Thursday, September 27, 2012

Missing Locker for the 122nd Carnival of Genealogy

Missing Locker

I attended John Rogers High School from the fall of 1963 to June of 1966. Rogers was an old building built in the early 1930s opening in 1932. It is a three story brick building which had by the 1960s had a few additions, a cafeteria, a wing to the east which mainly housed home economics, and the big field house on the south which had the boys and girls gymnasiums. Since the baby boom had hit high schools we also had a row of portables out back. In fact my homeroom was in the second portable.

Each floor had a row of lockers along the halls outside of the classrooms built into the walls, but there was not enough for everyone, so we had to share. My neighbor had gotten a locker near the middle of the east hall on the first floor and asked me if I wanted to share and I said yes. First floor lockers were prized possessions and at that time you kept the locker till you left school hopefully when you graduated. So I had a locker in a great location for my sophomore and junior year.

When I came back for my senior year I headed for my locker and when I got down the hall counting the locker numbers and my locker was missing. During the summer the classroom on the other side of the wall my locker was on, had a folding door placed in the middle of the very long classroom that was there before so it could be used as a big classroom or split into two smaller classrooms, but they needed a new door for the second classroom, and so they removed about seven or eight lockers and added a door, my locker was in the middle of those removed. So where is my locker?

They had a locker window where you went if you needed a locker, lost your combination, or were looking for a partner, so I went there and asked where my locker was? A very small boy looked on his maps and said it was right down this hall, so I asked him to show me. Down the hall we went counting locker numbers to the new door! He stood there with his mouth wide open looking at the door, no locker. He goes back to the locker window and talks to the faculty adviser, and he came down the hall and looked at the door also. Then he said they did not know where our locker went and we would have to find it on our own. I was nearly late for my first class so did not get to look till after school and by then my neighbor had found our locker in the back hall.

The back hall was a long narrow hall that led to the band room the stage for the auditorium, and the old gym that was not used much when we were there, it was tiny and with the school bursting at the seams with kids we used the bigger gyms in the field house. So here was my locker near the east end of that hall, just past it was three doors and a stairway to the second floor. One door went to the home economics wing, one door went to the outside and the row of portables and one to the east hall, I think the busiest corner of the whole school, and so very hard to get into my locker on that long narrow hall.

Think that was the end of the missing locker? Not yet. I was in the band that year and the band room was off the back hall, and because we came back late sometimes from playing or marching at various football or basket ball games the band director wanted all the band to have a locker just outside of the band room and he had arranged for a row of lockers outside of the band room and we were all to go to the locker window and get one of those lockers, I raised my hand and said I already had a locker outside of the band room. He asked how I got it, and I said it was a long story, but I had to go show him my locker.

 A few years ago the school district passed a bond issue to remodel Rogers High School, and they removed the band room, the old gym and the field house and built two huge new gyms, a commons area with the cafeteria at one end and a bunch of new classrooms between the new gyms and the old building. When that new section was done they went into the old building and gutted it and rebuilt it with new windows, new wiring and better heating and insulation that the old building had needed for a long time. Part of the money was to restore the front to look like it did in 1932 when it opened. When they finished they tore off the 1950s home economics wing, the 1960s cafeteria and removed all the portables and so now it looks like the 1932 building on the front and they matched the look of the old building on the east and west sides. At the grand opening they invited the public and so I went to see if my locker had survived, all the lockers on the back hall were gone, and all the lockers on the first floor are gone also, but the door in the middle of the first floor hall is still there.


  1. Wow! What a story, Charles! I can only imagine your confusion and concern when you couldn't find your locker. I can understand why you were almost late to your first class, what with all the un-helpful people helping you, lol!

  2. That had to be confusing. What a fun memory.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.



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