Message Forum

go to bottom 
  Post Message
    Prior Page
Next Page      

07/13/22 12:12 PM #140    


James L. (Jim) Beasley (1967)

A few years earlier, my Drivers' Ed teacher was Coach Brown, who was the Head baseball coach my Soph and Jun years, before Frerichs.  Girls basketball coash, too.

When the Highway Patrol came out to do the driving tests, the word got around that the guy doing the test was very picky about signaling when you pull out to start.  So, I did. . . . blink, blink, blink . . . and a hand signal with the rolled down window.

At the end he gave me a 99, and said I did not signal to pull out.

I was livid.

My senior year I arranged a vehicle safety check with the Police Chief Wayne Woods, and they came out and looked at cars and motorcyles for whoever wanted that.

I also told Chief Woods that the all-night after-Prom party would be at my house, and he had an officer there to check on people leaving, although most people didn't leave until the sun came up, or later.

My parents were out of town, and they were the only ones in town who did not know about the Prom party.  It started Friday after school and ended Sunday morning. 

nuff said

07/13/22 12:42 PM #141    

Phyllis Brunia (Stackhouse) (1971)

I too am a Coach Frerich's drivers ed graduate!  And 6:30 in the morning as well!  Since I had never had him in a class, I was really nervous that he would be my instructor.  After all I had only seen him coaching on the football field.  He was so kind and not at all as intimidating as I thought he would be.  I also appreciate that he took driver's education seriously.  I was told that it was because his parents were killed in an automobile accident and he helped raise his sister.  

07/13/22 09:00 PM #142    

Anthony N. Woloch (1972)

Sally, Marcy, and Phyllis, it is so good to hear from you and read your personal stories about Coach Frerichs' summer driver's ed class and his likeable demeaner.  I hope you are all doing well.

Were we all taking driver's ed in the same car with Coach Frerichs in the summer of 1970?  

I had forgotten but you have all reminded me that our summer driver's ed classes started at 6:30am.  No problem, i think we were all earger to learn to drive and earn our Iowa driver's license.

Sophomore boys basketball practices with Coach Gayle Palmer - during the winter of 1969-1970 - were also held very early in the morning before homeroom and regular high school classes.

By the way, Coach Jack Wiersma apparently succeeded Coach Dennis Frerrichs at Urbandale Junior High School located at 70th & Douglas. 

I definitely remember having Coach Wiersma for 9th grade PE classes, 9th grade boys basketball, and 9th grade boys track during the 1968 - 1969 school year.

During 9th grade boys basketball practices, our intense conditioning workouts included running a lot of windsprints on the basketball court and a lot of up & down stairs - from the top floor of the brick building to the basement floor boiler room where we did pushups.  All that running inspired me to join the 9th grade boys track team. 

I am not sure who was our 8th grade boys basketball coach at the old Urbandale Junior High School during the 1967 - 1968 school year.  Was it Coach Wiersma, Mr. Cox (Science teacher), or someone else?  Does anyone from the UHS Class of 1972 remember for sure? 


07/14/22 12:23 PM #143    

Nancy Proctor (1972)

Wow, lots of discussion of drivers ed with Coach F. My memories are an afternoon session with Mike Warner, singng along to Three Dog Night. Sorry, I don't remember the 3rd student in our session.  Jeremiah was a bullfrog...

Mr Cox was the Girls basketball coach for at least 7th and 8th grades.  Maybe 9th?  My great Aunt, born 1900, played girls basketball, so we chatted about it sometimes. I too, still remember those Jr High stair runs. OMG!

So disappointing when I moved junior year to Milwaukee, and discovered Wisconsin didn't have girls high school sports. Unless you count intramural field hockey, in skirts. I was offered to practice with the boys golf team, but didn't. I learned a lot more playing regularly with my dad, a virtual scratch golfer. Alas, Susie Sykes, he didn't sing with me like you did, though.

07/14/22 12:34 PM #144    

Michael Connelly (1968)

I had Coach Frerichs for drivers ed in the summer of my sophomore year.  One day, I fell asleep and he threw a stapler at me that hit my desk and definitely woke me up!  He was aiming for the desk, not me.  I looked up and he was chuckling!

07/14/22 12:58 PM #145    

Phyllis Brunia (Stackhouse) (1971)

So nice to catch up with each of you, Tony, Marcy, Nancy and Sally!  Great memories!

07/14/22 02:17 PM #146    

Susan Ruth Guthrie (Bonnicksen) (1972)

Good to see Tony, Marcy, Sally, and Phyllis on this site--- any of you coming back for the class of 1972's 50th Class reunion??? 

07/14/22 05:47 PM #147    

Sally Reed (Donison) (1972)

Hi Susie, sadly no I cannot attend. I do remember my car-mates at 630am...Jodi McElherne and Dowlings Dennis Mcmanus...sometimes we had to pick him up to drive...hahaha...I learned to not have such a lead foot, don't overreact, and how firmm but calm voice is best when I did for y 2 kids...I hope the reunion is much fun as I am sad to miss...s

07/15/22 08:41 AM #148    

Barbara Hill (1972)

Hello Class of 1972,

Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend our reunion. Lots of things going on. On a good note, I am planning on moving back to Iowa next summer. Need to get my oldest grandson through his senior year.

I have a request, though. I wanted to ask those that go to the reunion if they could take pictures and forward them to me. I'd love to see you. My email is

Have a great time and I'm bummed I can't make it. I know it would be a blast.

Barb Hill

07/15/22 12:09 PM #149    

Vicki Briggs (Evans) (1969)

i had coach Frerichs in basketball and softball. not sure if he was involved with track. i would say he is one of the best coaches Urbandale will ever have! I thought he was awesome! i believe his sister was involved with coaching also, possibly.(Nancy?) my achievements included throwing a softball three fourths of a football field and i scored 25 points in basketball against Carlisle. i also performed the high jump in track.  i miss those days! Mike Connelly, hope you are doing well !  you probably saw we lost Patti to cancer in February.


07/15/22 01:16 PM #150    

Phyllis Brunia (Stackhouse) (1971)

I'm afraid I too will miss the 72 class reunion (I'm actually a 71 grad, you know)  smiley  I am back in Iowa after 7 years in Texas.  Amazing that leaving Iowa makes you realize how much our state has to offer.  Winters were nice in Texas, but too hot AND too much traffic are some drawbacks.  !  I'm glad to be back.  

07/15/22 08:05 PM #151    

Pamela Morgan (Christiansen) (1971)

Phyllis, I am the "other" Class of 72 that graduated in 71!  Not sure if you remember me.  I have been in Texas for way too long - 1975 -1989 and then back again in 1993.  Always thought I would move back to Iowa, but love my community here.  I am planning on driving to attend the August festivities.  So sorry I will miss you.



07/18/22 09:01 PM #152    

Alan Macrae (1972)

So great to see so many names from the class of 72; Tony, Susan, Nancy, Sally, Barb and Mark.  I don't think I have seen you Barb since we graduated.   Brings back alot of great memories.  In answer to Tony's question about the 8th grade basketball coach, I "think" it was Coach Nicola.  I remember in practice a day before the game and Coach didn't want anything to happen to Tom Niles (I think I have the name right).  He was very tall for his age and coach didn't want him injured.  So he had Tom throw the ball inbounds to one of us.  When we looked back over, Tom was on the floor holding his head.  He had jump up to throw the ball in bounds and hit his head on the low hanging radiator on the wall in the old junior high gym. Everyone thought it was funny but Tom.  As I recall, he was ok and played the next day. I never had Denny for drivers ed..  It was Mr Griener.  Anyone have him?  Also a low key guy.

I won't be able to make the reunion as I will be out of town during that time.  I just assumed the reunion would be on the 4th, so I had kept that date open and made plans for Aug.sad.  Would have been great to see everyone again.  I will have to catch you next time. 

Al MacRae

07/19/22 11:01 AM #153    


James L. (Jim) Beasley (1967)

I'm glad I could get you kids together.


Coach Nicola was and assitant FB coach another Coach Burgett.  64-66-ish

07/19/22 01:47 PM #154    

Anthony N. Woloch (1972)

Great to hear from you Al, '72 classmates, and others, including the apparently modest but legendary Mike Connely who I read about in my older sister's UHS Yearbooks. 

While attending Michigan and Iowa schools, I saw just a few teachers use coat hangers, wooden yardsticks or metersticks, chalkboard erasers, and chalk as student attention getters but never hurling staplers.  Good for you that Coach Frerichs had an accurate throwing arm as well as a good sense of humor.

Yes, Tom Niles was one of our tallest classmates and basketball players during our 8th Grade (1967 - 1968) at the old Urbandale Junior High School formerly located at the corner of 70th and Douglas. 

You have a great memory Al - I do not remember poor Tom's particular accident but I do remember many steam pipes located all over the old brick school building and gym. Memorable classes included 8th grade math with Mr. Hall (a WWII D-Day-1 Normandy Invasion U.S. Army Paratrooper - 82nd? or 101st? Division) and Mr. Welch - 9th grade Alegbra.

Then there was also the newer but separate modular classrooms (e.g., Mr. Kennedy - History; Mr. Brown - Earth Sciene; Herr Meins - German, Mr. Cox - Science) and the newer Industrial Arts addition (Mr. Black).

After my dear parents passed on to heaven, my oldest niece inherited the large solid Philippine mahogany wood bookcase that I had made for my parents back in 9th grade.  It took me so long to finish it that I didn't get a chance to make large salt & pepper shakers (or club batons) with the wood lathe or molded colored acrylic balls like some of my other classmates did. 

The caferteria was located in a separate old single-story frame building.  It appeared to be the oldest school building of all on that property at 70th & Douglas.  Years later while reading about the history of Urbandale, I learned that our old brick Junior High School (with 1925? cornerstone) was originally the Urbandale High School.    It made me think about how many students passed through the same Urbandale schools before and after us.  I am glad this alumni website, information, and chat exists!

While in her late 40's, my dear Mom decided to take driver's ed with Mr. Lynn Greiner.  Soon after, she got her Iowa driver's license.  Our family was very proud of her determination and accomplishment.  It gave her much more mobility and the opportunity to work outside our home. 

Mom said Mr. Greiner was an excellent driver's ed teacher (i.e., calm demeaner, patient, and effective teaching skills).  Thank you Mr. Greiner, Mom never had a car accident or speeding ticket while driving during her long life.

Susan, I am not sure yet whether or not I will be able to attend our UHS "Class of 1972" 50th Reunion in early August, though I so very much want to attend.  Since February, I have been caring for an ailing loved one.  What is the deadline to register?  I so much enjoyed attending our 25th Class Reunion back in 1997!

Thank you so much Susan and all others who have organized this 50th Class Reunion as well as many past ones, every five years or so.

Go Blue Jays!


07/19/22 01:54 PM #155    

John R. Woodworth (1972)

I was beginning to think that I was the only person that didn't have Coach French's for drivers education and instead had Mr. Greener until I saw Alan's post. I too had Mr. Greener and drove in the early morning, probably the 630 time slot.

Since both of us fished we would occasionally drive out north of I80 to see if the fish were hitting the surface on some of the farm ponds there. I look at the development there now and just shake my head how neighborhood kids and I would ride out there on our bikes in the early morning for bass and panfish.

I also had a feeling that Mr. Nicola was the 8th grade coach I remember him as the school counselor and a basketball coach but was not sure if it was girls or boys.

Toying with idea of coming up for Ufest. I am down in Texas now and it is a long drive. But still would be fun.

John Woodworth

07/19/22 06:57 PM #156    

Sally Reed (Donison) (1972)

Hi I feel the needto comment again...yes Al, I do remember the  Junior High...the mobil classrooms both Mr Kennedy, Mr Denman sciencd who I also had for home room, and the arts/cafeteria building right next door. Nothing better than having a class in either the basement or portable classrooms and next one on 3rd floor...hahaha. Did dislike the 20 minute modular system, after haveing your 20 minute classes, you could go to any of the subject classrooms, but the ones like algebra and science filled up quickly, so only thew gym was left for those of us late-comers. My math still sucks to this day as had an entire year of very little instruction but thank gawd for Mr Palmer and his Geometry class the following 10th grade year.

So Barb, hope you will share some of the photos maye FB or one of the sociala committee will. Like Al said, thank you for all of the organizing as sounds like a great time. We are needing to move farther N of San Pedro as too far of a drive for John and gas still pretty $$$ in SoCal.


07/19/22 09:26 PM #157    

Anthony N. Woloch (1972)

Sally, you reminded me of our Urbandale Junior High School arts class and that it was also held in the old cafeteria building.  One of our art assignments was to create a music record (or album) cover.  I created one for the "Good Vibrations" song performed by the Beach Boys. 

Many decades later, I found that art project stored in my dear parents home  as well as the computer printouts & IBM punch cards from Mr. Welch's 9th grade computer club that was active during 1968 - 1969. 

Once in a while, members of our computer club were driven - after business hours - to an insurance company located somewhere in downtown Des Moines that had those huge and expensive IBM computers that predated the much smaller computer chip technology.  The insurance company graciously allowed us young Urbandale students to run our Fortran computer programs on their computers via our stacks of IBM computer punch cards that were operated overnight or on the weekends.   

One of our Urbandale High School advanced math teachers, Mr. Jack Marriott, continued leading the computer club at Urbandale High School during our time there from 1969 - 1972. 

I remember Mr. Marriott as having really huge bicep muscles and a cup of coffee nearly always in hand.  I think he also may have been a military Veteran - possibly U.S. Navy?  Mr. Marriott talked about building a cabin in the Colorado mountains.  Both Mr. Marriott and Mr. Gayle Palmer (Boys Cross Country & Track Coach) were excellent high school math teachers that led fun classes.  

Does anyone remember our 8th grade math teacher, Mr. Hall, as being a WWII Combat Veteran of the 82nd or 101st Airborne Division that had parachuted behind enemy lines into Normandy on D-Day - 1?  I remember Mr. Hall once very seriously talking about it in class with Jack Buckley and the rest of us students.

07/20/22 06:40 AM #158    

Dean J. Watson (1972)







07/20/22 09:12 AM #159    

Jack W. Gowan (1981)

I know I'm just a kid on here, sorry for any intrusion. Anthony Wolochs comments about Mr. Marriot and the computer club brought back some memories. I took the computer programing class Spring of my senior year ('81). For half of the class, we were still using the key punch machine, Fortran, and he would take them to the insurance company downtown Friday afternoon and pick them up Monday morning. The other half was Basic on TRS-80's with cassete tape storage. Grading was interesting. One week was allowed for each program. Each weeek it was late (run successfully), was down a letter grade. This meant with for the Fortran programs you had 1 chance to run them successfully to get an A.

I also had him for Algebra Trig. He would bring a V8 for lunch and put it in the window in the winter so it would be cool. We had it 4th period with a split lunch. One day we noticed 2 cans sitting in the window. Then the challenge was to see how many times we could make him forget to drink it. I think we only got to 3 cans.

On the coffee, my brothers class ('78) got a 55 gallon drum, painted it red with white letters reading Marriot House Coffee. At least per my brother. It was in the room when I had him.

07/20/22 12:46 PM #160    

Glenn R Richardson (1969)


Mr Marriot would run our Fortran punch cards through a card reader in the class room. He had a "DIAL-UP'phone he would use, talk to somebody downdown then take the phone reciever and lay it on the cradle of the card readr. Some time later our programs would come back and run through an IBM ball headed printer that would spin and spin like crazy printing our copies out onto a long paper that would fold in to a box like an accordion.

Our computer club also visited the computer. It took up the whole basement of the insurance company. It was like a block  square. We had to be buzzed in by security guards.

Mr Marriot patiently and fastidiously spent hours and hours in our Trig class teaching us how to use our $1 dollar, made in the USA slide rules to do math and trig on. I used mine for years at work. My nephew and I were out in my shop, he saw it laying on the window sill and ask me what it was, he had never seen one. Now people have watches that will do thoughsands of more things.

Great to read all your stories, it gives an old man something to think about when he is clearing Oregon Grape out of his fence lines on a hot day. Thanks to you all.

07/20/22 02:18 PM #161    


James L. (Jim) Beasley (1967)

Hi Glenn:

Sad to read about Sheila.  She and her sister Linda were great great people.

Just so you kids know us old people share some things with you, we were all too familar with the "Cracker Box" gym.  It was our home court, and locker room for football practice.  I saw Dick Jensen dunk two basketballs, one with each hand, in warm-up, so we started that game with a technical free throw.

The parking lot at the junior high was where all the cool kids hung out.

My senior year, Winter of '66, we played on a portable floor at the Ice Arena, while the "new" gym was being built.  Student Council had a contest for art work for the center jump cirlce, $25 prize, and that's where the "Fighting J-Hawk" first came on the scene.

I was accelerated a year in math and science, so had Mr. Marriott for math with the older kids, the Class of 66.  He was tough, and math was tough.

07/20/22 05:08 PM #162    

Jacki A. Manna (1978)

I enjoy reading your memories! I graduated '78.  Any '78 ers out there want to post some memories?  My favorite teachers were Mrs. Van (Van Ryswick) and Mrs. Bartlett.  I took Shakespeare with Mrs. Bartlett.  I struggled!   One day when I got home from school, my dad came to me with a stern face.  "Your teacher, Mrs. Bartlett called me today."  I thought here we go again....I'm in trouble.  He told me Mrs. Barlett gave him a positive report!  She told him how well I was doing!  I will never forget her for that!  She was an angel to me, a bright light in my dark world!  I have been a teacher for 20 years, and I do small acts of kindness for my students all the time.  And it's because of Mrs. Bartlett.  Isn't it crazy how we remember our teachers and coaches from 50-60 years ago?!  Can't say I remember what I learned as much as I remember my teachers and swim coach.  When wa the pool built?  I was on swim team.  And by the way, I learned to drive in my dad's pinto station wagon with brown panels on the side. 


07/20/22 07:12 PM #163    

Sally Reed (Donison) (1972)

I student taught for Mrs Bartlett my senior '72 year. She was a gentle soul & a very funn woman, loved her much! You math & science guys, I applaud you. Had to take a semester of math for college entrance but advanced classes were way over my head so took a class with slide rule, computer punch cards, very interesting & learned few things. Shakespeare's class was with Dennis Babcock who also ran the Theatre Dept. It was such a fun class, loved all the plays we were able to break down in1972 English.

07/20/22 07:38 PM #164    

Phyllis Brunia (Stackhouse) (1971)

So much fun to read all of these memories of the old junior high.  You all have much better memories than I do as far as what all it looked like.  I also had to laugh how our "older" classmate had to get us 72er's talking. Tony, you reminded me of my own experience with those low hanging radiators in the gym.  I too hit my head.  I did a jump right underneath it.  What a surprise to crash back to the floor.  I don't remember being too hurt, but I know I stayed away from them in the future.  I had no idea someone else had an encouter with those crazy things.  Do you remember the open lunch periods we had?  So many businesses on that corner.  The drug store, Dairy Queen, Betty's Bakery, and the bowling alley.  The only place that I actually ate a well balanced meal was the drug store.  They served vegetable soup.  You had to hurry though if you wanted to get one of the stools at the soda fountain.   Some teachers that I remember was Mrs. Oler, English; Mr. Hartman, Band.  Mrs. Oler was tough, but she pushed me to do my best.  When Mr. Hartman told us we played well, we knew it was so.  He didn't hand out compliments easily.   

Pam, it was good to hear from another early grad!  I hear that Texas is experiencing extreme heat right now.  I'm glad I'm missing that!  Good thing you are coming up for the reunion, you'll need to cool off!

go to top 
  Post Message
    Prior Page
Next Page