The other day somebody mentioned the elementary schools in Logansport when we were growing up. At the time I just let it pass but like a burr under the saddle it continued to "bug me" that they had placed the wrong school in the wrong part of town.
If I remember correctly (and I am SURE my sisters will correct me if I am wrong) there were seven public elementary schools in Logansport during my kidhood. I don't think they have that many now. I attended Longfellow (on High Street) of course, since it was only a block from home. The other six were Fairview (co-located with Fairview Junior High) next to Fairview Park off South Cicott Street on the southwest side, McKinley (on the north side of the Wabash River on the west side of Cicott Street), Franklin on the northwest side (I have no idea what street but I could drive to it), Columbia (co-located with Columbia Junior High) on North Third Street, Tipton on Smead Street I think near 15th or 16th, and Daniel Webster at 24th and Market. The third and final Junior High was Lincoln which was co-located with the High School for many years and moved to the new building south of the High School's Football Stadium (the Berry Patch of course) when I was in about 4th or 5th grade. I think that Lorraine went to Lincoln and then moved to Columbia when the new Lincoln opened.
I don't remember that I was ever in Tipton Elementary (maybe for a Science Fair one year) but I played basketball at Daniel Webster, Fairview, McKinley, Columbia and Franklin. Or should I say the team played at all of those locations. As well as at our "home" gym at Longfellow. I was either the 11th or 12th player on a 12 player team. To this day I vividly recall guarding a guy who drove to his left from the top of the key when we played at McKinley. I had NO idea that there was a guy setting a pick at the end of the free throw line. In what may be my only career entry in the scorebook I got my money's worth on that foul as I completely ran over the kid setting the pick. I don't recall that I ever scored a single point. The very epitome of the "practice player", guy kept around so that you could practice five on five.
But what might be even stranger is the "end" of my basketball playing days. At the end of the season when I was in 7th grade I was 5' 2". At the beginning of the season in my 8th grade year I was 5'10". I am surprised I could still walk. I made it until the final cut (one of the last 2 or 3 told that there wasn't a spot for me on the team). At the time I had no idea what he was talking about (and I was so ticked that I have completely blocked his name from my memory - other than behind his back we called him Jungle Bob - short, pudgy - fun build for a basketball coach). He pulled me aside, in the little hall next to the gym that ran from stage right of the stage out to the main hall across from the locker room at Columbia Jr. High. And, proceeded to tell me that I 'needed more experience'. Looking back SEVERAL years later I realize that he meant that I should play more playground ball, work on my "game" and maybe play in some Y or AAU leagues and try out again in 9th grade. But as I walked away all that I could think was that cutting me from the team was a strange way for me to get more experience.
Of course, I didn't do any of those things that he had implied and with the influx of the kids from the Catholic schools (who had played on their 8th grade team) I was out of the running for the ninth grade team and I knew it. So in just a couple of sentences at the end of practice before the season even began....I was done.
6 days ago