THIS + THAT

 

I am really feeling old today.

Part of the reason that I feel that way, is because I am actually getting old, however in planning out this week’s column topics, my subjects go back 50 or more years. That was some time ago.

Last Thursday evening when I was passing through Springfield I stopped at Springfield’s own Subway Restaurant and noticed copies of the Green Horn. For those unfamiliar with the publication, the award winning news worthy paper, has been part of Springfield High School, since before I was born. Even though I have heard good things about the Green Horn since way back in the 1960’s, this is the first time I had ever seen it. I don’t know what it looked like in 1960 or any year in between, but it sure looks great now!

Why would I be writing about this on the sports page? Well, in reality, it fits perfectly. About forty percent of this particular issue I hold, is about sports. It all commences with the cover story, which is an interesting read about the Cosmos State Field Hockey champions.

The author is Karlee Brown and I say when she graduates, she can skip Sports writing 101, because her piece is veteran worthy. Her delivery smells ten years of experience all over it. In addition, most stories in the publication come from similar levels of effective writing. I understand, these stories are most likely edited by members of the Springfield High School English department, but we are speaking of tone and overall presentation. It is a journal of quality work. After all, professional writers have editors.

I was curious about one thing I saw in the paper though. This Issue says it is Volume 37 Edition 2. I still remember enough math to know if this paper was getting raves in the 1960’s and it is still alive now, it has been around more than 37 years. I did some checking.

My third phone call let me know I am not completely crazy. Little did I know when I dialed Andy Bladyka up, that I would be speaking to the co-sports editor of the Green Horn in 1975-76. He shared editor honors that school year with Mary Rose Jasinski, who was an athlete for the ages. She was so successful as a softball pitcher, that she appeared in the Sports Illustrated special section, Faces in the Crowd. I would assume that the Green Horn carried her picture as well.

Back to the Volume 37 Edition 2 quandary, we are still not sure why the paper has those numbers. Bladyka, who has Springfield Rec Director on his resume, in addition to his co-editor experience, just happened to have back issues of the Green Horn stored in his building and these copies go all the way back to a 1939 copy and while checking those old editions, some not well known trivia stood out.

Issues in three separate years 1939, 1940 and 1941 contained articles about Springfield football. They were also stamped Volume 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Both in ’39 and ’40, the football team was referred to as the Green Tornado. Then in the 1941 piece, the headline spoke of the Springfield Cosmopolitans.

Was the school nickname always the Cosmopolitans and the football team of some successful years earned an additional tag or did the school actually change its’ nickname? People who have any information on the subject should email me at bmurphy@vermontjournal.com.

The Green Horn is part of Springfield’s tradition and apparently has been in existence for around 80 years, providing literary opportunities for Springfield High School students. No wonder it wins awards. It is well presented both visually and through its’ contents.

Old time subject number two– Back in the fall of 1966 a new school opened in Langdon, New Hampshire.  Traditions were started and traditions were left behind.

For many people, the opening of Fall Mountain Regional High School was not a popular happening. Four proud New Hampshire communities lost an identity of sorts. Charlestown, Alstead and Walpole no longer would operate their own high schools and a super school, Fall Mountain Regional High School would replace them. The village of North Walpole had always crossed the river and attended school in Bellows Falls. The people from the Falls had always accepted them with open arms. Now they were one fourth of a new school community searching to make themselves whole.

Old traditions in each of those Granite State towns died hard yet some students relished the new building opening. Long time Windsor athletic director Bob Hingston moved to the area as the school was opening and was a sophomore. “It was really tremendous,” Hingston remembers looking backwards, going on to say, “it gave everyone more opportunities both with classes and athletics. There were more choices. I know people, who were already juniors and especially seniors, who wished they could have finished at their own school, but I think most everyone saw the difference.”

It may possibly have been the alumni of the individual towns who had had the biggest problem.

Last June’s graduating class was the 50th group to be awarded diplomas from Fall Mountain. The present school year is the 51st time the doors of the school have been open. The Fall Mountain athletic department through their Athletic Director Gordon Danserau, has published a calendar to celebrate the fifty years gone by. It is chock full of hundreds of pictures looking back through the department’s history, including a photo of every championship team of those first 50 years. These calendars are available at Fall Mountain basketball games this winter for $10 Get one before they are gone.

Happy Anniversary Fall Mountain!

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