Both topics are important to me. I enjoyed school and not just for the social aspect. Learning is something I love. Always an avid reader, I’m just darn curious about almost anything. And I love history. If I hadn’t majored in English in college, I would have majored in History.
To that end, in my brief retirement, I’ve decided to write a history of our local school district (Bethlehem Central, Town of Bethlehem, NY). Somehow I thought it would be easier than it’s been but I do love the challenge of digging for information. In addition to research, I also wanted to include personal anecdotes, memories, photos, ephemera, etc. That aspect has been a bit more challenging. I’ve conducted some fascinating interviews with retired faculty, staff and many alumni. As always I think big and want more, more, more! The end result will be published as a book with proceeds being donated to one of the district’s scholarship funds. It’s go big or go home and I’m not going home. This district educated me and gave me a job teaching English for 25 years. It’s an excellent school district.
I wanted to include the efforts of some present students but that was difficult to coordinate. My thinking was to have them conduct some of the interviews, take some photos, etc. But kids and teachers are so busy these days… That has not come to fruition.
There are still folks out there with stories, I just know there are, but it’s hard to find them. Even a wonderful recent article in our local town’s newspaper, The Spotlight, garnered just one phone call. I’ve set up a Facebook page called Bethlehem Central History Project where people are free to post memories, photos, comments, etc.
I’m interested in hearing anything, though I must confess I am also very interested in the early years (1925-1945). These are stories perhaps through family members, relatives, or neighbors. I’d also like to hear about the histories of the fraternities and sororities. If anyone knows anybody or anything, please direct them to my FB page or they can comment here.
Please help me preserve a precious commodity. For nostalgia buffs, I am including a few photos. On the left is the present Middle School around 1954. Students were attending on a split-shift basis as the new High School was being constructed. The picture on the right is a fairly recent picture.