It seems after graduating high school a quarter century ago, some elements of that time in my life remain quite vivid despite my willingness to forget them. Perhaps that is the only explanation on why this question popped into my head and how I am able to so clearly remember what was parked where I went to school.
Going to school in a rural area, I knew nearly everyone there. With less than 800 students from kindergarten through twelfth grade all under the same roof, with 43 of them in my graduating class, it isn’t like there is a whole lot to remember. So let’s see what was parked at Egyptian High School around 1990. While many of us drove to school (12 miles in my case) to avoid the zoo that was the school bus, I’m sticking with cars belonging to faculty and staff.
Mr. Russell had been the high school principle but was promoted to superintendent by 1988. His car was a 1976 to 1978 Cadillac Eldorado in this shade of green. One night Mr. Russell stopped by the house (my father was president of the school board) and he casually mentioned having purchased the Cadillac new and it having 175,000 miles on it. At the time, it didn’t look vastly different than the one in this picture.
Mr. Biggerstaff was the high school physical education teacher. He drove a white 1976 Plymouth Volare sedan. While it didn’t seem to jive with a gym teacher in his early to mid-30s, it later made sense when I learned he was working on his Ph.D. He later became principal at another, much larger school.
My fourth and fifth grade teacher was Mr. Naeger. He is also my second cousin by marriage, as his mother-in-law Thelma is my grandmother’s younger sister. For a while, Mr. Naeger had a red 1980 Ford LTD.
Incidentally, my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Wilson, had an LTD nearly identical to the one shown here.
Mr. Naeger’s red LTD was soon accompanied by Thelma’s old 1971 Ford LTD in this same shade of green.
The 1980 LTD would go away for a two-tone blue Dodge Ramcharger. At 6’4″ and with three tall kids, Mr. Naeger had no use for anything diminutive.
English for the junior high students was taught by Mr. Robinson. He had an early 1980s Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight. So did Mrs. Adams, the secretary to the superintendent.
Passing away unexpectedly, Mr. Robinson was replaced with Mrs. Honey – who somehow wound up teaching me 12th grade English. A good woman with no ability to enforce any sort of discipline, the only real thing I learned in her class was metal blade ceiling fans do a bang-up job of chopping celery, carrots, and peanut butter sandwiches plus they make excellent launchers for sling-shoting coins into metal cabinets. Mrs. Honey drove a brown G-body Pontiac Bonneville.
My other high school English teacher was Mrs. Bonifield. A high-school classmate of my father (rumor has it they even once went on a date), Mrs. Bonifield drove a silver 1977 Lincoln Continental. Egyptian High School is in a very rural location, sitting on a road having a 55 mph speed limit – and prevailing speeds much higher. It was routine for Mrs. Bonifield to run late to school in the mornings; somebody in the back of the school bus would often yell “Here comes Mrs. Bonifield!” and we could periodically hear the secondaries kicking in on her Lincoln’s 460 cubic inch (7.5 liter) V8.
Mr. and Mrs. Reid were one of several married couples working at the school. Mr. Reid had an insatiable appetite for cars. At one point they drove a 1985 or 1986 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe,
two different Mercedes W123’s,
and at least two Cadillac Broughams. The order of this runs counter to what you might think – he dumped each Mercedes for a Cadillac.
The Wendling’s were another couple working there. He was the high school math and chemistry teacher. Mr. Wendling had a 1982 or 1983 Ford F-100 with the 3.8 liter V6. I only knew this because his son was in my class.
Mrs. Wendling drove their Fox body Mercury Marquis.
My mother had been the school nurse for a while, but quit as a result of her participation in the pregnancy craze of 1972. This craze even included some of the girls on the high school basketball team as they would later forfeit the season. From what I recall, Mrs. Moses replaced my mother as school nurse. She always kept her dark blue Chrysler Fifth Avenue parked as near the door as she could.
Not all the cars in the parking lot were American cars, or Mercedes that would be kicked out of the stable in favor of a Cadillac.
The band instructor, Mr. Winchester, had a Nissan Stanza wagon.
Velma, the school secretary whose father was my Grandpa Albert’s older brother, discarded her burgundy Oldsmobile Delta 88 Diesel
For a red Nissan Maxima.
Mrs. Davis, the art teacher, had a gray Honda Accord.
In contrast, the other Mrs. Davis, who would later become superintendent, was in her mid-30s and drove a very nice 1985 Lincoln Town Car. She later swapped it off for a 1988 Lincoln Town Car.
Other than the origins of the Nissan and Honda, the only real outlier in the parking lot was Miss LuAnn’s Rambler and that was only due to age. I covered it here.
At that time, the 1980 Dodge Aspen (Plymouth Volare shown) belonging to my grandmother – who was supervisor in the cafeteria – had the second J-body in the parking lot. The third belonged to the driver’s education teacher and a fourth to the junior high math teacher. Three of the four were dark green.
The junior high math teacher with one of the J-bodies, Mr. Tapley, also had a 1978ish Oldsmobile Delta 88.
Yes, 1990 was a different time and things have certainly changed. My aunt is now the school secretary, another cousin is the school nurse, and a different Shafer is on the school board.
So my question is: What was parked in the school parking lot the year you graduated from school?