Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mr. Long, the President's Physical Fitness Award, Gym, Square Dancing

Indian Village Elementary School
3835 Wenonah Lane
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46809

School Gymnasium
May 23, 2008

Photo by KFH

When I went home in May, I was lucky enough to be treated to a tour of my grade school, Indian Village Elementary.

I don't care what anyone says. Every place has a certain smell and my elementary school is no exception. The moment, I stepped inside those doors, I was immediately flooded with memories.

Yep - one whiff - and there I was.

While I was receiving my tour, the 5th grade was "graduating" in the school's gymnasium which is why you will see the remenants of celebratory items in some of my pictures.

Take for example - this thing.

This is a thing of torture - brought to you by our famous gym teacher, Mr. Long. It was always - and I mean always - the thing we could never avoid - especially if we wanted that President's Physical Fitness Award.

Side note: I really wish I had a picture of Mr. Long. I'm not going to do justice in describing him.

He had jet black hair...whistle, always around his neck. He wore blue-ish polyester-ish pants that always came up pretty high on his waist. He wore a polo-like shirt and white gym shoes. I'm not sure where he is today - retired I hope!

Oh and by the way - every year, I was one of those kids who received a President's Physical Fitness Award. Every kid who scored enough points received a certificate and official recognition in the auditorium (aka the gymnasium, aka the cafeteria).

Girls, you remember those light blue striped jumpers that we had to wear? Gosh - wish I had a picture of that...

And then - I swear - these are the exact, same, floor mats that were used when I went to this school. They smell the same. And for the record, I did not purposely sniff the mats - they just emitted a scent of sweat - 30 + years of sweat.

These look like the mats that Mr. Long would put under the balance beam or the horse. sigh I feel old thinkin' about gym at Indian Village Elementary.

I learned how to play kick ball here, tumble down a row of mats, balance on the "beam", jump over the horse, scooter my way down to one end to pick up the bean bag squares (and back), how to play basketball, what relay races were, and best of all - I learned how to square dance here.

That's right - square dancing.

You all remember? It was one of the first times that we were paired up with someone of the opposite sex. And better yet - we had to hold hands with them! My typical partners were (because I was so tall) - Errol Stech, Rodney Ryder, and also Barry Bender (he was a grade ahead of me).


Beth said...

Why do you insist upon opening these old wounds, Kristina? Just kidding. Seriously, every post of yours is like getting a peep back in time. Ooh, the President's Physical Fitness award. The chin up bars. But worst of all, for me, was rope climbing. No upper arm strength. And, the square dancing? Those square dancing songs are burned into my memory. Did you dance to "Hinky Dinky Parlez-vous?" That's the one that I remember those most.

Important things to know. I've not climbed any ropes or square danced since.

ida said...

i was a failure of pe back in the day. i loved square dancing though. oh well i'd rather run 5 miles then climb a rope. though now a days its more like walk 5 miles.

Bobby G. said...

OMG...YOU guys did Square Dancing?

Back in Philadelphia (in the late 50s and early 60s, WE did Square dancing as well.

And the boys thought it was "yucky" to partner up with a GIRL...!
Even worse to "hold her hand"...(ewwww)...LOL!

"Allemande Left", anyone?
Bow to your partner...
Bow to your corner.

NOW...I miss those days..weird, huh?



Sheila said...

I remember Mr. Long well, for some reason I don't recall Presidents day. But I do remember the mats and the smell... Wonder how the principal likes it seeing his office was right across from the gym.

Dan said...

Ugh...Square dancing..... We had that at Sunnymede, too. If that wasn't bad enough, my Mom made me wear her old western outfit. Thank Gawd it wasn't pink. Unfortunately, there are photos of that diabolical act.

Kristina said...

The rope climbing - ahhhh...I have really vague memories of that one. I don't remember hinky-dinky - what a KINKY name!!!

Kristina said...

Ida - PE was a necessary evil for all of us :).

Kristina said...

BG - c'mon - you liked the King of the Road video I included - admit it?!!!

Kristina said...

Hey Sheila!

Well good - someone else remembers Mr. Long.

The principal is now a SHE instead of a HE.

Kristina said...

Dan, I look forward to seeing your western outfit.

Carl H. said...

I remember all of this too! What a trip it is down memory lane reading your posts. Do you have a diary or an iron clad memory? This might be mean, but I don't ittned it this way, at random times reading your posts, I think of Uncle Rico from Napolean Dynomite and his desire to return to 1985!!!
I look very fondly to my past too, but most of the things I remember was me being mean to kids and chasing girls to kiss them. Funny thing about this and square dancing, kissing them was fun, but holding their hand and dancing - I wanted to die!!
After I returned home from the Army, I got a job that had me going back to Indian Village to do some work. I talked with Mr. Gillian and actually sat in Dr. Schroeders office and talked and LAUGHED with him without fear of the 'paddle'!!
In 4th grade myself and 3 other boys made a dare to see who could who could get the most swats that year. I didn't win, only 104, Jon Labert won with 120 or something like that.
That was a really stupid dare. Not beacuse of the swatting, but if you didn't time the teachers patience right, you ended up missing recess!!
Ahhh, the memories.