Around, ‘round, and ‘round the Riverside High School building: That’s where Phil Reed, who was a student in the late 1950s, traveled on his roller skates for one entire school day.
Phil was one of seven brothers and two sisters in the Reed family of Grand River. Five of the brothers, Clifford, Bob, Tom, Phil and Larry frequented Walton’s Roller Rink in Mentor-on-the-Lake, and when not skating there, worked for Mr. Walton making hot dogs and mopping floors. All the Reed children attended Merrick Hutchinson Elementary School, where skating was, for at least a while, permitted in the halls.
Although all were skilled skaters, it was Phil who brought the “clown” aspect to the sport (as he did to many of his other activities); one day he decided he’d just roll up and down the halls in place of attending classes, and he even negotiated the stairways on his skates.
True to his kindly nature and belief in making any punishment appropriate to a student’s offence, when Principal George Inscho encountered the skater, he was sent outside to make circles around the school on the sidewalks and pavement. Many hours later, Phil was still skating. Mr. Inscho’s son Doug has said his dad just forgot Phil was out there, and maybe Phil had to ask permission to quit. It was very clear, however, that the wooden rollers on his skates were ruined and for sure he heard plenty from Mom Reed about the incident.
Also a certainty is that the punishment was more than worth it to Phil, who reveled in telling the story for the rest of his life.