Zephyrhills Schools – 1926 Plant Open House Alumni


Interview of alumni who visited the 1926 ZHS Plant Open House on December 16, 2006 just prior to the building being demolished

Click here for a larger image of the picture above.

I’m Jerry Pricher and I graduated in 1969. I’m standing in what was my classroom for the last three years. But in 1969, it was Ms. (Katherine) Swing’s classroom and later, an office when I was a student. I have lots of memories as a student and a teacher.
Lenora Pollock Stokes—I graduated in 1964 and my dad graduated from here when there was only one school here. My husband and I both graduated. Our children went to school here. My brother graduated so we’ve got a long history of ZHS. It is hard to see it go (building torn down) but we know things have to happen. We’ll cry a little but we’ll be glad to have a new school too.
Group talk in auditorium of alumni—That (referring to auditorium) was a huge room…what happened to it? They put in a wall or something? They closed the windows in. You had to open them because there was no AC.

Pep Rallies? What about those pep rallies and cheerleading tryouts? What about those pep rallies…go Bulldogs. We knew we were going to loose unless we played Brewster. Poor Brewster.

Did they close it (the auditorium) in? I think the windows are there and they just put a wall in.

We never lost our spirit. Go dogs!

I’m class of 1959-60 I played all sports and we missed winning the championship by one point the last year. Enjoyed everything!
I’m Ronald Penn and I graduated in 1965 and then the year after we graduated, they used to have lockers down both sides of this hallway. And a couple of us came in through a window and stacked the book s all the way down the hallway in a little pyramid and we got away with that and we just loved it…never got caught, and had fun doing it. That is my piece of trivia. Just love the school.
I’m Chuck Bellows and I graduated in 1955. And it is a sad day that the school has to be torn down but I guess that is the way it has to be. We feel real bad about it.
I’m Sharon Geiger Reeves and I graduated in 1980 and I worked in the office for Mrs. (Evelyn) Lail (principal’s secretary) in this building.
Keith Reeves, class of 1976, and I remember coming from Junior high that was next door and I thought it was a lot bigger than it is now.
Elaine Howard Edenfield and I graduated and I graduated in 1964 and we had a great time. Where I am standing was Miss (Katherine) Swing’s English Class. (teary eyed) and this is exactly where I sat, the very last chair.
Clereen Morrill Brunty from the Class of 1973 and this is the spot where my husband now—that we got caught for PDA which is public display of affection because we were kissing and the principal, Mr. (James E.) Davis, put us on detention for that. And I’m married to him now. James graduated from the Class of 1976. Our daughter, Christy Brunty Cabrera, graduated in 1992 and our grandson, Zackary Lloyd, is to graduate in 2012. I attended here from 1st – 12th grade.
Name is George Avadikian and I was an assistant principal here for nine years and I hate to see it torn down.
I’m Dale Palmer and I’m standing in front of what used to be Mr. (Ernest) Kretschmar’s math class. One of my best memories of course, was running to class every day because there was a quiz and if you got there early you got more time and I always needed more time. We were never late and we were always on time, and that is a real nice memory I have.
Yeah. This is Mr. (Bill) Dennis’s class, a lot of good memories, and he was a great teacher and I loved him dearly. We did have a substitute, Mr. Luna…we called him that because he liked to eat tuna. I got in trouble for talking. He asked me my name and I said R.C. and he asked what my initials stood for and I said R.C. Cola and I got in trouble and got detention in the hallway. I have a lot of memories here and I hate to see the school go. I’m Rebecca Smith and I graduated high school in 1992 but I was in this building in 86-87. My son goes here now. Lot of good memories here.
Hi! I’m Greg First and I graduated in the class of 1967 and I started in the second grade. Where I am standing was the principal’s office where I came two times. Back in the good old days when they had the good old corporal punishment and had a paddle about this long. I’m proud to say I got a paddling two times. So there you go
I’m Barbara which now I’m called Babs-Barbara Muse Welsch and I graduated in 1964. I’m standing outside Mr. (John) Geiger’s room and we were all his young geniuses because he taught algebra. So…And next to it, this is Mr. Worthington’s class and he taught Biology and my lab partner was Paul Pattie. And when we had to dissect something we just cut it flat in half. He would take one half and I would take the other half and make the teacher mad. Something that would be interesting …The girls’ bathroom…right next to it was the woman’s bathroom and you could not go in there. It was for teachers. And when the door opened, all this smoke would just pour out at you And then there is the auditorium which has totally shrunk And the office—I was an office assistant there for a couple of years and it has totally shrunk and there is no principal in there so it doesn’t seem possible
I’m Davy Massey and I graduated from Zephyrhills High School in 1972 and I went all my years through high school here, first grade through 12th grade. And right now I’m standing in what was my science class with Miss Vivian John’s classroom. Memories? Starting a fire with my lab group in here and we spilled mercury all over the floor there. And that was the days when they didn’t clean it up. We just played with the bubbles and then cleaned it up. Now I’m a teacher in Pasco County. I work at Moore Mickens….my roots are still here

And here is another memory and that was the back in the day when you really learned how to type. This is the typing room…Miss Alpha Gill’s typing class. Bless her soul. A wonderful woman and a very strict disciplinarian! You sat up straight. You did not wad up papers…if you did, you would stay after school and clean her typewriters. And she was also the dean of girls. She had a desk drawer and that was the length of your skirt or she carried a ruler with her and measured your skirt.

To this day I could never write on my skin. That was not lady like! I witnessed her taking a young woman to the restroom and put some cleanser on it and making her scrub it off. How humiliating was that?

This is where we all learned to type and we still sit up straight.

Yes, I’m Craig Miller and I graduated in 1955. A memory? I got a skunk out from under the building (pointing to the exterior of the brick building front area) …there’s a crawl space there. They have a grid over it. I came to school and it was smelling like a skunk. And Mr. (R.D.) McPherson, the principal, he asked me…he said, Craig, if you can go up underneath there and get that skunk out from under there, I’ll give you two days off from school. And so I went under there and worked it and got the skunk out from under there and got it out from under there. I didn’t get sprayed or anything but it was sure smelling. The skunk ran off and the principal gave me two days from school off.

There is a chimney there coming out of the roof, and when I went to grade school, the rooms all had wood burning stoves and we went out in the morning and there were stacks of wood. We got the wood for the stoves and that is how they kept the rooms warm when I was in grade school.

Hi, I’m Marsha Betterman Bellows and I graduated in 1959. And one memory I had is I had English with Mrs. (Rosemary Wallace) Trottman. She was a great English teacher. And I remember I had trouble making my “R’s,” and I remember she told me if I didn’t make my “R’s” correctly, not rounded, she would fail me. From that time on, I have pretty good handwriting because of that.
I’m Nancy Massey Perkins. I’m the media specialist here at Stewart. I graduated in 1970 and my most memorable moment here is that I got in a fight right here in this hallway. A girl stole my typing work from Mrs. (Alpha) Gill’s room and she was going to give me an F so I was very desperate to get my typing assignment from this girl. So when I came to my locker, she came up and I grabbed my notebook and our fight began.

I ended up in Mr. Lewis Wynne’s office (Assistant Principal) however I didn’t get a paddling.

It definitely used to be larger (looking in the school auditorium) for sure. And everyone in the school from seventh grade through twelve grade fit in that auditorium—seats for everybody. I’m Margaret Seppanen and I started school in fourth grade here in 1947 when we went to school over in the barracks by the airport. That year they built the elementary school. And I graduated in 1956—fifty years ago
An Ode to Zephyrhills School

The time has come to say farewell to this great hall.

Since 1926 this building has been a place for learning, sports and making friends,

It’s hard to see it go.

This wonderful old place that held so many students of all ages and did it with such grace.

From a high school to a grade school to the middle school that it is now,

The school will be remembered as a trusted friend

So join us now for this last look back for the school that for many was just too cool.

And in the hall the cheer heard for many years, was bulldogs rule.

Daryen Ratté—Class of 2011

This sculpture was given to the school by the family of Karl George Wickstrom, Class of 1973. He died in a bicycle accident.

The plate reads, this friendship area is dedicated to the school and the friends that he loved …August 21, 1955 to July 27, 1972. He was class president of 1970-71 and 71-72.

We have placed his life in the Lord’s hands.

They are going to keep the sculpture in the memorial garden.

It represents a seven and a three for Class of ’73. There is a seven going this way and the three going upside down. There is a seven going this way and the three going upside down.

My name is Amber Gilliard and I graduated in 2000. My biggest memory is holding the shot put record of 30 feet, two inches in 1995 for the girls track team and it was just beat this year by in 2006 by 8 inches. That girl kicked my butt.
Carolyn Baker Stoaks, Class of 1976. I remember this spot right here. I was just telling my sister, on this spot I had a long shirt with a peace symbol on it with an American flag and Mr. (James E.) Davis told me that it was inappropriate and I couldn’t wear it. I remember that moment.
I’m Alexis Gilliard and I graduated in 2001 from Zephyrhills High. This used to be my chorus room and I had a very crazy chorus teacher and her name was Mrs. Ellis. Her husband was from Jamaica and he played the steel drums and we had some very interesting, interesting musical experiences in this class.
When Lonnie Hughes and I were here in 1966-67 we used to take the flag down everyday and when it rained, we were allowed to leave class and we were glad. Thank You.
I was in the class of 1954 and I had a lot of good times here until I moved to Tampa.
. Song

We are the girls of old Zephyr High,

To her, we’ll ever be true,

Where the girls are the fairest,

And the boys are the squarest

Of any school we ever knew.

We will be true to old Zephyr High, Down where the old Bulldogs play In all kinds of weather, We’ll all stick together, For Z H S all the way…

I’m Melanie Massey Foltz and here is the spot where we used to do our sparking. After lunch you came out here and hung out with your fellow. Oh this is the lover’s arch says sister, Davy Massey!!!

Class of 1969. We have two other sisters who graduated and our mama (Hazel Boatwright Massey) and uncle graduated here too. My mama was on the basketball team when they had girls sports and then they quite doing that and you had to be a cheerleader or a majorette.

This is the area and I got in trouble here and had to go see Mr. Lewis Wynne (Assistant Principal) for PDA.

I’m Lynn Nichols Timmons and my friends are trying to encourage me to tell a story that happened on the band bus and it was an incident involving Richard Kirk, my boyfriend at the time. It was about my ninth or tenth grade year. My father was a teacher here, Mr. Nichols. The bus driver on the band trip noticed my PDA with Richard and told my father about it (description). My father told me that because of my embarrassing behavior on the band bus, that I would be grounded and the only two places I could go was to school and to church. But I said, “What about band practice? Mr. Clark will kill me if I miss band practice.” My father said I guess you’ll have to work that out yourself. Mr. (John T.V.)Clark let me keep practicing…

This doesn’t leave a very good impression. I was a very good student. I was in the BETA club. (Interjecting, Tom-”She was the tops of her class.”)

Here is another memory. This is at our senior class trip to Washington, D.C. There were a couple of us girls who had an idea and when Ray Foster said, let’s see if we could roll a role of toilet paper out of our window and see if it would stick to the flag poll, we die. And our sponsor Mr. (John) Clements, was very disappointed and called me a rebel-rouser!

Nonetheless we had some great times at ZHS…at the elementary school and some really great times.

I’ll let Clayton tell you about the shaving cream incident. Here is where we had band practice and if someone was caught talking or chewing gum, you had to draw a circle on the wall and stick your nose in it and stand there. I remember it so vividly. You only did that one time. I never had to do that.

You never chewed gum at band either. I remember one time I forgot and when I came into class, I put the gum behind my ear. I had very long hair and it got caught in my hair. I had a big piece of my hair gone from that.

On the senior trip, everybody was asleep so we got shaving cream when everyone was asleep and we put shaving cream everywhere….on the lips, on the hair, just everywhere. And when everyone woke up, shaving cream went everywhere. Needless to say, when Coach (Johnny Clements) found out, it was the end of the story.
Hi, this is Linda Hauff, used to be Linda Wells and I graduated in 1969 and I have a story about Mrs. (Marjorie) Parantha’s class—home economics. And we were in the old home economics house and that is where we learned how to cook and clean and everything. She decided one class we were going to learn how to clean. And my job was to clean the window screens and when we took the screens outside, I had a broom and when I started cleaning, I poked a hole in the screen (they were very old) and she didn’t quite know what to do. She was a Straight-A type of teacher and she didn’t quite know what to do. She was great.
Hi, I’m Jeff Reutimann and I graduated in 1984 and we started here in the fourth grade and went through the eighth grade here…we came from West Elementary. We were doing the 45 days on and 15 off and we had tracks. It was called “45-15.” Some of my best memories were in grades four through eight. Playing sports! Hanging out under the big oak trees and walking down to Neukoms after school and then coming back for our sports events. Those are the best memories I have here.

And I remember they used to have practice for bombs…I don’t know what they called it. I have lots of memories of the drills. Every now and then they’d show us how to get under the desk. Basically I can just see the kids filling up the hallways. I’m really going to miss this place. We all get together, we’ll all stick together

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