From Marilee Gardner,
jacket clubs. We DEBS had 18 members; our
best friends were THE MATADORS. We all
got together on Sundays and played ping
pong at someone's house, or in the summer
we played softball or football. Then our
cheerful happy principal Mr. Myers
forbade us to wear our jackets to school.
We had dances after every
football game at The Rose Ballroom. None
of us ever had rides so we walked from
the stadium downtown, then back home
again after the dance.
There were soda
fountains at all the drug stores.
If we had some extra
change, we might go to Kline's at noon
for a hot dog or stop at Tribe-O-Rea
after school for a cherry coke.
Mary K. Smith, MHS '55, from her 45-Year Reunion
dressed up to go to school and girls wore
skirts -- not jeans.
You knew what high school a girl
attended by the way she wore her bobby
sox. (We wore ours rolled like tubes and
stuffed with old nylons.)
We wore hose and flats
to school and panty hose did not exist.
Every guy had a pair of
gray flannels and a pink shirt.
We took typing, not
Dave Geyer, MHS '56:
Mistletoe Ball, often at the Indiana Club
or Erskine Country Club, with all the
girls in their gowns and corsages.
Pizza on Saturday night at the
Tower Hill after the
The Lariat Drive-In on
Summer FOP baseball
leagues at all the Mishawaka Parks.
Summer dances at the
Playland Park ballroom.
The 4-H Fair.
The Blue Sox women's
Lifke, MHS '56:
Spot Drive-In located "out in the
country" at the corner of Highway 20
and Liberty Drive. Had the best pork
tenderloin sandwich around.
The miniature golf course across
George's Chili Parlor
on Main St. in front of Bock's Roller
Rink. The best grease chili and hot dogs
Marlene DiFiori, MHS '64:
Ballroom upstairs (located not too far
from to the Tivoli Theatre but before the
Ball Band Plant) after ball games where
so many dances were held on Friday
nights. Very crowded dances. Free, if I
Weesner, MHS '65:
entered Mishawaka High School in 1961,
the largest incoming freshman class in
the history of the school -- Baby Boomers
filled the building to overflowing! The
first-floor main hall was packed wall to
wall with teenagers trying to get
somewhere other than where they were.
Sometimes it was faster to run up a
flight (or two) of stairs, cross the hall
and run down a flight of stairs (or, as
some of the boys did, slide down the
banister) in order not to be tardy.
My senior class home room was
the auditorium. There was a huge old
dictionary in the back that I used one
time to look up diarrhea for the
excuse I was writing after skipping the
prior day. I thought my goose was cooked
when Miss Martin walked right behind me
as I bent over to add the troublesome
word to the note I was about to hand her!
The closest thing we
had to a co-ed gym class was when the
boys ran around the track at the top of
the gym as the girls exercised on the gym
floor far below. We girls hated the
shorts we had to wear; they were so baggy
and ugly. And we had to sew our
names on the shirt pocket and the shorts'
hem. No permanent marker - hand
Mr. Chelminiak writing
sentences with fill-in-the-blanks on the
blackboards all around the biology
classroom; trying to identify different
trees, and dissecting a poor dead frog.
Miss Emmy directing the
junior and senior class plays. What a
Lunches at Kline's
drugstore. The place was packed wall to
the walls. Every day I had a hot dog and
green river phosphate or a flavored Coke
(cherry, vanilla, etc.).
Ratting my hair.
Spraying it stiff. Crying before every
dance or school picture because it
wouldn't do anything I wanted!
From Jerry DeDapper, MHS '65:
from St. Monica and had a smaller circle
of friends than most. I had general
courses, and the teachers I knew and
respected most were Mr. Wood, Mr. Armel,
Mr. Mamolenti, and Mr. Portolese. I
remember Mr. Blue, Mr. Arndt, and even
Ms. Cable in study hall in the
auditorium. Roger Favorite was my
counselor, and I held him in great
lunch at a small mom-and-pop grocery that
was two blocks west of the north side of
campus. I remember the drugstore mostly
because they sold cigarettes one at a
I have memories of the
greenhouse on the roof and the "new
wing." I even got into the clock
Kevin Tansey, MHS '66:
Drug Store at Mishawaka Ave. and Main
where I could get 6 boxes of Good &
Plenty's for 25 cents to study with every
Flame Tavern across from Kraft's where
they left the side door open at night so
you could see the country bands with
their white shirts under blue lights.
Battell Park tennis
courts when they were clay.
Mark Stephens, MHS '67:
Fair, where I got my first catcher's
Drug Store on Milburn and Ironwood.
The old museum next to
the YMCA, called the Children's Museum.
School City of Mishawaka used the museum
basement as a storeroom for school
supplies. I remember seeing the
brown grade books the teachers used, and
stacks and stacks of the terrifying
Merrifield Park -- ice
skating on the flooded tennis court and
sitting around the bonfire afterwards in
the winter; fishing under the bridge.
The rink. I had a
memorable experience on the rink/tennis
court one winter day when I was in the
8th or 9th grade. I could skate fast; I
just didn't stop too well. The common
practice was to slide up to the fence
near the entrance and grab hold of the
fence to stop. I was coming in for a
"landing' one day, and as I reached
out to the fence, a beautiful girl from
the MHS Class of '66 stepped directly in
front me. I didn't grab the fence; I
grabbed both her breasts instead. Honest
to God, I didn't mean to do it. I was so
embarrassed that I couldn't talk; I just
left the rink.
Merrifield Park tennis
court. Friday nights dancing to Sam
the Sham and the Pharaohs (c. 1964).
St. Joe River at the
Merrifield Bridge. Remember the rope tied
to a tree limb on the west side of the
bank? It was great for swinging out over
the water. That rope was there for years.
Daniel" -- the largest hill in the
Mishawaka Hills, near Ewing and Ironwood.
I used to ski down it with a couple of
The White Spot
Restaurant on McKinley.
Returning from Marine
Corp boot camp in 1967 and spending the
night at the old Mishawaka Hotel just
because I wanted to.
Alice Beard, MHS '68:
cup cakes from Kuss' Bakery.
The colored lights on the snow
at the stones, steps, & waterfalls at
Battell Park, leading down to the river.
Mark Greenwood, MHS '70:
called Bob's Hobby Shop (located at Main
museum next to the YMCA that we were
expected to go to on occasion.
Groth, MHS '70:
root beer stand next to the high
school. That had to be the best
root beer on the planet.
The corner grocery stores. On
the east end, there were Maurie's (at LWE
and Home St) and several others, and of
course Sara's Market across from
Slow dancing at the Y
I spent a lot of my
younger years in Little League at a field
just east of the Lincoln Highway Inn,
built mainly by Mr. DeCloedt with some
help from Mr. Creevy and Tom Baiz and
Lora Nicolini, MHS '70:
Bakery. I will never forget the glazed
donuts that melted in your mouth.
Sadie's hamburger joint on Main
The beautiful old
library across from Main Jr. High.
Those of us in
orchestra will never forget our beloved
Madelin Hackett and her polka dot
Robin Lee Hacker, MHS '74:
at McLellan's and Gerard's.
The downtown stores staying open
later during Christmas season.
Princess Bakery made
the best everything! Especially their
gingerbread men at Christmas -- chocolate
chip buttons and eyes instead of yucky
The smell of Kuss
The circus was always
held at Dodge's parking lot.
Sandy's or Kline's drug
store for lunch.
downtown and bats circling the belfry at
First Methodist Church
Pier 1 opening at The
100 center. Wow was that exotic!
Indian guides at the
Bonnie Hacker, MHS '76:
sledding, and the fountain in Central
Park. (We used to swim in the fountain.)
Merrifield Park and outdoor
The first pay toilets
at Greyhound Bus Station. (My grandma
made me crawl under; she wasn't paying.)
Miss Nettle's store.
(She used a razor to cut bonus points
from canned goods before you left with
them.) A sack of candy for a quarter!
Walking past Ballband
to Main Jr. High everyday, saving bus
money to stop at Kuss Bakery after
The Tivoli Theater.
St. Joseph Hospital and
Open lunches at MHS
(how cool was that?) and the ala carte
Lora DeFauw, MHS '77:
dances for the three junior highs on
Friday nights. Everyone walked en masse
to Bonnie Doon's on 4th Street for cones
afterward. If you liked someone, this was
your chance to hold hands.
folks from Mishawaka, now gone:
De Bruycker was
a Belgium lady on the south side of
Mishawaka. She had a little store where
children would visit to buy candy and to
learn about planets and stars.
Csapo ran a dry
cleaning store on Lincoln Way East, west
of the high school. Some from MHS would
spend their lunch hours visiting with
Olga, and avoiding the school cafeteria.
Felton was a
kind man who for many years was the one
who kept North Side Elementary operating.
He kept the boiler working to keep us
warm; he kept the plumbing working; he
kept the building spotless, and he was
able to fix everything that we broke or