In the fall of 1956, I began the 6th Grade at Margaret Hedrick Elementary. There were two 6th Grade classes, and Mr. Robert Blake taught the class I attended. His wife taught the other.
Front Row, L to R: Carol Anderson, Judy Gunning, (??), Jimmy Doull, Jim Herberich, Jodie Faulhaber, (???).
2nd Row: David Cooper, Richard Skoog, Mike Olinger, (???), Bill Cline, (???), Tim Packwood, Stan Church, Mike Ramsey.
3rd Row: Megan McCoy, Sheila Wheeler, Diana Rosenberg, A Collins Twin, (???), Mr. Blake, The Other Collins Twin, Danita Boyer, DeeAnn Ingles, Susan Kull.
Back Row: Janie Kinkead, Barbara Porter, (???), Judy Knott, (???), Sally Fornasero, Karen Rowe, Sandy Rutherford, Susan Grant, Susan Peavy, (???) Alicia Troncoso.
Bottom Left Corner: Dennis Billuni (I must have been absent the day of the class photo.)
Somebody! Jodie? Diana? Help me out with some of those question marks.
6th Grade was a fun and special year. Mr. Blake drove a big pink Cadillac convertible, and he would take the class on field trips with all the students who had them riding their own bicycles while he took students without bikes in his Caddy. The one field trip I remember the most was to the airport in Imperial, a jaunt of about 3.5 miles. Were we ever tired by the end of that school day!
Mr. Blake was a big baseball fan and he let us listen to the World Series on the radio that October, plus we kept score on the blackboard. We got to hear Don Larsen pitch the only perfect game in World Series history as the Yankees beat the Dodgers, 4 games to 3.
Another highlight that year was the annual Christmas show, and I know this is one of Jimmy Doull’s favorite memories because we talk about it even to this day.
My Mom, Betty Billuni, having been educated in the Netherlands, was fluent in Dutch, including Dutch Christmas songs. She came to school and taught Dutch songs to our class. She only had to sing a song one time, and Jim Waer, with his perfect pitch, played the tune perfectly on his trumpet, and we all sang in Dutch. Fun stuff!
A week before Christmas, Mom was again on center-stage as she presented our family with my baby sister, Kim.
Our grandparents, Nana and Nano, flew out from Detroit to be with our family and the new baby, whom we all enjoyed immensely.
Rick and I also enjoyed the tetherball pole that Dad cemented in the ground for us, and we always had a great time when the Moffitts—Stan and his Mom and Dad, Kid and Virgil—visited.
I’m not saying that I had an idyllic childhood, but I think it was pretty close.