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February 5, 2019 By Walt McDaniel

High School Next

I don’t remember why being a freshman entering high school was not exciting and something to look forward to, probably because the ten-mile ride both ways to Windfall High School was not appealing, it was a strange school and I had only a couple of friends from the eighth grade to be with. Bob and my other friends started at Elwood High School, which was only one and a half miles away. I lived just across the county line, which determined why I had to go to Windfall. Schooling until then was only just two rooms, four years in each room, and moving up to the next grade meant moving two rows over to the left.

I soon found out that Windfall had several rooms and each class was in a separate room, with one large study hall for everyone. Probably because of Mr. Scott, the math teacher, I enjoyed algebra. Evidently, I had little interest in the other subjects except one. The industrial arts teacher, John Hinds, taught shop. I had never experienced anything bigger than a hammer and hand saw. My project for the year was to build a magazine rack. All kinds of electric tools were available, which was new to me. I found that cutting out each little board was a labor of love. Each piece had to be inspected by Mr. Hinds before moving on to the next item. Each week, the rack slowly came together with glue. Staining took more weeks, but I got a good grade. Then I proudly gave it to Mom and Dad.

Because of the distance, I was never involved in any after school activities, or basketball games and such. I did think the star basketball players were giants, but never saw them play. I must have learned a few other things that year, but only the magazine rack was important.

I had my weekends with Bob and friends in Elwood, but I was no longer a kid. During the next summer, Dad met with the township trustee, who agreed to fund my transfer to the Elwood High School the next year. It was still a bus ride, but much shorter. My life changed rapidly from that day on, but that is another story.

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