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 Volume V Issue II Fall - 2002 
Life Was Simple in 1935
Students Had Fun and Learned!
By Charles "Doc" Brooks

O.K! Now all together, Let `er rip! "Wherever in the world you go, you'll hear just the same old song, 'tis born on all the winds that blow, from hearts that are true and strong." You get the point! Now, hum the rest of dear Alma Mater as you read this about the class of 1935.

In 1935 there was little radio a small Crosley here and there no T and V (thank God!), lotsa D and H and O and W trains setting Main Street's tone, the `ole Star Lunch near the Post Office, cars clogging the main drag, the Alps Sweet Shoppe selling ice cream and candies, the classy Victory Restaurant, Smalley's Theater, Macs' drugstore next door, Joe Dimicco's corner candy store with real roasted peanuts in the shell, Fairbanks' Pharmacy (Rexall), D'Imperio's and Esposito's shoe repair shops and on and on. If you weren't home you were on Main St. or in one of the stores. .

Life then was simple - no social engineering. We ate, we slept, we hung out on Main Street and we went to school. A school that looked like a school. It had huge windows and plenty of light. No trouble reading the books and writing. It had a beautiful gym and auditorium unmatched. It was on tree lined Liberty and Pleasant Streets. In other words, it was a super environment where we spent about three fourths of our twelve years. ( Windows opened for fresh air-far better than A/C and no windows in a concrete box.

Our teachers were the best, (OK, so we though then they were "pour les oiseaux"). Our texts were the best; imagine, we read `em without colorful graphic embellishments. Societal infiltration was yet to come to divert attention. And, the learning encompassment was unadulterated.

Sports generated our school spirit which made the experience tolerable. Afton's fighting basketball coach, Tubby Crane was the bad guy that we gunned for frequently. Awaiting the war, the Maroon and White fight song filled the corridors! Come on, admit it, "We were happy.

Remember how we started our day? With an assembly! An invocation! Pledge of allegiance! A benediction! Weird stuff! We sang patriotic songs the National Anthem, America the Beautiful; boy did we belt it out! We had visiting entertainment. Vocalists, poets, authors, dancers-all kinds of cultured presentations. The principal outlined current and future events. Outstanding sports stars were featured guests. Students were singled out for personal achievements. Mind you, all of this before school! We were an anointed class. After the assembly, we sailed back to our first classes. Ready for the day; we were.

In our class, I was hailed as a potential literate member of society. How many in our class? Forty two. What a group!

Forget the GM globalization movement and the huge computer in Brussels. Back to class and those values that made us what we are!

I was far from being a model student-witness this! Our music teacher, Miss (no Ms then) Gilcher, had just opened our classroom door, when I blurted out, "Hi ! Miss Gilcher, old kid!" Wow! "Charles ! Go see the principal immediately!" To the office I went. Reported to J. Clarence Decker and stated the purpose of my visit. I was whisked into the circular safe just off the reception area for the "hosing". Mr. Decker folded a long piece of rubber hose and proceeded to "whomp" away. I took it like a "man"! Beyond this, my memory fails me. Did I deserve it? Sure! Would it wash today???

Unfortunately, Miss Gilcher suffer from malocclusion, to put it mildly which provided much fodder for all students. It was a terrible thing I did which I regret to, this day.

I AM WHAT I WAS AND PROUD OF IT! My twelve years of schooling and 21 years of Sidney life have, as of now, given me 83.3 years of excellent life! I feel certain that, with minor variation, all products of the Sidney school system will agree! "Wherever in the world you go.....

Closing this writing on Memorial. Day, brings WWI and Sidney to the forefront. My two brothers and I were in the service and before that my grandfather and great grandfather Brooks served in the Civil War at the same time. My grandfather was hit with a mini ball (in the leg) in Petersburg, VA which eventually took his life. My older brother Clayton was terribly scarred by his service which he took to his recent death.

And, once again let's hit the old refrain, loud and clear for all to hear! Wherever in the world you go, You'll hear just the, same old song 'tis born on all the winds that blow, From hearts that are true and strong

Oh, we will not forget our Alma Mater Though our high school days are o'er. We will ever love our Sidney High. As we did in days of yore.

Maroon and White will always be our colors, That will make our pulses throb! Sidney High to you! We will e'er be true! Sidney High, dear Sidney High! Handkerchief, please!