TSGS Cruiser Blog

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Perry Heights


The History of Perry Heights Middle School
Evansville, Indiana

Don Counts attended fourth through eighth grade, graduating in 1956!
Perry Heights Middle School was founded in 1939 as the first public school in the area for grades one through eight. The school replaced three rural schools: Wolf, Schmadel and Bokelman. The school was operated by Perry Township trustees. Ivo Samples was the first principal of Perry Heights in 1939. He remained at the school as principal and teacher until 1946. Perry Heights was first constructed as a four-classroom school. It had a gymnasium- auditorium combination, girls' and boys' dressing rooms, a kitchen, and a dining room. Later the students underwent a great change from one-room to a school with indoor bathroom and a drinking fountain. Classes at Perry Heights were relatively small, about 16 students in a class. Classes had one teacher and contained two grades. Unlike today, the students were not allowed to take their books home at night. Therefore, they had no homework!! The students were taught five subjects: English, reading, spelling, arithmetic, and geography. The lower grades were taught handwriting, as well. Perry Heights had one sport, boys' basketball. It was the only school with a gym, so all schools in the league had practices at Perry Heights. All of these schools were part of the Perry Township School District. This was before the city and county schools consolidated into the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation. Perry Heights did not have a mascot, but they did have cheerleaders. The building had a major change in 1954. The original building stretched from the side of the present building that faces Hogue Road to the first entrance from the present day parking lot. The addition stretched down to the present office. The old cafeteria was split into two classrooms. In the fall of 1961, the school opened to Kindergarten. The years of 1969-1984 were times of great change at Perry Heights. One of the first major additions took place in 1969, when Perry Heights expanded and built the T-hall and the basement. The new gym also came along until 1969. In 1971, Perry Heights became a K-8 school. In October of 1978, Perry Heights' sixth grade class completed its first successful weekend at Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky. This became an annual adventure weekend for 6th graders. In 1984, Perry Heights became a middle school. One of the most well-liked changes was the addition of extra-curricular activities such as the many basketball and track teams, to speech teams and the drama program which became known community-wide. One of the biggest changes that occurred during this time period was in 1976 when the school acquired a new gym. The old gym then became a 350 seat auditorium and the school mascot became the "Panther". Since 1989, Perry Heights has not changed much. One improvement that students seem to take pride in is the cafeteria, renamed the "Paw's Diner". Thanks to Principal, Mr. Charles Goodman and his artistic abilities. Since 1994, every morning during homeroom, a broadcast has been made to inform students and teachers of events going on at school. The "PHMS NewsCenter" was born! During the spring and summer of 1996, air conditioning was added for the first time at Perry Heights Middle School. Perry Heights continues to excel in many areas and many of its graduates have excelled in their lives. There are many reasons to be proud of the Perry Heights heritage. We have come a long way and surely we have new heights to achieve.
-Submitted by Donald R. Counts

Friday, April 23, 2010

"What Do You Mean By That?"


Do you remember the song,

"What's it All About, Alfie?" It was the theme song of the 1966 movie "Alfie."

As I took my wife, Becky, to work this morning a song on the radio reminded me of this tune, what's it all about? The song on the radio prompted me to ask, when they say "funky music" in the song does it mean "cool, neat, hip or bad music?" or does it mean "bad music!" Becky said it meant "groovy music!" I retorted, "what do you mean by that?" Of course she meant it was really "hot" music for the time. Ok, hopefully, you get the idea - that many words have different meanings at different times and when used to express certain concepts. In our modern times, we abuse the meaning of words with what many might call "slang." Today we often will say something is bad meaning it is really good!

It is easy to mis-understand these terms or the actual meaning that is being implied. When we do our genealogy, misunderstanding the meaning of terms or phrases can mis-lead us in our research. My first encounter with such terms was the word "relict" on a tombstone. "Mary, relict of William Smith." Was Mary an "old, worn-out" mistress of William's? What did it mean? It meant that she was his widow! And it means that William died before she did!!!

Cyndi's List has many great dictionaries, glossaries, etc. to help you define the meaning of something you find during your research... here is the link to that part: http://www.cyndislist.com/diction.htm

- Written by JGWest

Thursday, April 22, 2010



Nominating Committee Report...

Karin Kirsch has stepped up to be the nominee for Recording Secretary! Karin has served several offices for TSGS including President. I first met her many years ago as a 4-H parent with children in the 4-H Family Tree Project that I served as Vanderburgh County Project Superintendent (TSGS member Carol Lantaff was my Assistant Project Superintendent). She became a member because of TSGS sponsorship of awards for the county project as did several other parents over the years. The committee reports that we are still looking for a Program Chair.

Les Lantaff is recovering from heart surgery...

I mentioned Carol Lantaff above - she has been active in the society longer than I have. Her mother Edna Goebel was a friend of mine and very active in TSGS, as well. Carol's husband just had bypass & heart valve replacement surgeries and is recovering quite well.

John G. West, TSGS President