John Ball School 1988 Reunion

Dublin Core


John Ball School 1988 Reunion


Richland (Wash.)


A 1988 reunion of the John Ball Grade School held at the Shilo Inn in Richland, WA. John Ball School was a temporary school which served the North Richland construction camp and was constructed of WWII surplus Quonset huts joined together.




Hanford History Project at Washington State University Tri-Cities


August, 1988


Those interested in reproducing part or all of this oral history should contact the Hanford History Project





Oral History Item Type Metadata


Shilo Inn, Richland, WA


TITLE: John Ball School 1988 Reunion
TRANSCRIBER: Robert Clayton

LANE BRAY: Gwen has been involved with Lee and all the others in getting this organized. So I’ve been hearing all these wonderful things about all of you and what you’ve been doing and listening to conversations that you had on the phone with her. And we have argued back and forth and it’s fun because I see some of the things that have happened differently than she does so we have argued back and forth and if you know Gwen you know that she always likes to be right. For an example we went down to Portland one time. After going past Portland we were going toward a town called T-I-G-A-R-D and I thought it was Tigard and she thought it was Teagard and we argued and argued about how you pronounce it. Gwen of course knew she was right and I thought I was right. When we got to the town it was about noon time so we went into the town to have lunch. So we went into a restaurant and before we ordered a girl came up and said, “ Do you want to order?” and we said…wait a minute we are having a terrible argument about this now what is the name? Would you say it clearly? She said, “Look at my lips…it is Burger King.” Gwen always wins anyhow.
This morning we had a marvelous time Sharon Johnson and her brother Douglas Johnson and Diane Johnson we all went out to North Richland. We looked around and we walked up and down the roads. It was fun to hear Sharon Johnson say I used to go over to the bath house and I looked over at the corner and if I saw ladies legs down below the floor I would yell at them and just run. She said she always felt the bath houses were much bigger than they are now.
Tonight on behalf of the Mayor of Richland I’d like to read a proclamation in honor of you. We’re honoring you: the students, the faculty, and the staff. We’re also honoring the mothers and fathers who made a tremendous contribution to this community during that period of time when things were booming. There was a large construction project. And you need to honor your mothers and fathers because they did an outstanding job when they were here with you. The proclamation that I offer tonight on behalf of the City of Richland says…John Ball Grade School Reunion Week August 1988. Where as John Ball Grade School played an important role in the education of children of early Hanford construction and operations workers in the years 1948 to 1955. And where as the children, teachers, and parents have scattered around the United States since those important days. And where as many have returned for a week of celebration and a renewal of good friends, wonderful teachers, and to recall those exciting times. Therefore I John N. Pointer by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Richland representing members of the Richland City Council and the citizens of Richland, Washington do hereby proclaim John Ball Grade School Reunion Week in Richland and welcome and honor the former students, teachers, and parents who were a vital part of the John Ball Grade School and who have gathered here this week not only from Washington State and Oregon but from Texas, Arizona, Michigan, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Alaska, and many other parts of the nation. We wish you great success for your reunion knowing that many great memories of years past will bring smiles and laughter and that you will renew many old and dear friendships. Signed John N. Pointer Mayor of Richland. Thank you.

LEE JOHNSON: Thank you Lane. For the invocation I would like to introduce one of our former principals Mr. Win Fountain

WIN FOUNTAIN: We thank you Heavenly Father for this wonderful manifestation of your love. And this rich bounty which we are about to partake. How grateful we are for the generous competent committee that toiled so long to make this reunion possible. For these wonderful people, former students, parents, teachers, staff, and friends of John Ball. And for those marvelous years that brought all of us together. Dear God we ask that you grant each of these assembled and each of our John Ball Family that is unable to join us tonight many more years of hearty health and happiness. In your name we ask Amen.

LEE JOHNSON: Thank you very much Mr. Fountain. Now we’re going to do the Pledge of Allegiance. You are going to have to stand up. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Now it’s eat time.


LEE JOHNSON: Ok we are going to continue on and get started now. One thing I was asked several times by quite a few people was to have everybody stand up by graduation years so everybody could see who the other person was in their group. Let’s give it a try. We’ll start off with the year 1952. Anybody here that graduated from high school in 1952? How about ’53? You have to look around the room to see who your classmates are here if you haven’t recognized everybody. 1954? 1955? That was a pretty good year wasn’t it? 1956? 1957? 1958? 1959? 1960? I think that was the last year that anybody could have attended John Ball. It’s not? Oh ok. 1961? 1962? Ok now that’s got to be the end of it now guys. I want some honesty. I’m going to ask you all a question. How many of you went on a diet to come here tonight? Let me see your hands. There isn’t an honest one of them in the pack is there? I heard two ladies out there in the hallway talking about dieting. Where’s your hands? I heard one lady say to the other…she went on a diet-she lost 6 pounds. The other lady said she was on a rotating diet. The other lady says…well that sounds interesting. What’s a rotating diet? She says…every time you turn around you eat something. (Laughter) What did we do? Oh you went to school in kindergarten. What year did you graduate? ’65 let’s have ’65 stand up then. I don’t know why you were so anxious to have him stand up. He’s the youngest one of the bunch. There’s somebody from ’63. ’64? Have I missed anything? Is there a ’66? Is there a ’67? Ah hah. We are going to have a couple of announcements from Gwen Bray.

GWEN: I’d like to remind you tomorrow about the picnic. You can start coming down probably about 11:00. Dinner will be served at 1:00. We would like the Richland people to bring some lawn chairs and blankets because there are not enough tables at the park. The place at the park that we’ll meet is the large gazebo. The closest here to the Shilo Inn. There’s parking and we hope we’ll have the gazebo. We’ll have coffee there or lemonade. We also need about 5 REAL men to help us move those tables. The city doesn’t do it for us. Ok Charlie and Derwood can do it for us. If we should have real bad weather we do have plan B. We would meet at the Harry Kramer Center. It’s one of the buildings right on George Washington Way for those of you not familiar with Richland anymore. It’s across the street from the Red Robin. And we would have dinner there at 1:00 so we would have it covered. But we’re all hardy so we know we won’t have to go there. We would go there only in 30mph wind or pouring rain. Right?
We also would like to draw your attention to…we have a Quonset hut that has been built for us back here by Mr. Dean Kirby. Margaret was a teacher at John Ball and Dean has built this for us. And you notice he says “swamp cooler”. Remember we didn’t call them air conditioners. But drop the names in the swamp cooler. There are some lists back there for lost students. Those are names that have been turned in to us or any name that you may have that has not shown up on our found list addresses for them or any other students so that we can continue with our computer runs and adding names because in the future we will probably have a reunion and it will be North Richland As well as John Ball students. Thank you.

LEE JOHNSON: Thank you Gwen. I have a couple of quickies here too to add to that. Tomorrow on Sunday. The Sunday Tri-City Herald. There will be a full page feature on the John Ball Reunion so it might make a good souvenir for you particularly those of you who are from out of town. I believe it’s supposed to be the Desert Living section. There are evaluation forms on every table. We hope that you would take the time to fill them out. Put whatever your thoughts are on there it doesn’t make any difference how you feel. Put it down. But I should warn you that those that are really negative are on the committee next year next time rather. For those of you that haven’t already figured it out the yellow dot on your badges is student, the red is faculty, and the blue is all the other people. And doing our dance music tonight will be Dan Stone from OK 95. He will take some requests too when the time comes. Ok we’re going to have some awards and prizes. I’m going to introduce Sandy Welch and her husband Bob. They are going to have a few drawings and a few give aways here.

SANDY: If you feel the room shake it’s just me. I am scared to death. My husband said just talk like I talk on the telephone and it won’t bother me. We got some prizes that we would like to give out to a few of you people. The first one-Mary Anderson would you please come up. We will get her when she gets back. Mrs. Creighton would you come up. Mrs. Creighton was our PTA President. She went on to be the state president. So we have a thank you gift for her. But I have a question I wanted to ask her. Is there anything that you can tell us that was real special about John Ball?

MRS. CREIGHTON: Oh yes. The best kids, and the best parents, and the best school teachers. The best custodians, the best cooks, the best office workers. (Laughter)

SANDY: Now you know why she went on to state. Is Sharon Johnson Hesiel here? Come on up. I understand that Sharon was our first student enrolled at John Ball. Sharon in your response in our book it says that you remembered sand, tumbleweeds, cold knees, and spiders. I just have to ask her do you still have cold knees?

SHARON: Yes cold feet too. Thank you that’s very special.

SANDY: Now I hope everybody remembers where you live. I’d like for all of you to stand up. You probably need a good stretch right now anyway. Come on stand up everybody. Everybody stand up. Now anybody that lives within 5 miles please sit down. Well that took care of Richland. How about anyone within 50 miles. Ok how about anyone within 1,000 miles sit down. Ok how many do we have standing? Ok I’m going to go a little bit further here. How about 2,000 miles? Ok this is super. Ok how about you guys coming up here. These guys came from Enterprise, Alabama. Russ and Sandy Roddy. Jim Nyeland from Herndon, Virginia. Mrs. Dorothy Wimpy from Atlanta, Georgia. Judy Colt from Jacksonville, Florida. Donovan Mills from Enfield, Connecticut. David Mayberry from Rome, Georgia. And his mother. Jim and Sandy Spears from Hasting, Michigan. Lynn and Merilyn Bordelon from New Orleans, Louisiana. This is really super that these guys came this far. Ok now I have one more thing to do. We are going to give away the door. Mrs. Anderson is back. Mrs. Anderson would you come up? Mary Anderson was a substitute teacher and just about every one of us had her for a teacher. So we’d like to thank her. I wanted to ask her a question too. Do you think the kids have changed very much from when you taught them?

MARY: Well somewhat.

SANDY: She taught all 7 years there. Isn’t that great? Ok now we can have our drawing. I’m going to ask my husband if he will pick out the numbers for me. The number is 806036. Come on up. Bobbe DeVries Burnside. The next number is 806163. Come on up. Susan Rotan. 806066. There she comes. That’s Betty Hoff. 806167. Here we go we got a man this time. That was Harold Kenitzer. 806042. Anybody got it? That may have been ours I don’t know. 806178. Yeah! We got Roger Williams that time. 806053. There she comes. Carolynn Sahlberg. 806203 806025. That was Carol Payne. Here we come. That’s Mr. Creighton Louise’s husband. 806014 806207. There’s one oh good. This is Sue Kingry. This is Mr. Bleiler. Ok this is the last one. 806010. Oh it’s over here. All the glasses have got John Ball School 1948-1955 on them. That’s Lora Burn. That’s all I’ve got to do tonight so thanks a lot.

LEE JOHNSON: In the what did we remember section of our response sheets teachers were remembered over and over. I think this would be a good time to take a look at what the students had to say. I just jotted down a few of the quotes. “She was a lady who truly made a difference in my life.” “I remember the teachers first and the school second.” And this one here is really my favorite. I think you’re going to like it too. “I like my teachers very much but I’ll never forget those bath houses.” “She was a real inspiration to me she gave me a real feeling of self worth.” “Teachers that really care.” “The best school I ever went to.” These are some great things said about some great people. Some unique people who were willing to come to the unknown. The unknown of a boom town. They came from all over. They came to build a new community from the ground up. They came to teach diverse student body ever assembled anyplace. They met the many many challenges. They overcame the many many hardships. These teachers reached into our lives and they pulled the best out of each of us. Let’s face it this must have been a top notch faculty because just look how we turned out. I speak for every John Ball student here when I say the John Ball teachers made the difference. Would all the John Ball faculty please stand up? (Applause) That’s from all the John Ball student body to all the John Ball faculty. We say thank you for that part of your life that you gave to us. (Applause) Now I’d like to take a little time out. We had 4 principles there. The first was Ray Lamb. He opened the doors in 1948. He had to do many things a principle doesn’t do. This school had nothing in the beginning. It had no staff. It had no faculty. It had no books. It had no furniture. There wasn’t even enough room for the classrooms. But there were plenty of kids. So many kids in fact the size of the school more than doubled. Mr. Lamb was principle until 1949. At which time he moved to Spaulding and was principle there until his retirement. We would like to mark Mr. Lamb’s service with a plaque. Accepting for Mr. Lamb will be his wife Kay Lamb. Kay Lamb would you come up here? (Applause)

KAY: Thank you very much he would have been proud of your group.

LEE JOHNSON: In 1949 the baton of leadership was passed from Mr. Lamb to Mr. James LeClair. Mr. LeClair carried on until 1951. He then went into Richland to become principle at Sacajawea and later Marcus Whitman. We would like to mark Mr. LeClair’s service to John Ball with this plaque. And accepting for him will be Mrs. Peg LeClair. (Applause)

MRS. LECLAIR: Thank you very much. Jim always maintained that perhaps his most exciting school administration years were here at John Ball. As his wife I well remember those square dances. They were something on Friday night. (Applause)

LEE JOHNSON: In 1951 Mr. Winfield Fountain donned the mantle of the office of principle and was principle until 1953. Then he took the position of Dean of Seattle University and later became the director of Graduate Studies. Mr. Win Fountain would you please come to the dais.

WIN FOUNTAIN: You know folks John Ball has a very important place in our lives. And I ask just to take a moment here to share a few of the memories which I hope that you will have had with me. I thank you very much Lee and committee for this very nice plaque. But of course this is just not for the principle. It’s for all of the staff all of the fine teachers with whom we worked. I was just a small part. It didn’t take me very long to find that out. My first September at John Ball Pat Cochran who was a first grade teacher for some of you invited me to come down to the room. She introduced me as a person who has a responsible job here. His job is to keep this school running smoothly. And then there was awesome silence and big eyes for just a few seconds. Pretty soon a hand shot up and she said yes John say Miss Cochran I thought that Art Clark and Ann Richards ran this school. And those of you who remember those two they were our custodian and our secretary. And I tell you out of the mouths of babes a lot of truth comes. Actually I’ve always been very very proud of John Ball. It was my great privilege to spend 40 years at almost every level and type of American education. And yet it was right here right here in Richland and North Richland that I found the finest teachers, the most competent teachers, the most cooperative staff, and certainly the most exuberant and interesting students that I ever had in my life and for that I will always have a fond place in my heart. You may have forgot but at John Ball we were considered by Central Washington State University as one of the 6 outstanding elementary schools in central Washington. And that was in spite of all the rocks and the dust and the air raid ditch and the Quonset huts but my there was an unquenchable spirit. And Central Washington recognized that. And I hope that you will long remember that you came from that kind of a school. And oh yes the P.T.A. The John Ball P.T.A. wrote the book. How well I remember the Halloween Carnival night and I was chosen by the P.T.A. to come, as all things, as the Queen of Sheba. (Laughter) So there I was highly and improperly cosmeticized and draped with my wife Louise’s finest satin drape. The next Monday a great big burly pipe fitter wanted to talk to me personally in the office. And then he whispered to me and he said…You know there’s a concern that we have a lot of the fellow workers and I have a concern. We were just wondering you know if maybe there was a little Trans-what ever you call involved here? Well thank heavens my brain was in gear because I said…You do know don’t you that transvestites only wear pink bedspreads? (Laughter) And I reminded him that mine was a manly golden brown. (Laughter) We both expressed real relief. I hope some of you remember the Can Can Girls we had. That was a program whose fame went far and wide. And I’ll tell you there were a bunch of young ladies who do just most anything with a crowd. Bring in a great deal of money. They were entertaioners clear down to that brilliant garter that they wore. Their fame had grown so well that by the next week the Superintendant called me in one day and with a little sparkle in his eye that he always had he said tell me Win where did the P.T.A. get such a group of beautis and titillating entertainers? And I had to reassure him that no one was brought in. That those were all North Richland moms. He fell silent with amazement and was happy. But what I want to say Lee is move over Will Rogers. Those indeed were the good old days. ( Applause)

LEE JOHNSON: In 1953 Mr. Eric Soderberg picked up the reins of leadership and carried John Ball School forward to its final year in 1955. He had the sad task of closing forever the school that had served North Richland so faithfully over a 7 year period. Mr. Soderberg moved on to be principle of Moses Lake High School where he still resides. Mr. Soderberg will you please come to the dais? We would like to mark your service to John Ball with this plaque.

MR. SODERBERG: Thank you very much. After the last person what else could I say? I think he said it all. I have a few things that I would like to comment on. First of all I’m really amazed and surprised and delighted at the number of people that turned out. Isn’t it wonderful that people will come clean across the United States? John Ball must have been important to them. I remember 35 years ago I came to Richland this being the month of August. I’d been on the coast. I came over here. It was just as hot. I had such a wonderful faculty. The people were such dedicated teachers. When I first was assigned there were 2 schools available. Jefferson and John Ball and I was assigned John Ball. And when I heard that I had gotten that school. And I says now what is this? And so then they told me it was a construction camp. And the people out there were in construction and from various parts of the United States. I thought to myself oh my gosh. What is going to happen? What luck I would have to draw that school. And I thought I’m really going to have a battle. But you know I have still to remember of students who have come to the office. The students good. The parents were outstanding and took care of their children. And certainly the teachers knew how to handle it. I felt so relieved to have such a good faculty. And I hated to leave Richland. But sometimes those things happen and we have to go. So I want to say thank you to the chairman of our group here for this wonderful reunion we’ve had. It’s still a pleasure for me to come down and meet former faculty members former students that are here and I’ve known for quite some time. And I want to say thank you again very much. (Applause)

LEE JOHNSON: Mr. Soderberg said something that kind of sparked an old memory. I’m a little hesitant to mention it. I had an occasion to be in the principle’s office once. I don’t really remember why. I think it was because the principle wanted to tell me what a good student I was. But anyway the principle was just coming over to talk to me when suddenly the door flew open and in rushed a woman with a whole mess of kids. So his attention was drawn away from me which I was grateful for. He says can I help you? And the lady says…Yes I want to enroll my children in the school here. And the principle says well how old are your children? We’ll have to figure out what grades they go in. She says these 2 are 6 and these 2 are 8 and the two big ones here are 10. And the principle says my goodness do you get 2 every time? And she said no sometimes we don’t get any. (Laughter) We’re really running late so we’re going to have to cut a lot of things. But one thing you’re going to have to see. There’s just no way out of it. We’re going to have a group of the faculty doing something for us. They are called the John Ball Players. They are going to do a skit for us called The Way We Were.

E.B. MC CURDY: I was going to have my friend bring me up here witn my gym shorts on. And I was going to be blowing my whistle to loud hurahs and you would have recognized that I was the first P. E. teacher because most of yoou have never seen me with most of my clothes on. So I wanted to come and really show you that I could do that. There were 2 reasons why. I put on the shorts. I could still get in them. They had no buttons on them that I could see but when I looked in the mirror I found out that I shouldn’t wear them. And then also not only that I found out that if I had used the breath to blow that whistle I wouldn’t be able to say a word. So we are going to go from there. One of the things I’m going to do here at the beginning is to clear up some things for those people who were not at John Ball who didn’t have anyone at John Ball. You were just lucky enough to marry one of those neat people and get to come to the reunion. And as the reunion committees started to talk we discovered that there would be a lot of these people and they wouldn’t know a thing about what was going on. We decided that I might be the vehicle to tell them how this all started. And the funniest thing thet ever happened a few minutes ago when this thing started and a lovely gal came in who was in that mode she didn.t know from nothing about this place. She had just married a neat guy. And I know he was neat because I know who he was. She was in the batthroom with us. And so she had a steak and stayed in there while we practiced. She said she could hardly wait to hear it. So here it goes Linda and it’s all for you. It’s kind of hard for me to speak with my back because I like everyone to hear me. So I’m going to try and throw it both ways (the bull that is). It began in 1943 in April when Dupont the prime contractor bought 600 square miles. Oh I’m a realtor wouldn’t I have loved to have made that sale. This was 5 years before John Ball. Dupont built a constuction camp and hired 50,000 people. They built a town for 16,000 people we called that Richland. Dupont worked with the construction forces to develop the Plutonium leading to the end of WWII. This is history but I would to discuss briefly the persons who left their loved ones at home and answered to the call from the United States Government to do something they knew not what. To come across to a primitive site, to be housed in barracks, 40,000 of them and 8,000 of them in trailor homes with their families. They were fed their meals in 8 Mess Halls each with a searing capacity of 2,700 persons. I’m glad I didn’t do the dishes 3 times a day with 2,700 persons. 272,000 pounds of processed meat was eaten weekly… 15 tons of potatoes daily per mess hall 900 full pies each meal…100 pounds of coffee for one day at one mess hall. ..It woulded take 250 good cows to supply the milk for one breakfast for one mess hall. These people ate a lot but they also worked a hard day. Seven days a week until an accident that happened from stress and distress. So they would get one day off every two weeks so that they could be with their families. One of the things that I loved to see when I was there because we came before Jojn Ball and then came back at that time. One thing that thrilled me so much that my red, white, and blue blood just sparkled when I saw the people give Days Pay- a bomber- that was used by the Allies in the wae against the Nazis and against the others. I mean because that thing was paid for by one days pay by everyone who was on the plant. That was wonderful. That’s the kind of people you come from folks.the important fact to me is the tremendous faith in a country engrossed in a killing war. Faith to work toward a goal without stopping. Your youth, the wiives, the friends, the children have inherited the same fortitude. I didn’t return 2,000 mile to that area if you people were not of that ilk. That is the history of it. Now we are ready to discuss how we were at John Ball School. Now don’t take notes we are going to give you a copy of it. And if you don’t like it you don’t have to take it but don’t throw the paper out on the floor. With me now they call us the John Ball Players we are the Unique Antiques. Now here on my far right is Kay Lamb who slept with the first principle of the school.

KAY LAMB: It was a memorable experience.

E.B. MC CURDY: And next to Kay is Margaret Kirby who was one of the first 1st grade teachers. And next to her is Lenore Bern who you’ve heard a lot about. They are going to tell you about how we were at John Ball.

LENORE BERN: Think about how we were at John Ball. We were before color television, VCR’s, Polio, Polio shots, polyester, electronic music, and computers. Most of us lived on a 40’ lot in a mobile home then called a trailor house without a bathroom or a bedroom. The rent payment for the trailor space including utilities was less than $10.00 a week. Proudly we attended a school with turtle shell classrooms in Quonset huts. There was no cafeteria and no gym. And at first all were separated only by blowing sand. We started school at John Ball with approximately 15 pupils in February 1948. By the end of the school year there were more than 900 kids going to school. We rarely had any accidents and we just ignored the allergies to the wind and the sand. Our P.T.A. was one of the most active and supportive in the state. Our 3rd P.T.A. president, Louise Creighton became famous by being elected to represent all of the Tri-city P.T.A.s at the state level.

E.B. MC CURDY: Let’s hear it for Louise!

LENORE BERN: Back in 1948, to us, time sharing meant togetherness not condominiums. A chip meant a small pieece of wood. Hardware meant hardware and software wasn’t even a word. Fast food was what we ate during Lent. In the ’40s and ’50s we rejected almost everything stamped Made in Japan. And the term Making Out referred to how we did on our examinations.

MARGARET KIRBY: Disco dancing was not popular as there were no discos. We had not seen rice makers and refrigerators or no dishwashers and heat pumps. And didn’t give a dooly about a race to the moon or Reagan’s Star Wars. But we came here on faith and pride in the good old United States. Our fathers didn’t wear long hair and earrings. Our mothers didn’t wear tuxedos and blue jeans. The women teachers would even think of wearing slacks even in the coldest weather. We had to be satisfied with the cloths that our parents wanted us to wear. We got married first and lived together later. In our day cigarette smoking was considered fashionable. Grass was mowed and coke was something you drank. Pot was something you cooked in or carried to the wash house first thing in the morning. And the only crack we worried about was when you walked on the sidewalk and said step on a crack and break your mother’s back.

KAY LAMB: Being gay was going to the neighborhood party and popping popcorn. For a nickel you could make a phone call, buy a soft drink, mail a letter, or get a double-decker ice cream cone. We were not before the difference between the sexes was discovered. We didn’t change sexes just made do with what we had. And when we knew we going to have a baby we just had to buy both blue and pink until it had arrived. Oh we were strange type folks. We loved school, adored our principle, and never once doubted that John Ball School wasn’t the finest in the land.and we wouldn’t change the way we were at John Ball even a little bit.

E.B. MC CURDY: We found out rather early in the game that we had a fight song and it’s was so exciting. And the words are there on your table if you’ll find it and kind of bunch up there because are going to be in the program. Get your words and get up and I am going to start playing it and the people are going to lead you.

Everyone sings the “John Ball” fight song.

LEE JOHNSON: Ok we’re going to do one more thing and then we are going to skip everything else and get on with the dancing. What I would like to do now is recognize the committee and if you could just hold your applause until the end. I’ll have the committee stand. Mrs Magaret Kirby was an adviser. She located people for us. She was on the task group, ticketing, badging and entertainment. Mrs. Vera Edwards wasn’t really oon the entertainment committee. She produced and directed “The Way We Were” authored two poems which you are not going to hear now. She put together the Time Capsule which is on one of the tables over here. And by the way we would you to put something in it. Mrs. Kay Lamb was an advisor. She located a lot of people. She provided memorabilia. She was on the entertainment committee. Mrs. Lenore Bern was an advisor, provided John Ball school pictures. She was on the entertainment committee. Mrs. Gwen Bray did the picnic took care of all those details. She was instrumental in getting all of the publicity. The TV commercial, newspaper. We’re going to have the full page in the Tri-City Herald tomorrow. She located numerous people. She even came up with that fight song. Now how many people knew we had a fight song? I would have never have known it. And she did a mutitude of other things. Laura Dean Kirby Armstrong. She was involved in ticketing. She made appointment packets. She found a bunch of people. She was the song leader with Mrs. Knitzer. Sandy Ferency Welchdid the door prizes, took care of the drawing. And she tore this town apart going through school records. And I might tell you this right now. There are no records on anybody in this room. They are all gone. So you can tell them that you finished grade school and nobody can tell them otherwise. Jane Mattoon Carlson. She located a lot of the people. And she worked on one really big project. And that is the Memory Book. She did that single handed. Delores Hoover Stoner. She got a jillion pictures. I’m not sure how many a jillion is but I’m sure she got at least that many. She picked up history all over the place. Anything she couldn’t find she made up. No I’m just kidding. She did all the pictures and memorabilia that you see posted aroung the room here. “Bubs” Colin Blieler. He made arraingements for the photographer to be here tonight. He located a lot of people. He knows everybody in the Tri-Cities. The last person. I want to take and give special attention to this one here. This is Larry Jojnson. My wife worked on this reunion every day of the year. She kept me going on it when I was ready to chuck it. The strange thing about all of this is my wif didn’t go to school out there. But I thank you honey for all the help. Will the whole committee please rise.

KAY LAMB: to Lee and Irene in appreciation for all your time in getting the ball started and keeping it going and making a successful reunion of John Ball we’d like to give you these sweaters from John Ball School. (Applause).

LEE JOHNSON: Thank you very much for that. I really appreciate that. We’re going to cut everything else out of the program. We will take a little break and then we will have our dancing.




Bit Rate/Frequency




CREHST Museum, “John Ball School 1988 Reunion,” Hanford History Project, accessed May 25, 2024,