the backyards of a few houses. I think the Schwichs backyard had an apple tree, too (homebase of the backyard baseball diamond might have been under it). The Sylwesters backyard had a big garden in it, but I do not recall that any other backyards had gardens.

Bicycle hide-and-seek on the CTC campus, with the front steps of Weller being home.

I once threw up in the main room of Link Library. I had gone over to the library myself to look at books in the children's books room when I suddenly felt sick. I ran out of the room to go home and got only as far as the big room with the mural on the wall before I projectile vomited in the middle of the floor. It was a moment of supreme embarrassment.

CTC occasionally had movies in the Weller Hall chapel auditorium that we were allowed to go to. I once went to a Weller Hall movie with my brothers (and perhaps others) and we sat in the balcony. I fell asleep during the movie, and my brothers decided to not wake me when the movie was over. They just walked home to Faculty Lane. When I finally woke up, it was very late at night and I was seated alone in the balcony, and the whole chapel auditorium and all of Weller Hall was completely empty and totally dark. It was very freaky and very startling, and I was upset as I rushed home alone. Of course, my brothers thought the whole thing was very funny.

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