The countdown has started for the gym we old Central High School students remember. The Missourian reported that the 84-by-50-foot gym, built in 1955, will be replaced by administrative offices and other features sometime in March.
The public is invited to see the gym one last time on Saturday, January 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I guess it won’t matter if we walk across the polished floor in our street shoes this time.
Here is a collection of stories I’ve done where the gym was featured.
Beware of Ghosts
Coach Terry Kitchen felt the presence of spirits when he was moving old trophies out of the gym. Wonder how restless they’ll be when the walls start tumbling down?
1963 Girardot Pep Rally
Kid Adam looked at this picture and commented, “Did dark socks not exist in that time frame?” The post has several random CHS photos in it. (Click on the photos to make them larger. Click on the links to go to the original story and more pictures.)
The dreaded rope climb
I remember how much “fun” PE was. I always wondered whose job it was to inspect the “Jesus Nut” that held the rope to the ceiling.
“All you could hear was breathing”
Students gathered around a TV hastily pulled into the gym so they could hear details about the shooting of President John F. Kennedy. Our Age of Innocence was over, and it was only going to get worse.
Locker rooms, real and imagined
I envisioned my female counterparts being ushered into individual cleansing facilities where there would be soft music playing, the water would come out at the perfect temperature, towels wouldn’t be needed because each compartment would be equipped with air-drying fans and there would be a gentle spritzing of the perfume of the girl’s choice on the way out. Attendants, probably freshmen, would take care of nail and hair maintenance and see that clothing was restored with nary a muss.
Manager Terry Crass patched them up
Terry Crass served as manager of the football, basketball and track teams. His life after high school was impressive.
1967 Girardot Queen court
There’s no telling how many queen crownings I shot in that gym.
The September 21, 1967, Missourian listed the 1967 Girardot Queen court: Miss Mary Hirsch, center, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Hirsch, 1855 Thilenius, was crowned Central High School Girardot Queen at ceremonies last Friday in the school gymnasium. Her attendants are, from left, Miss Holly Lueders, daughter ofMr. and Mrs. Paul Lueders, 1115 North Henderson; Miss Jane Dunklin, daughter ofMr. and Mrs. Maurice T. Dunklin, 839 Alta Vista; Miss Georganne Penzel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Penzel, 1844 Thilenius, and Miss Debby Holland, daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. W.T. Holland, 2221 Brookwood.
Gym Jim putting up decorations
Jim Stone and some other classmates were decorating the gym for something or other.
More decorating pictures
Right after I published Jim, I discovered more pictures of the gym being transformed into something special under the watchful eye of Miss Sackman.
Secretary Helen Ketterer watching wrestling
Quiet Helen Ketterer became a different person at a wrestling match.
Coach Bob Goodwin 1925-2014
Bob Goodwin taught a total of 33 years in Southeast Missouri schools, including Lilbourn, Chaffee, Cape and Jackson. He died in 2014.
1966 Prom Queen Linda Stone
Linda Stone tells what it’s REALLY like to be a prom queen.
Syl Johnson earns his suspenders
Principal Dallas Albers, an inveterate suspenders-wearer, noticed Sylvester Johnson admiring the pants-holder-uppers at an assembly one day, so he made a “deal” with him: if the team won the homecoming game with Sikeston, Syl wouldn’t have to worry about his pants falling down at the dance – they would be securely held up by the coveted suspenders.
Plaid shirt pep rally
I don’t know if it was coincidence or conspiracy that a sizable chunk of the males at this pep rally were sporting plaid shirts.
Student vs Faculty basketball
Math teacher Ralph Ford looks like he’s revving up for takeoff . He doesn’t seem to notice the ball is behind him.
Narrow ties and white socks era
This pep rally made me think of the TV series Friday Night Lights.
Looking for contact lens
I’m pretty sure this was the first game I covered that involved a lost contact lens. Follow the link to check out the pep band in their tiger-stripe jackets.
After taking several outside shots, we moved the 1965 Majorettes indoors to the gym.
1970 aerial shows new gym being built
This aerial view of Central High School from the early 1970s is looking from the southeast corner roughly to the northwest. Caruthers Ave. is running along the right side of the photo. The new gym is under construction and the swimming pool with its bubble hasn’t been started. The post also has more recent aerials of the school.
World’s ugliest cheerleaders
I’ve shot scads of cheerleaders at high school, college and pro games. Every organization must have used different qualifications. Some girls were picked for looks; some for popularity; other for spirit; others for athletic or dancing ability; others must have been daughters of community movers and shakers. This group must have been selected for having the hairiest legs.
I remember Anne Buchanan
One of the pictures I found of Anne Buchanan was with the other cheerleaders collecting for the March of Dimes in 1963. She’s on the right.
A tour of “Old” Central
This post contains a batch of photos taken when we toured “Old Central” during the 2010 reunion. Of course, we stopped in the gym.