Memory Lane

Greer - Hope Farm Alumni Association
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That was Then This is Now


Mitzi (Janet Schaefer) Berry

I feel that I have a "special connection" with anyone associated with Greer. There is such a deep bonding that is between us - no matter what age or gender we are. Our memories are universally the same - and individually different. I am sure that I think of different things than you do when I think of Camp - but we both share Camp together. - 3/8/98


Ronald Cooper

I must remember Bruce Barton. He befriended me the second day at Greer and I never forgot. I was just one of the "little kids" but we looked up to so many. Too bad kids today do not have the same caliber of role models to follow. - 4/13/98


Cheryl Montaigne Crawford

I hate to hear Ms. Sutton has passed on, she was truly a caring loving person.
She definitely made a difference in my life. I remember we had a beagle called Boscoe, that I loved and adored. Ms. Sutton had a dog for us and had us plant gardens every spring. I feel very fortunate to have had these people in my life.
- 3/4/98

I remember Harry because he dated a girl named "Penny," I think. Anyway she would always come to Plum Cottage and see Miss Sutton. Harry would come with her and when he did he always played with me. I always thought they were so sweet together. I didn't know if they ever got married. He was a lot older than me. I don't remember his brother - 3/7/98

The picture of Plum didn't look at all like what I remembered. I thought it had a small porch with trees in the front. I remember a Jungle Jim off to the side where there was another porch. -3/20/98

...Ronald Cooper! He is the one I was involved in a bicycle accident with. He and another boy were circling around me on their bikes as I was walking with some kids to go swimming. He hit me with his bike (accident) and he flew up in the air and came down. We were both knocked out and lost front teeth as a result of this accident. We both turned out ok and I know have all of my teeth. - 4/15/98

...Larry von Radics! As a little kid I remember I had a crush on him. - 5/10/98

I guess I have never been able to sit very still. I used to get in trouble when I was little for waking everyone up. At camp they made me go to the director's house and sit on the porch until it was time to get up. Who was the director at camp?
- 5/13/98

I have such fond memories of Penny (Scoggins nee Harned). She was a definite plus in my life. She used to help Miss Sutton with the kids at Plum Cottage and I was one of them. - 5/17/98

You are right about the hill country, it does remind me of Greer in some ways. I live on two acres with tons of trees. When the wind whistles through the trees, it always reminds me of Greer. The wind used to really blow through the cemetery and did the day I visited in January. The smells of wet leaves, lilacs, fresh cut grass all remind me Greer. How wonderful. -5/20/98

Nancy Pitcher Crawford

I have a memory of going to the movies (in the auditorium??) and getting ice cream in a cup. There were pictures of "Movie Stars" inside the lid of the ice cream cups. I remember that it seemed to be a big thing to save the lids. - 7/27/98


Beatrice "Chip" Fowler

Found this schedule, typical of a week in the life....1955.

Click here to see it. - 7/29/98


George "Gabby" Hays wonders who remembers:

1. How many of us made the trip around to every building in search of the Flagpole Key on our first day at Greer? Everyone was in on the joke except me.

2. Tapping the maple trees behind Marcy and making enough maple syrup to last the school all year.

3. The clearing up the mountain behind Marcy that we called "Suicide Hill". The fastest I have ever gone on a sled. Only one bad accident (boy named Rogers). Mr. Mac loaded him in the back of the station wagon for a trip to the Hospital. He was soon back for more.

4. Good things to eat. Fresh baked bread, whole milk "from the cow to thou", taking some salt to put on freshly steamed veggies when working at the Cannery and the rash on your tongue from too many tomatoes. Back to the kitchen at Marcy for Mom Morton's onion sandwiches.

5. The hike and camping out at Dover Furnace (the ravine). Tying your sleeping bag to a tree so you wouldn't roll into the water at night.

6. The path through the woods to the clearing at the Camp Barbey pool to check out girls skinnydipping. Couldn't get too close, so a lot was left to the imagination. Don't remember who put the snake in the pool while the girls were at dinner, but it sure did cause a ruckus when they got in the water. Mrs. Mac's daughter almost caught us.

7. Getting the greased watermelon out of the pool behind Rapallo and catching bats in the Ice House.

8. Finally, the Hay Wagon that caught fire in the pasture behind Daisy. We salvaged the wheels and chassis and made a Stage Coach. One Saturday afternoon, we took it all the way to Verbank, made a pit stop at the little general store and came back to Greer. Pushed it uphill and rode it down all the way. Got within 100 yards of the main gate and was met by Miss Thomas. Don't remember how many Friday movies we missed for that trick.

9. Wonder where they are now? Louis Paul, Bob & Bill Constantine, Gary Reid, Kenneth Albrecht, Richard Hawkes and "Stinkweed" (never did know his real name). - 5/19/00

Ed. note: Louis Paul, Bob Constantine and Richard Hawkes are all with us on the Greer Links page. - 11/06/00

Roland "Ron" Herwig

Some time around 1960 some of the older boys formed (or re-started) an Explorer Post (Boy Scouts of America). I can remember how proud we were of the uniform shirts and caps with the then very futuristic looking Exploring logo. Don't know who the Post advisor was; probably Jim Morton. We were given a tool and storage shed in the east part of campus, on the way to Ledge(?), as our base. There we did some of the hardest work in our young lives trying to clean up and renovate the place -- luckily that was during cold weather months. - 7/31/98

(Ed. note: The Post Advisor was Mr. Tom Percy and the building was the old cannery which was being used to house the Forestry Crew's equipment. The group in late 1959 or 1960 was the first of its kind at Greer.) - 7/31/98

Click here to see a photo of the founders including Ron.

Autumn is indeed a good time to think about Greer...
...Didn't play but remember the basketball games, away and home, rooting for the team. Also playing bicycle ice hockey with brooms on the frozen pond, when it got a little colder. Sitting in Gate House watching the Winter Olympics with Jean Claude Killy as the name to remember. President Kennedy's inauguration on a cold East Coast day, with Robert Frost braving the weather to read his poetry. Gotta go, I think I hear the food truck coming. - 12/1/98


Jim Morton

Then there was the eighth grade boy who wrote a poem called "LOOK"

Look yonder at the wonderous sight,
Look yonder into the darkening night.
Look at the star of royal beauty bright.
Look at the Christmas star with all of it's shining light.
Look far off into the fading light......

I sure do wonder who it was.... - 9/5/98


Diana Munzer

I remember it all as if it were yesterday. Ice skating at Rapallo pool. Having to wear ski pants until someone found the first violet. Mrs. Larsen reading a chapter a night at Greer Cottage. Mr. and Mrs. Wood and their tropical fish and their dog, Blumpie.

I remember Jackie Rolston and Teddy Trommsdorff going walking on Sunday with Shirley Elliott and Mary Lou Hoystradt. Joe Lopez running with the football two days after he had his appendix out. Eddie Baker, wonder sports child, who could play any sport, any position. Winning every football game except for the last one against Millbrook during my last year at Greer. Nora Lea and David Abel riding their horses to the football games. The smell in the air during football season.

I remember Mr. Berry and his kindness to all. Mr. Zabo and his suits that were a bit too small. Mrs. Freitag's LIFE magazines. Who was that principal who had his vest or jacket taken, and everyone stamped their feet as he walked down the middle aisle of the auditorium. The gym teacher marrying the shop teacher, and the music teacher marrying the math teacher. The fourth grade teacher marrying a student. Who remembers that?

Friday night movies. Do you remember boys on the left, girls on the right until the lights went out. I remember once when a movie was stopped right in the middle because of a kiss up on the screen?

I remember walking down to camp after a Friday night movie and the stars were unbelieveable, like I could touch them. And skinny dipping, with Mrs. Mac up on her porch.

My first job paid ten cents an hour.

I remember playing hide and go seek in the summer evenings, and we never could find Georgia King. Does any one remember Shirley Faulkner? Her mother worked at a junior college near by. And Gwen Jones and her much loved dog.

Going down to New York City on the bus. Visiting Day. The food truck, Saturday morning cleaning to "Your Hit Parade". The farm, the ravine.

I do go on. I did love it there. I am so glad you are all back in my life.

Jackie Rolston - what's up with you? - 12/28/98


Charmi Neely

I was there the day they tore Daisy down and remember how painful it was, and how every time the huge hook swung and missed its hold, I yelled and cheered for it to hang on, to not let them tear it down, and it just stood there, silent, majestic, and old, like an old blind dog ready to be put down, but with all the memories and voices of children and cries from the football field still singing in its bones, giving it and me strength, until finally the hook caught, high on the left wall, and with a groan, the first stone gave and I left, no longer able to watch. - 6/22/98

Jim Richey

The information on Mrs. Fink was sent to me and I wrote her to let her know how Mr. Fink shaped my life's work. It was in his drafting and shop class that I found my future. After Greer, I apprenticed to a fine cabinet making company during the war and after college I followed a career in woodworking and eventually founded a furniture manufacturing company here in KY. I'm retired now and still do cabinetry and historic woodwork restoration. I still sharpen my chisels the way Mr. Fink taught me. I try to use CAD for my drawings but invariably go back to pencil and paper and do it like I learned in drafting class.

One thing that I learned at Greer that I never hope to do again is work in a canning factory, stuffing tomatoes in a can. Also I have never eaten another rutabaga. How many of the alums can remember those days? - 4/12/98


Penny Harned Scoggins

When I see movies about the 50's, it is really nostalgic to remember the high white socks, navy skirts and white blouses we wore to school at Greer. Also the dances and movies and walks down the paths to the cottages. - 1/16/98


Peggy Mathewson Sparks

I often think of the big rock that sat at the entrance to Ledge, many of us would climb on the boulder & sit & talk or just day dream of what our lives would become.

I remember the ice storms that blinded us when we were off to work or school.

I remember the central kitchen delivering our food in the large metal pots, still hot from the kitchen.

I remember Thanksgiving, Christmas in the Chapel of the Child & the sharing tree, with all the cottages getting up & singing their song.

I remember Camp Barbey & the icy pool, sleeping under the stars & waking up with the dampness of the evening all over us, Mom Mac yelling "Alright Chewinks, keep it down"!

I remember the secret metal spiral staircase at the Main House that lead to the basement.

I remember the Cannery where we helped to can the food & cutting the tip of my finger off & Peter Munzer telling me to put it back on & it would grow there. (It did)

Yes, the memories are there, they are the fibers that made my life, they belong to me & I enjoy sharing them with those who know what it was like going to Greer.
- 6/1/98

(Ed. - Tell me more about that secret staircase! - 6/1/98)

There was a staircase in the kitchen at the Main House dining room, not many people knew about it. It was a very eerie place to be & usually we would not go down alone. If we were in a hurry to get the food from the main kitchen we would go down there, it was spooky. - 6/1/98


Robert F. "Bob" Tate

Greer was a wonderful opportunity to get away from a dysfunctional home life and into an enviroment with structure. The confidence some staff had in me was unique and stayed with me the rest of my life. Mr. Wesdorp always assigned me the least desirable jobs (dishwasher, steward) at Rap because he figured I'd get them done. Mrs. Robertson and Mr. Olsen both made me feel I could achieve, and things they taught me helped me succeed in life after Greer. If it weren't for those four years, I would have had no direction and certainly not the clear understanding of right and wrong so important to fitting into society. - 5/22/00


Tony Vaz

Working on the web page and communicating with so many wonderful people over the last year has brought back so many memories that I don't even know where to begin. I really don't want to put them all here because there won't be room for anybody else's. Just a few, maybe.

I remember the meals we used to get from the main kitchen. Liver every Thursday and seems like chipped beef on toast every other day (we had a different name for it in the Navy). I remember rhubarb pie every once in a while. I haven't seen or heard of rhubarb anything in 38 years. I also remember swordfish occasionally on Fridays. Where did they get swordfish?

I remember sneaking smokes whenever we could. Boy, I wish I could turn the clock back on that one! It took 27 years or so to kick that nasty habit.

I remember the bus rides home at Christmas and Easter breaks. Some of the naughtier kids would work on slingshots for weeks ahead of time. Nah, not me!!!

That's enough for now - 7/26/98


Jack Wesdorp

The stannous chloride manufacturer

I was Ruth Freitag�s lab assistant (I got to sweep up and play with all the neat chemlab stuff). So the high school lab was sorta mine; sorta, because I wasn�t a senior. I spent those afternoons y�all were down on the rec field polishing acid bottles and learning what carbon disulfide smells like. One morning there, up on the holy teacher�s demonstration bench, sat a wondrous Rube Goldberg Mad Scientist contraption; must�ve used all the pregnant retorts and Liebig condensers and vacuum flasks and curly tubing and all that Frankenstein stuff in the place. I knew about that; I'd been doing that for years; I loved it on sight. Turned out Buxe and the Moose got creative in a, well, juvenile sort of way and built this glorious piece of glass plumbing art; they�d had it all hooked up to the rest of the universe, all ready to go: fire, water, air and earth, all were there, worked in our best intuitive �prentice-mage fashion. It was a revelation to me that seniors, too, were real. Tommy later quietly grinned at me and passed this bit off, so ingenuous, so hippie-priesthood-solid, I quote: "It�s a stannous chloride manufacturer," and (wink) "don�t let on we�s been playing with the props, huh?"

Buxe, sir, wherever you are, I�m grateful for that moment; you too, Ruthie, for letting us... - 4/3/00

Back then I haunted the backstage area of the auditorium, sat up in the balcony during Hopalong Cassidy movies (inevitably wound up in the projection booth), and did general grunt work for the annual Gilbert and Sullivan razz. Back there, extreme stage left (spov), was a staging/storage room with the stage dimmers mounted in a wooden closet (horrible paranoid frankenstein rheostat sort of things with glass-eye fuses), surely army surplus even then, fraying creosote-cotton insulation leading out under the stage and all--and, well, one day I wrote a note on the door of that dimmer closet, "Touch the fuse...", to which some wit added, "...and get a charge." Which I always thought was wonderful; some one had noticed, added a tanka, made a closure...and I've often wondered:

Who are you? - 6/5/00

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