My school colleague, Robert Baltos shared his memories of Allen School
Once upon a time there was a grade school in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This is a picture of my third grade class in 1956. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president, there were 48 stars on the American flag and we were able to walk to school thanks to Dr. Jonas Salk. It is odd that sometimes I can’t remember what I did a few days ago but my memories of this wonderful place are forever intact. This was one of those photographs that my mother saved for me. I suppose that it is fitting that while I started writing this that I realized that today is her birthday. She has since passed on to her place in Heaven. I have looked at this group photo many times and I am able to recall most of the names of my classmates. We followed each other to junior and senior high school. Since then, I have never seen or heard from the majority of these people again. At the time this class picture was taken, air-raid drills were commonplace and we were convinced that World War III was at hand. Little did we know that in the not-too-distant future that some of the Class of 1966 would end up in Southeast Asia for our “senior trip” or that a young senator from Massachusetts would become our next president and be murdered in public several years later.
The teachers at Allen School were special people, the likes of which we will never see again. The teacher at the center of picture is Miss Helen Laucik, our physical education and health teacher. Like all of the teachers there, she was full of energy, ideas and compassion. She always reminded us to take care of our teeth and our feet, both of which she assured us that we would miss in our old age if we didn’t heed her warning. Mrs. Demming was our history, writing and music teacher. She predicted that there would be a currency called the “Euro”, warned us about the proliferation of socialism here and abroad and that much of what we consume would be someday be manufactured in places like China. Miss Bash was our mathematics teacher. Contrary to what some of the “experts” with their phony PhDs believe today, rote memorization of the multiplication tables and proficiency in long division, fractions and other basic arithmetic was absolutely necessary and you weren’t leaving her class without those basic skills!
Allen School closed in 1961. The students actually took their books and belongings from the desks, walked up the hill and placed them in their desks in the newly built Grandview School. However, Grandview could never replace the physical building of Allen School. Today’s architects could not imagine or duplicate such a place. On the other hand, bricks and mortar are just that. Miss Laucik, Mr. Kelly and a few others made the move that day too and taught there for many years afterward. Whey they left, they took the remaining spirit of Allen School with them. Oh, I almost forgot! Mrs. Bennett, thank you for being our librarian and teaching us how to use the Dewey Decimal System! I have a copy of the first book that you helped me select from the 600 aisle. “The Boy Electrician” by Alfred P. Morgan.
(Mr. Baltos is the third one down on the left. He still has the striped shirt!)
A favorite place to capture the look of yesteryear but it is tonight. Right now. 2014 from West Mifflin across the Monongahela River.
After being with the family up on VistaView I drove down Outlook Drive. The leaves aren’t full yet and I found a good clearing between two homes.
Propped the camera up onto the passenger window ledge and tried to get a steady shot with a long shutter.
That mill is working all day and night every day and I just drive by for a glimpse a couple of times every year.
I have posted the mill at night a few times but I never get tired of seeing it. Here is it in the snow
And another April shot from a few years ago
Tons of signage in the archives but you don’t get many letters in the mailbox today.
Found an envelope of letters that our Aunt Rhea gave to us when she moved out of her home.
Even some I’d written when we lived in Germany. Photographs inside letters. Letters from my father and mother and sister. Thank you notes from my own children when they were small.
I have other letters saved, tied with ribbon. My sister wrote to me in Germany for three years. And I wrote back. She saved my letters, too. My friend Erica transcribed all the letters and I have them typed in a desk downstairs.
The glass bottles attracted my eye as I saw them sitting on a soda fountain counter on Carson Street in the South Side. Only when I got home and uploaded the photo did I read Bridgeport Conn. The bottles are from the Pittsburgh Seltzer Works but that wooden crate had Bridgeport Conn, stamped right on the side.
Bridgeport – where I spent four years of my life. Granted, a long time ago. It’s where I got my Art Education degree.
Oh and it’s home to the P.T. Barnum Museum, where Elias Howe invented the first sewing machine, where Sikorsky(now gone global) manufactured helicopters, where Dr Fones founded Dental Hygiene profession in 1906 and a ton of other well known names born there including Walt Kelly and Al Capp.
I think Paul Newman when he was filming The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, once called it the “armpit of New England” which wasn’t very kind. There was lots of industry and manufacturing, and then decline, departure and attempts to revitalize. The P.T. Barnum Museum is worth a trip, though. Seriously. And if you are into deterioration and dilapidation reports click here to read about Remington Arms.
No, not- “I object.“
But an item. A thing. You know I have so many objects in my files. I thought I’d focus on one, like the challenge said to do.
Weekly Challenge Creator Cheri Lucas Rowlands said- “Or you can get creative and find other ways to feature your object — the only requirement is it must be somewhere in your frame.”
Here’s a dusty antique stereoscope from my childhood and the dates on the photos? 1903! Wish I knew where it came from originally.
A bit before my time. I remember viewing the images with my brother David. HAve to find the piece that slides on the bar. It’s around here somewhere.
One of the cards had Meadville, PA printed on the edge. The scene on top is Goats in Norway. The cowboy on the horse is in Kansas.
Here is the principle behind the stereoscopic images according to Wikipedia
“Two separate images are printed side-by-side. When viewed without a stereoscopic viewer the user is required to force his eyes either to cross, or to diverge, so that the two images appear to be three. Then as each eye sees a different image, the effect of depth is achieved in the central image of the three.”
Note to self: Remember how I mugged for the camera in 1959 when I’m attempting to photograph the grandchildren in 2014!
Pittsburgh Public Schools was closed today. I did some sorting and found some old family photos. My family didn’t own a camera that I know of but I think my sister took this photo somehow and I will ask her tomorrow and add any details. My cousins may have been involved. Paul? John B?
An iPhone photo of a photo isn’t the best quality but you get the idea.
Back home from Thanksgiving holiday break and thinking about being out of the traffic and home, safe, keeping warm.
Getting ready to start a new school week and wondering how it got to be December already.
If you have a doily or a piece of fine crochet, openwork, mounting it on a pillow is a good way to display it.
I thought this was a good follow-on to my post of my grandmother’s afghan and quilt yesterday.
Downstairs, I have some samplers she made which I’ll post another time.
I sewed this antimacassar onto the pillow top with tiny stitches all around. Click on the word to read about the origin.
Photographed at my sister’s place in NYC. I don’t remember but it looks like we used extra upholstery fabric to make the pillow itself.