Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More About Grid and the Old "Y"

     Right from Barry's mouth the Korner has additional information on the Grid dances. After all, he was a guy "on site" working at the old "Y" from 1958-62. Barry Wills wrote, "the first Grid was held after every home football game, except Homecoming. Grid was short for gridiron since the dances followed the football games. It was just for Senior High students. The kids wanted more so we started doing it from football time to early Spring while school was in session. Junior High kids wanted Grid too so we started dances for them around 1959. Those dances always were from  7 p.m. to 9 p.m.. Those were fun, trouble-free dances and the kids were great. We did lots of ladies choice dances in the Junior High Grid as the girls seemed to be not as shy. Between the "Y" and the summer recreation playground programs, I was fortunate to know hundreds of neat kids. Sure look forward to the Korner each week."
     The Kornerman says that there were Grid dances before Barry's time because the old Kornerman and others from that period of time, the early 50's, attended them. It would be interesting to know how many real romances, you know, ones that developed into lifetime relationships, were forged at the Grid. I'll bet there were some.
     These remembrances have really got the Kornerman's head in a tizzy. Even moreso than usual. It's not so much the Grid dances which have awakened a passel of memories, it's the old "Y" itself. My heavens, lots of guys in my period of time spent hour after hour at that place. Many of us practically "lived" there, morning till night. We had no cars but lots of pent up energy and it was our "home base," despite it's lack of grandeur.
     There was checkers and chess and ping pong but the gym, that was the main attraction. Dirty and dungy would be an apt description. I recall water constantly dripping down the brick walls and that cement floor guaranteed hands and arms were subject to a layer of grime after each game of basketball.
    Then, of course, there was the pool.......about the size of a large bathtub.
     Who could forget the entrance to the gym? A membership to the "Y" was, of course, required and the entrance door to the stairs leading to the gym was manned by the person at the desk who would push a button to "trigger"  the door for those eligible to enter.
     Let's close with some "name" memories. Who remembers the "Y"directors at that time? How about Al Jaggard and Carl Saubert. We used to call the arena the "Al Jaggard gym." There were some rooms for rent upstairs and the occupants I remember were Leo Hall and Red Ritchie.
     Three quickies.
     Mark Campbell wrote to tell us that a reception honoring Duane "Fred" Friedrich, a former BHS math teacher, is set for Thursday, September 11, at 6 p.m. at the former Tic Toc (now Calmer Company). Former friends, students and teachers are encouraged to attend.
     Larry Kelley wrote, "Teaser time. Coming soon. A November big show date announcement in Iowa and Jamie's (Jamie Kelley's) hometown. Dates will be coming soon and there may be two shows so I'm letting everyone know so they are aware well in advance. Ticket information later as well. The band, the Keith Sisters (backup group), and a few other surprises."
     We had mentioned in an earlier Korner the appearance of former Major League catcher Mickey Owen in Boone when the Kornerman was 12 years old or so. But, I recalled that I had interviewed Owen on one occasion and, in fact, was all dressed up and appeared to be considerably older than 12 when a picture was taken of us.
     Mike Loehrer may have provided the answer to this mystery. He wrote, "Mickey Owen came to Boone around 1955 when I was nine and put on a clinic at the old Armory next to the "Y." It was quite exciting for a little kid to see a former major leaguer. Now that I think about it, the man might have been Mickey Cochrane. This is so frustrating. It's heck getting old. Anyway, either of the two were at the Armory in '55."
     I'm going to assume it was Owen's second trip to Boone and that was when I would have been 20 so I'm proclaiming the mystery is solved.
     As I reread this edition, I'm wondering if I was unduly hard on the old "Y," specificially the old gym. How about it????
     Boone Area Deaths: Dean Ober, 87, Dayton. Worked 50 years at Lehigh Sewer Pipe and Tile. Boone area survivors include daughter Cindy Matthies and brother David Hickle both of Boone..........
Sheila Malone, 65, Boone. Granger High-67. Was a dental hygienist and later worked at Boone stores, Pumpkin Patch, Different Drummer and Memory Lane, before stints as a claims processor, food service worker and Administrative Assistant at a care center. Boone area survivor is daughter Marci Lindahl of Boone.
     Worldwide Korner headquarters are located at 710 Aldrich, Boone, Iowa 50036-4703. Phone number is 515-432-1530. To email your stories/memories/comments..........

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