Slip Sliding into the Future

written by Angelica Engel, Website Coordinator

Recently, I have been editing, proofreading, and posting the class of 1965’s “Lincoln High Newsletter,” curated by Kent Vasby, whose wife is a member of that class. Vasby himself graduated from Fort Atkinson High School in 1958.

I graduated from Rapids Lincoln in 2008, so these folks graduated over 40 years before me. And, yes, I am aware that the Lincoln of 1965 was housed in what I knew as “East Junior High,” and that my high school building came into existence in the 1970s, after these individuals were well into their adult lives.

My father, Dave Engel, was a member of the class of 1963. As I was growing up, he interviewed truly elderly people. Now, he has instructed me to preserve historical documents from a graduating class two years younger than him. That would be like me getting old enough to think the class of 2010 has something interesting to say!

But what strikes me most, as someone hurtling toward her 30s, is that my high school years, too, will be considered of historical value someday. In fact, my elementary school (Rudolph Elementary School) is already history, as the building now houses a charter school called “Think Academy.” And, my middle school, West Junior High, is also home to another entity, Wisconsin Rapids Area Middle School.

It’s beginning to dawn on me, a decade out from senior year, that it is actually possible for me to one day have graduated from high school 55 years previous.

I got to thinking about the WRPS schools I attended because Kent Vasby asked about what contributors remembered of their school buildings. Here is an example from Roger Fritz, April 27, 2017:

“Mead school was under construction when I started kindergarten. I had to walk past it on the way to Edison School. (Now the [site of] west side fire station).  We stopped to watch the workers building it [Mead]. I remember talking to one guy who told us he was a stock car racer and only did building for fun (I don’t think it was Dick Trickle).  Also recall the whole Edison crowd marching in line to the new shiny Mead. The Edison was very tall and dark. The Mead was very short and light colored. Both only had two floors. Bet they saved a lot on the cost of bricks and stair treads.”

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