“I Remember . . . . .”

by Karen (Derewianski) Shader
McKay Class of 1973

Pop tops that came off the cans

“STP” stickers

Musk oil perfume

“Hot Pants” and “Sizzler Skirts”

All of us girls rolling up our skirts on the way to school

White shirts/blue shorts gym outfits for the girls

Dodgeball and square-dancing in gym class

7-up can
stp sticker
smelly skunk
sizzler skirts

Making each other get dizzy and pass out behind the wall on the girls’ playground...(what was that all about, anyhow..?!)

Spitwads on the school bathroom ceilings

No doors on bathroom stalls (except the teachers’, which was locked)...

Crawling under the door to use teacher’s stall... :o)

The boy’s basketball games, at our school and at the Marquette Park Fieldhouse..

The 8th grade cheerleaders

Mrs. Rydberg sewing all our cheerleading uniforms (what a sweetie...)

Those huge windows in the classrooms that needed a long pole to open and shut...


School plays that the class of ‘73 made up and performed...(I remember one where at the end we all threw wads of paper at the “teacher”)...

The end-of-8th-grade dance, in the gym

cheerleader basketball players
dancing guys

Kissing parties  (...I was way too shy around boys to show up, and after awhile stopped getting invited.  But I heard all about them afterward...)

The restaurant/candy store on the corner of the school, on 69th & Washtenaw

Being in-between 2 Catholic schools..(Nativity and St. Adrian’s)...

One time there was a saint or wax figure of some holy person in a glass case in back of St. Adrian’s, a mob of us kids went over there after school trying to peek in through this little peephole in the door since somebody swore they saw the body move..

The McKay “Safety Patrol”

Remember some really weird lunchroom food? (...mashed potatoes in a big glob you could pick up all at once with a fork...and “pizza” that was really a hamburger bun with sloppy joe sauce on top..)

The day we took plastic baggies to a Marquette Park pond and used them as water balloons, and got each others clothes totally SOAKED (...I can’t remember why we were all at the park though..., was this the same day as Mr. Shaughnessy’s going-away party..?)

Jeff Spring’s suicide, in the 7th grade. Jeff lived less than a block away from my house.... The shock, confusion and the effect that had, on all of us.... 

Mr. Silhan’s summertime Indiana Dunes beach trips. Including the required “hike”  which really wore most of us kids out...I remember wondering how he did it, because he was like...you know....an OLD guy..!   :o)  

Silhan’s chorus practices and performances.  I remember one time we performed at Ford City shopping center....

Ms. Shore drilling her 5th grade class in the “times tables” (which I never learned, since I never had Ms. Shore)...I’m embarassed to admit I still count on my fingers sometimes...

The times some of us would grab our lunch at the “Tastee-Freez” restaurant down 69th street...

Stealing doughnuts from the “Teacher’s Lounge”...
(Cindy Wessel, are you out there..?)

School handouts copied on mimeograph machines...with that blue ink that came off on your hands...(I used to love the smell of that ink ....Then again, I also like the smell of Play-Doh, house paint, and gasoline....)

The “McKay Torch” student newspaper

Student Council elections...
I was proud of myself the day I got elected over Gary Schaafsma, for “Vice President”... 
(Sorry, Gary!)

Science Fairs...(...OK, I’ve got a story about this one..,in 8th grade Linda Murphy and I did a project together on illegal drugs...to fill a “joint” I used catnip, but one of the teachers said it smelled like pot. I also had brought in a real hypodermic needle and some real narcotic pills -- from my Mom who was a nurse....and almost got us in trouble...)

Volleyball games on the girl’s playground, where we used a part of the metal fence next to the swingset as our “net”

The occasional student fight after school (i.e. “Meet you at 3:15”!!)

The infamous “Cindy Dowling and Wanda Zurzolo Fight”, which half the school attended and a teacher finally broke up...

Some toys the girls used to play with on the playground at recess...”Click-Clacks” (remember those?..)... And also those rings that went around your ankle with a long string and ball attached, you were supposed to spin and see how many times could hop over without missing...I don’t remember what they were called....

The loud “air-raid” siren on top of the school chimney, that was set to go off once every week and could be heard for miles around....

Lining up in rows to walk down the hall to each class...

The Archies, Stevie Wonder and Tommy Roe songs...

Dance move:  the “Sissy Walk”

Class of ‘73 guys Talent show performance: The “Supremes” in drag   :)

safety patrol
lunchroom food
school bus
ice cream cone
45 rpm record

Bruce Christiansen and Rosie Giuliana
Tony Butkus and Cindy Townsend
Chris Moore and Cindy Dowling


End-of-year awards and pins assemblies

8th grade ribbons, 8th grade autograph books and “beanie” hats

“Graduation Day” -----
Feeling happy and sad at the same time ...
Suddenly realizing we really were all growing up, and apart....
and which classmates would we maybe never even see again?...

That first real “crush” on somebody at school  ....
OK, Wayne...(Rydberg)  ....I guess I can tell you about that, now...!   :o)

graduation day

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The greatest mistake you can make in life is
to be continually fearing you  will make one.

                                         --- Elbert Hubbard