Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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Oconto County, Wisconsin
Mountain Memories
Pages 60 - 61

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Long kept hard feelings still resurface when recalling the day the Union Free High School closed its doors to those in need of a local school of higher learning, but through transportation the children in these northern communities were still uble to go to high school at Suring.
Though the town of Mountain lost its high school, promises were made to upgrade the structure for an elementary school and a gymnasium. At the meeting nan/ felt the decision had been made long before wringing it to the people, a sham and mockery of our democracy, but with tears in their eyes the community smiled in order to give their children the education :hey deserved at a school far distant than the one that stood atop the hill in Mountain.
Recess
Recess is probably the best kept memories of ones 3ays in school. When Rusty wrote about the antics Dn the playground, Rudy Saffran reminded him of a :jaune they played called 'shinny', and so he wrote; Shinny was really a form of hockey, but without the skates. The puck was usally a square block of «x>d, a solid rubber ball, or an empty evaporated nilk can of the smaller size.  I recall when one of :hose items couldn't be found, a small frozen horse dropping sufficed just as well.
The boys searched the woods to find a straight stemmed young tree with a suitably curved extremity ,o serve as the hockey stick, and after having so irmed ourselves, we paired off into teams. The puck 'as then placed at the center of the field and the ace off began! On either side, 20 to 50 boys oucjht to get the puck over the line at either end if the playing field.
It was a rather rough game, with so many swinging lubs arid an oft air-borne puck, that after 4 to 5 ears of this form of mayhem, the school administra-ion forbade the playing of this game.
Encoureiging us to entertain ourselves in a less busive manner, we then pursued the game of ootball with vigor! Here again there were 30 to 40 layers on each side, the object of this endeavor , 3 put it mildly, was to get yourself and the foot-
ball past the opponents and live! Of course we had our own rules and regulations to suit the conditions. The ball was kicked off from one side of the playing field and was advanced by kicking it along the ground.  Our rules were that if the ball became air-borne as a result of a kick, the ball could then be caught and advanced by carrying it, otherwise the ball could only be • advanced by kicking it along the ground.
Once again, ripped trousers, torn shirts, sprained ankles, and bloody noses brought an end to our glorious activities.
In early fall we played ball in the big yard back of the school. We had three baseball diamonds, two for the younger boys and one for the high school. The girls played hopscotch, jacks, and jumped rope. There was no supervision while we were out for recess and very little trouble.
With the first snowfall we created a big circle in the snow and made divisions within its border as if you would slice a pie. We left a hub in the center to be so marked as the 'safe' place and then spent much of our recess time playing Fox and Geese. Other times we played 'Prisoners Goal1 using the south side of the school building as one goal and the fence running parallel to the school as the other. The playing of this game was for a few in the center to catch us as 'prisoners' as we ran from goal to goal. This game can also be compared to football, as it trained many a young boy with the ability to outrun and out dodge the capturer while making the attempt to cross the playing field.
There were no school buses when I went to school and no hot meals were served. Most of the kids walked to school, but some were lucky to catch a ride with their fathers as they brought their milk into the cheese factory, and so rode by way of horse drawn sleighs or waggons. After our schooling was over for the day we all walked home.
We carried our lunch wrapped in paper or carried in a syrup or lard pail. We used to go down to the furnace room and toast our bread over the hot coal fire, and almost everyday there were sure to be a number of sandwiches that fell victim to the fire. Peanut butter, jam and jelly, and an occasional sandwich of sliced.