Osmond alumni reminisce. . .
OSMOND — Because this year’s Osmond High School (OHS) alumni reunion could not be held, it was suggested that we have some of those who had been to many or all of the reunions since they started in 1954 share their thoughts about the reunions and their years in school.
Those who were kind enough to share their reminiscences were Mary Ann (Gubbels) Peschel and Theresa (Windeshausen) Rice, both from the Class of 1948, and James Broekemeier and Alton Fuelberth, Class of 1947.
Mary Ann (Gubbels) Peschel
Mary Ann (Gubbels) Peschel is a member of the OHS Class of 1948. There were three sets of siblings in the class: Richard and Ralph Schmitz, Darwin and Willis Johnson and Vivian (Windeshausen) Manzer and Theresa (Windeshausen) Rice.
Mary Ann says, “Not everyone went to high school, but I was dressed and ready to go on the first day. I had to beg my dad to let me go to school. He said I could go, but I had to walk two miles. A classmate, Arlene Wegner, was waiting for me (not sure how she knew I was going) and we walked to school together.
“Most days, I rode my bike. One time, I fell in a run on the dirt road and dislocated my shoulder. I was taken to the newly-opened St. Joseph Hospital.”
Mary Ann shared other memories: “Dale Blunck sat behind me in school and always asked to borrow a sheet of paper. He had paper, he just forgot his own!”
She sat between Theresa Windeshausen and Jim Rice, she commented. “They would pass notes back and forth to each other and I would be the one to give the note to the other. They never got caught (to my knowledge) passing notes.” Mary Ann related that Ralph Schmitz was almost always late for school. “He would sneak in just in time for roll!”
“I was chosen to be a waitress at the junior-senior banquet,” Mary Ann said, “but I knew I didn’t have any nice clothes to wear, so I thought I would have to say no. An older students found out I needed something nice, so she invited me to her house and let me wear some of her clothes so I could be a waitress. She even loaned me a necklace that her boyfriend gave her.”
Mary Ann also had some memories of the all-school reunions.
“The first reunion was at the city hall and we had to bring a dish for potluck. Later, I remember it at the new school and it was very hot sitting in the bleachers. I married Frank Peschel in 1954. Since he didn’t go to high school, he was still able to go to all of the alumni reunions with me.
“The reunions were great, because I met so many nice classmates in high school and I’ve been able to keep in touch with them. We held our 50th high school reunion in 1998. Sixteen classmates attended. There were 27 in our class. Our classmates always sat together at all the reunions.”
Back in the day when the students took “senior sneak days,” Mary Ann said her class went to Lincoln in April of 1948. “We had our first taste of soft ice cream and saw the ‘electric chair.’ These were the most exciting. The rest of the day, we could do whatever.”
Asked about the worst or saddest thing that happened during her high school years, Mary Ann said, “I had a record called “Hail To The Chief” That I gave to a teacher, Mrs. Sehnert. Because I gave that to her, she asked me to give a speech to the whole school. I was very nervous! At the end of the speech, I said, ‘Now we play this song, ‘Hail To The Chief’ for our new president, Harry S. Truman.’ I do remember Truman dropping the atomic bombs on Japan to stop the war.”
Mary Ann’s advice for this year’s seniors: It would be nice to have the Osmond graduates further their education and come back to Osmond. Osmond is a nice town to live in and raise a family.”
Theresa (Windeshausen) Rice
Theresa (Windeshausen) Rice, another member of the Class of 1948, said she has only missed one reunion, the year her daughter Mary Beth was born. “She was born July 9, so I would have been too big to go to the reunion in June that year!”
Theresa related her fondest memories: “There were 27 in our class. We were very close to each other. We had to use the city hall for all plays, and all of the basketball games. We had all-girl pep club and wore orange and black. Only the boys played basketball. We had to have volunteers drive us to the games.
“It seems all classes usually have someone as a clown, and we did,” Theresa said. “He kept us always laughing by doing his tricks. We were in the typing room and, before the teacher came in, our funny clown brought some bread and sliced meat and we were all going to have a sandwich. Just then, the teacher came in and said, ‘Shut up, sit down and get busy.’ The lunch went off in the waste basket very fast!”
Theresa explained their schedule: “Our class time was 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. We always had from 12 noon to 1 p.m. to go home and eat lunch. The boys would go to Thompson’s Pool Hall to play pool and at the last minute, they would run up to school! Some of the girls would take a walk around town.”
Theresa adds her memories of the Class of 1948’s senior sneak day: “We had a senior sneak day and all 27 of us went. We went to the capital in Lincoln. Some of the students had never been away from home that far. We had to have a bus take us down and back. What a big sight for us to see and to be in a big city!”
The worst thing that happened to Theresa, she said, was “I was passing a note to a friend and before he got it, the teacher in the assembly got it first. She took it to the superintendent and I had to go to the office for a lecture.”
Theresa’s advice to this year’s seniors is as follows: “Enjoy each and every one of your friends. These are the years you are making your life for the future. Always use your head when you pick out your friends. You want to go down the right path to lead you to a good vocation for the rest of your life.”
Jim Broekemeier, a member of the Class of 1947, said he has not been to all of the biennial all-school reunions, but has been to a lot of them. His favorite memories of school include going to basketball games, class plays, school dances, prom and the class picnic west of Osmond in a pasture.
Jim said his favorite memories of
either the all-school reunion or class reunions is “getting to visit with my classmates, recalling some of the things we did in high school and seeing some of my former teachers.”
Asked about his funniest memory, Jim said, “It wasn’t funny at the time, but the year I served on the committee, a tornado warning was issued and everyone left the auditorium to find a safe place. . . No tornado, and all came back and enjoyed the dance.”
Jim’s class took their senior class sneak trip to Lincoln on a bus. “We toured the state capitol building, state penitentiary and some other places. This was one of the last things we did as a class.”
The saddest thing Jim remembers from his years in high school was when one of his classmates received word that her brother (Don Schomer) was killed in World War II.
Jim’s advice to this year’s senior class is “Remember what parents and teachers taught you. Also remember your church and the place you grew up.”
Alton Fuelberth is a member of the Class of 1947, and has been to most of the all-school reunions. His fondest memories of high school, he said, were the friendships. One of his favorite things about the reunions is seeing how people change.
Alton’s funniest memory was carrying the piano up and down the stairs in the old high school. The saddest was when the administrators “took our paddles away for freshman initiation.” Apparently, someone’s son (the principal’s) got paddled a little too hard!
Alton remembers his senior sneak day in 1947, when the class went to Lincoln. “It was the first time most of us had seen the capitol,” he said.
Alton’s advice to this year’s senior class is “Times change. Try to keep up with them. Look at the good side of things.”
What was happening in 1947?
— Roswell UFO incident
— Cold War Beginnings
— First “instant camera”
— First Mobile Phone
Cost of Living
New house — $6,600
Average income — $2,850
Gallon of Gas — 15 cents
New car — $1,300
Loaf of Bread — 13 cents
Postage Stamp — 3 cents
“Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)” — Tex Williams and the Western Caravan
“Peg O’ My Heart” — Jerry Murad’s Harmonicats
“This Land Is Your Land” — Woody Guthrie
“Too Fat Polka” — Arthur Godfrey
“Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” James Baskett
Best movie — “The Best Years of Our Lives”
Best actor — Fredric March, “The Best Years of Our Lives”
Best actress — Olivia de Havilland, “To Each His Own”
What was happening in 1948?
— Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” and James Mitchner’s “Tales of the South Pacific” won the pulitzer Prize.
— The Cleveland Indians won the World Series in the sixth game against the Boston Braves.
Cost of Living
Gallon of milk — 86 cents
Loaf of bread — 14 cents
New car — $1,550
Gallon of gas — 20 cents
New home — $13,500
Average income — $2,854
“Buttons And Bows” — Dinah Shore
“It’s Magic” — Doris Day
“Now Is The Hour” — Bing Crosby
“Twelfth Street Rag” — Pee Wee Hunt
“You Call Everybody Darling” by Al Trace
Best movie — “Hamlet”
Best actor — Laurence Olivier, “Hamlet”
Best actress — Jane Wyman, “Johnny Belinda”