The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

History

January 31, 2014

High school correspondence: '68 and '88

Not even a towering inferno which destroyed their high school could deplete the resiliency of the CHS students of 1968.

This is the story of the sophomore English class of Mrs. Jaeger on May 29, 1968. They had just endured living through a horrible experience of devastation and going to classes from 7 a.m. until noon each day at Washington Junior High School. On a spring day, their thoughts were starting to drift to summer vacation, their first jobs, driver’s licenses and carnivals.

Eighteen sophomore English class students were asked to write a letter to a CHS student 20 years later. They were to describe their lives. Most of them wrote about how it was for all teenagers then, while a few focused on their individual life. For one thing, they didn’t dwell upon the past and the fire.

Edna Dohse was a high school bookkeeper, and in 1988, she found a big envelope in an old safe in Franklin Elementary School. In the envelope, Edna found 18 letters of students from 1968; 65 cents for postage; 20 envelopes with 6 cent stamps on them; and various small items. She gave them to sophomore English teacher Joyce King.

King assigned her students to respond, but for many reasons, they were never delivered.

One student recognized that it would be hard connecting with past students, because they moved. This article may facilitate the transmission after all these years. One thing is for certain, the students from both groups were serious about their efforts. They wrote very neat letters and their grammar, spelling and construction were very good. The letters weren’t very deep as they fantasized about their lives and the future, but nonetheless, it was a good exercise, jammed with implications about the years that have passed.

The students are now 41 and 61 years old and King is about 80. Jaeger was young then, but she may be approaching 90 or is gone.

Text Only
History
  • Longman.jpg Stars and stripes to fly at half-staff

    Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all flags in Iowa to be flown at half-staff from 5 p.m. today until 8 a.m. Monday in honor of a World War II airman, whose remains were recovered more than 70 years after being killed in action.
    Lt. Louis L. Longman, a 26-year old at the time he was last seen April 16, 1944, was a Clinton native. He served with the U.S. Army Air Corps Air Force and when he was last seen, his unit was returning from a B-25 bomber escort mission over Hollandia, New Guinea.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • DeBey building Program highlights newspaper's impact FULTON, Ill. -- A presentation Sunday will focus on the historical aspect of a Fulton newspaper. The program about the Fulton Journal will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Fulton Museum, 707 10th Ave. Refreshments will be served. The Fulton (Martin Ho

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Drive-in theatre dominant Clinton's own drive-in theater Spring brings many thoughts, but taking the family out to see a big-screen movie at the Clinton Drive-In Theatre on Iowa 136 and North 16th Street is sadly no longer an option. Large families were thirsting for family activities after World War II.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140407_GT_OUT_Forster_1.jpg Revolutionary War flag could fetch millions at auction

    An iconic piece of history from the Revolutionary War is up for auction through Doyle New York, an auction and appraising company in New York City.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clinton woman featured in World War II photo exhibit CHICAGO -- A portrait of one of the Clinton women who wiped grime from railroad locomotives during World War II is featured in a new exhibition at the Chicago History Museum, "Railroaders: Jack Delano's Homefront Photography." She is Dorothy (Steven

    March 29, 2014

  • Longmann 70 years in the making: WWII soldier to be honored Imagine three boys, orphaned in the midst of the Great Depression, moving from Minnesota to an adjacent state to live with extended family. How hard it would be to lose both parents and, then, have to move away and take up a new life in a strange tow

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dale Gardner astronaut collage Let's celebrate our successful people There are many famous and successful people who have called Clinton home. We need to celebrate their lives as well as all of their contributions. Recently, former astronaut Dale Gardner, 65, died. He and two other astronauts have connections with Cli

    March 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • Herrity history Another look at winter memories Recently, a newspaper proclaimed, "It's Official, 2014 is Worst Winter in Memory." Not so fast, 20-somethings. Don't discount many octogentarians who will recall those swirling winds of 1936. Winters of old are legendary for hard times caused by sev

    February 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • High school building High school correspondence: '68 and '88

    Not even a towering inferno which destroyed their high school could deplete the resiliency of the CHS students of 1968. This is the story of the sophomore English class of Mrs. Jaeger on May 29, 1968. They had just endured living through a horrible

    January 31, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • A glimpse of Clinton in the past

    1855 was a year that saw a number of significant events.

    December 30, 2013