Guest Author: Bob Schmidt ’59
I came to Hale Road School in 1951 (5th grade). It was called Nursery School when I arrived. I was so happy when it was changed to Hale Road School. My parents and I moved to Painesville Township Park , from Perry Township as they were going to become park managers at the park. My 5th grade teacher was Mrs. Reeves and my 6th grade teacher was Mr. Brewster. The principal back then was Mr. Kendall. I remember that our basketball coach was Ruth Kelsey, Ken Neylon’s aunt. I do remember that I was terrible at basketball.
It was at Hale Road School I was introduced to band music. I loved it and started playing a cornet. In 9th grade at Riverside, Mr. Denner said he needed a sousaphone player and asked if I I would be interested. I was, and the rest is history. I think Mr. Luoma was the band teacher at Hale Road.
I can remember some of the classes and I do remember some of the recesses. I also remember a large tree stump by the side door that was a popular gathering place. I tied someone’s shoe lace (guess who) by the stump. Funny, the things one remembers.
My 6th grade teacher, Mr. Brewster, had a large class ring that he wore every day. He sometimes would “tap” people on the head to get their attention. It was never hard and it never really hurt. Many years later, I was attending Cardiac Rehab at the old Memorial Hospital. One day, while waiting for my class to start, I wandered in to where the early class was working out. There were a lot of old Riverside teachers in there and guess who else! That’s right, Mr. Brewster. And I was wearing a class ring so…one little pop on the head. Obviously, it startled him and I just said, “Pay back!” He recognized me and started to laugh. It was a great day!
I finished up 5th and 6th grade and went to Riverside for 7th grade and in 1959, graduated. I made many friends, many of whom I am still in contact! I feel that the Painesville Township School System was very good back then and assume that it still is.