Stories from Our High School Days and After
Please email your contributions to Pat Fulkerson Larrabee
Emily Magoon (added 9/3/2012)
Here is an anecdote from my childhood in Skokie.
Many young children have difficulty pronouncing words with unfamiliar or complicated sounds. I didn't, but would sometimes mispronounce words like a little kid just to be funny.
So Emily Magoon is not the name of an Irish girl, but my amusing way of saying the lagoon in Emily Park. I'm sure everyone is familiar with the better known Oakton Park, and some of you also know that there is a similar park immediately to the south, Emily Park. The latter can be reached by foot by traveling to the southern boundary of Oakton Park and continuing south, but it is difficult to find directly by street with a car or bicycle; it requires a zig-zag route because no street goes directly to Emily park.
In any case, during the summer, my Cleveland School friends and I wanted a place where we could escape the dictatorial rule of our parents, but did not want to disobey them and hide out in a place where they could not find us in an emergency. So, while most of our parents did not have any idea where Emily Park was actually located, they were satisfied knowing that it was next to Oakton Park and we assured them that the Skokie Police knew where it was. Pretty sneaky, we kids.
Our favorite summer place to hang out was a miniature golf course near Emily Park, and when our parents asked where we were going, we told them we were going to play miniature golf at Emily Park. BTW, we used the name Emily park and Emily Lagoon interchangeably, and I shortened it to "The Lagoon", which I felt was sufficient for parent information.
Hey, we weren't bad kids, but we learned in school that President Lincoln had freed the slaves, and there was also a constitutional amendment, and both were supposed to apply to Americans of all ages. If our parents wanted us to do some slave labor during our summer vacation, they could ask us nicely, or try to find us at The Magoon. "Hello, Police? Our parents are missing. We think they are lost and driving around in circles south of Oakton Park."
--- Bruce Patis
Between the last day of classes and our graduation at East, two events occurred "in your name" that you may not be aware of. During the last week of classes as they cleared out their PE lockers, all the senior boys "donated" their jockstraps on behalf of our class. A number of us tied these items to a rope and stored them in the trunk of Ralph Larsenís car (a rather smelly task). Then, at around dusk, we strung the rope under the viaduct across Skokie Boulevard next to campus. A sign on the rope announced "Nilehi seniors support Nilehi." As I recall, we initially strung the rope too low, and the first car that passed under the rope squealed its breaks, and we had to hoist up the rope so other cars could safely pass. Ultimately, Skokieís finest appeared and took down our display. Attention then turned to the campus where a number in our party decided to put up a flag on the school flagpole that included disdainful comments about our discipline dean (Mr. Miller). The next morning, identified with Ralph and a few others as ringleaders, we were verbally scolded by Mr. Kavanagh and told that we might not be allowed to participate in graduation. There we were: an SSO Executive Board member and a football team captain about to be excluded from graduation. Ultimately, Kavanagh relented, and we were allowed to get our diplomas with the rest of you. Clearly, no other class "supported" the school the way we did!
--- Dennis Moberg
What a coincidence!
After residing in New Jersey for 15 years and just when our daughter graduated from Ridgewood High School we were transferred back to Chicago. After our daughter finished College in Chicago Linda told me she had met and become serious about a young man from Skokie. She told me that his name was Josh Nachman. I asked if his father's name was Alan and of course it was. Alan and I had ridden the same school bus for 8 years. Needless to say Linda & Josh are happily married and live 1 block away from what was once Cleveland School where I attended 4th through 8th grade with Alan....What a coincidence!
--- Bonnie Feld Terry