Meg Zimmerman Reed

Hello to all,

I’ve been so interested in the reminisces by native-born Sarasotans and their family histories over the last few days, and I have been thinking about this for a while: One of the really great things about living in Sarasota is the influx of wonderful people from all over. Our Class of 1960 is comprised of many who were born and raised in Sarasota plus all the people who joined our class over the years–from other parts of the state and some from far away places.
We were attending Sarasota schools when Sarasota was growing by leaps and bounds and new schools were being built. So even though our classmates started out in different places, our class kept getting mixed and then re-mixed, and surely we all benefitted from all this coming and going and coming together again and these additions made our class stronger and all the better.

We’ve heard a lot of great memories from our classmates that started out at St. Martha’s, and the SHS Class of 1960 was certainly benefitted that none of the Catholic high schools had been built yet, and Riverview was a couple of years from completion when we all started high school in one school. So, how about some more memory-sharing by us public school kids? Those of us that started out at Bay Haven, Southside, etc. and all eventually ended up at SHS??

I wasn’t born in Sarasota–my family moved to the area when I was about 18 months old, but my siblings were. However, I went to Sarasota (public) schools for 11 of 12 years. My memories are a little hazy here, but I attended three Sarasota schools for first grade, because my parents were renting houses and we moved. I, like Yvonne, first attended Central School (located off of Main Street long ago torn down) about which I have no memories except that I walked to school from Wallace Avenue (by the train station). Second, I went to McClellan Park School (in Mrs. Angel’s class) for a few months and learned to read with "Dick and Jane and Baby Sally!" Still not a lot of clear memories except for my teachers. Anyone else in this McClellan Park class that graduated with us?

Then, my family moved again, and I finished first grade and then grades 2-5 at Bay Haven. (Went to Manatee Elementary for 6th Grade). I was in Mrs. Clark’s first grade; Miss Taylor’s second grade; Miss Eastridge’s third grade; Mrs. Howard’s fourth grade; and Mrs. Collins fifth grade class. Obviously, I loved all my elementary teachers which probably had something to do with becoming a teacher for my first real career. I have lovely memories of Dick Kosempa, Janice Garrigus and Nancy Gantt and others from Bay Haven–Girl Scouts, 4-H, etc. Dick Nelson, were we in Mrs. Howard’s class together?

I then went to Sarasota Junior High School (this was before Brookside was built) and Dawn Iorii and I tormented our seventh grade teacher, Mrs. Alva Griffith. Don’t remember much more except for PE and putting on a dance program.

Then, my family moved again, and Brookside was finished, and lots of us went there as the first students in the new school. Mr. Damron taught us math, and Miss Allen was our Latin teacher, and we had a Roman festival, each year. And, Yvonne, this is where I took home economics in 9th grade, and we had a fashion show and our teacher Mrs. Michaels could do flips, and we tormented her too. (And, I never had to take home ec in high school). And, we had more dance festivals with our PE classes.

Lots has been said about our high school classes, and we all had our favorite teachers and also those classes that we just wanted to escape from with a decent grade. Jane Nelson and Charlie Cleland were definitely two of my favorites.

Does anyone else have memories of classmates as we grew up and attended all the various schools that led us to SHS? All these memories are precious to me! Wish I could remember more. When we were so young, and relatively carefree.

Meg Zimmerman Reed