Trumbull Memories

Vol. XIX No. 3 - FALL 2008

Trumbull graduates came to the Museum to see the exhibit and to talk about the school. One visitor from Arizona offered some of her memories. Now we are looking for more. Here’s a sample of thoughts from our visitors.

From Marilyn McAloan Carlson, visiting from Arizona:

I went to a number of grammar schools in Chicago but Trumbull was one of the best. The teachers were great! In those days the girls playground was towards the south and the boys playground was towards the north. The time for recreation was different for the primary grades and the older children. I lived nearby and we always went home for lunch. I lived near Ashland and Ainslie. One of our treats was to go to the penny candy store at Foster and Ashland. I met my husband Alan Carlson at Trumbull School. That was a long time ago.

From Marilyn Jeglum:

Everyone liked to slide down the banisters when no one was around. You could do it if your teacher sent you to the office or with a message to another teacher. Then no one was around and you could slide.

From Karin Turnquist, a student in the 1940s:

On the playground we had monitors who watched the children at play. This was a job for the older students. When I was a monitor, I remember once that a girl fell down and they brought her to me. She had a broken arm. I brought her to the office and then returned to the playground.

On the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, we were all called to an assembly in the auditorium. Our school janitor, who was an immigrant, was one of the speakers. We also heard President Roosevelt’s radio address in the auditorium. I think they brought a radio in and then put a microphone up close to it so it could be heard.

Another memory from Marilyn Jeglum:

Mrs. Rohlsdorf was our teacher and she was very strict about learning the Palmer Method of writing. We had to use ink in an inkwell and a pen with a metal tip. We had a lot of practicing to do. While we were practicing she would go around and test your grip on the pen by pulling it up. It was supposed to come right out of your hand. If she pulled on it and you were still holding it then you were holding it too tight. She would make you set the pen down and pick it up again.

Memory from Larry Campbell from 1958:

Larry Campbell graduated from Trumbull in 1958. He had grown up in Hillsboro, Illinois and, when he came to the area, he was very impressed with the Trumbull school building. There was nothing like it in his home town. “I was in awe of the structure. The building was always immaculately clean inside. There was a beautiful auditorium and a beautiful library. But there was no cafeteria” said Larry at a recent stop at the Edgewater Historical Society Museum. “When I first got there I was sent home early several days in a row. Finally they told me to bring my mother back to the school. They sat my mother down to tell her that they couldn’t understand my southern Illinois accent and that I would have to go for speech therapy. Of course she agreed to it.” This was at the time there were many Appalachians moving into Uptown.

Since there was no cafeteria, the students were allowed to go out to lunch or home for lunch. Larry said that the students he got to know used to go to the Seneca Grill or Neiseners dime store on Clark Street. There was also another restaurant up the street that they went to. They had a full hour for lunch. “What I remember most was that there was a great mix of students in the school and that I made friends with people from Finland, Germany, Japan, Syria, Sweden and Norway. It was different from my small town experience. I played with them after school as we all lived near Winnemac and Ashland”.

I remember a course we took – a course where we learned about the city transportation system and the city government. It was great! It was fascinating to learn about things that were manufactured here in Chicago. There were a lot of artistic kids at the school when I was there. There was artwork hung up in the halls, the library and the auditorium.

All in all, Larry has many happy memories of his years at Trumbull School and is happy to know about the 100 year celebration.

From the Schaffrath children:

Gregory, Steven and twins Mike and Pamela enjoyed their years at Trumbull School. Each of them had a wonderful education and have many good memories of their wonderful teachers and Principal, Mr. Korey.

The most interesting part of their grammar school life was knowing children from some 35 countries.

All four children served as patrol boys and girls. At lunchtime they remember going to Neisners on Clark Street for pizza. Their mother, Marty, loaned their report cards and some photos to the exhibit.