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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!

07/21/22 10:05 AM #165    

Jack W. Gowan (1981)

Interesting about the slide rule posts. For my Algebra Trig project, I wanted to learn how to use a slide rule. Mr. Marriot said no because no one would ever use them again since affordable calculators came along. This would have been '79-'80 school year. How quickly times changed. I can't say he was wrong, though.

We lived on 70th St. North of the High School. I remember fall mornings (espesially cool ones) we could hear Mr. Hartman yelling at the band. I was told he never used a megaphone. This would have been at least 3/4 of a mile away.

The pool would have been built around '74, I think. I remember walking up there from the new Jr. High both years ('75-76 & '76-'77) for swimming in gym class.

07/21/22 12:32 PM #166    

Michael Connelly (1968)

Yes, Vicki, I was saddened by the loss of your sister.  She was beautiful and a good friend back in the day.  Glenn, I join Jim in expressing my condolences for the loss of Sheila.  We spent a lot of time over at her house, she and Linda were absolutely beautiful.  Sheila was my first "official" date.  Took her to the circus that was showing by the new high school.  We held hands and that was it.  Good hearing from all of you BLUEJAYS out there...oh, before I forget...Jim, do you remember Coach Nic slapping on a helmet and running the ball with the practice squad?  Tommy Hansen drilled him in the thigh with his helmet and it bothered Coach Nic for years and years after.  I remember playing rec ball with him in the mid seventies and he always had it wrapped!  Take care all.

07/22/22 10:42 AM #167    


James L. (Jim) Beasley (1967)

Mike :

Yeah, I remember coach Nic, and he's the one who spent time showing me how to run patterns . . . I had never been a receiver before.

Coach Burgett ran the ball one practice, too.  No helmet, and someone did hit him.  He didn't do that again. 

Coach DeWitt would do that in BB prctice, too.  Come in and show Chuck Rizzuti, or Hansen how to do something.

Burgett made one big mistake.  The first practice I had pads on, I was middle linebacker on the meat squad, and I tackled Tippy behind the line two plays in a row.  You weren't there yet.  I was new, did not know who Tippy was, and did not know I was not supposed to do that.

That Friday night, I was middle linebacker against Ankeny, and I found out things happen out there no one knows about.  The next Friday night, John Danks, SE Polk's left guard, put me on my butt every play, and Craig Lamb replaced me. Danks did the same thing to Craig.

I did not start another game for two years, so Coach (RIP) corrected his mistake.

As great a coach as Frerichs was, Coach Burgett deserves a lot more credit.  For two years, our best running back(s) could not play.  But, without him moving on, Frerichs would not have had his chance when he did, just like you and me waiting for Keane and Wedemeyer to move on.


07/22/22 01:10 PM #168    

Michael Connelly (1968)

Jim....I remember Coach Burgett would hold "confessional" after Thursday night practice where you would tell him what you planned on doing to help win the game on Friday.  He was a great guy and coach.  Even though I didn't play much my sophomore year, the last game he put me in enough so I would letter that year.  Sad to see him go.  I attended his service and he was a very amazing guy.

07/23/22 10:36 AM #169    


James L. (Jim) Beasley (1967)


Coach made me the gunner on the kickoff team, which allowed me to letter my junior year.  I had never played organized football until high school, except for sitting on the bench in Little All American Football, watching kids like Clyde Duncan and Jim Kirby.

Just curious, since the team was so good your senior year, what kind of offense did Coach Frerichs run?  I am assuming it was not a double split end, or was it?

Were you in Des Moines when Coach Burgett died?  Covid got him early.

07/23/22 03:20 PM #170    

Richard Leutzinger (1961)

Jack Marriott was our Teacher of Mathematics throughout our High School years 1957-1961.   Calculators and Slide Rules were not in vogue yet.   Paper and pencil seemed to work pretty well, at least in our minds.

Jack was our Field and Track coach for 9th and 10th grade in addition to being a fine and understanding Teacher of Mathematics.   We probably caused him to run away to Montana for our 11th grade year but amazingly, he returned for our Senior year.

Instead of coaching us in the efficiency and practical use of the slide rule; he utilized the Theory of that well known English Economist and philosopher Thomas Malthus (circa 1800).   Malthus put a lot of energy into developing his Theory of Population Rise and Decline.  His main theory was that population grows more rapidly than the Food supply.  His important thought (and Mr. Marriott's) was that population grows until it exhausts the Food Supply; resulting in:  War, Famine, and or disease.   If Jack were alive today, he might be seeing some of Malthus' work coming to pass.   

I wanted to share something that I have always been grateful to Mr. Marriott; and I had the opportunity to share this with him when I met up with him again while I was at Iowa State University.  You see, as a freshman, I had just followed the crowd and went out for Track (as I knew it back then).  Most of my friends ran Half miles and Miles.   I was probably the 9th or possibly 10th best Half miler on the team.   In other words, I got to run plenty, but did nothing  other than delay the Meet while I finished my event.   The District meet really wasn't suited to my level of talent.  Mr. Marriott put me down to run in the One Mile Run.  I still to this day remember crossing the finish line with One lap to go; just as the winner was crossing the Line.  In polite terms, I got lapped in the Mile Run.

I decided that I needed to find a new career.   I discover much joy not too much pressure involved in Throwing Implements.  Namely Discus, Shotput and at that time; Football Throw.  Mr. Marriott thought that might be a good idea also; however, he plainly stated that he knew nothing about throwing events.  In those days, UHS did not have a Track or a Field.    Throwing took place on the Sidewalk next to the Annex and Throws were aimed at a grove of trees (Some of those trees are still there; south of the Walgreens Store.

I'm forever grateful to Mr. Marriott, not only as a teacher of Mathematics, but for his fine eye, being able to recognize (:No talent).   In fact, he and I had a laugh, when he wandered over to where I would practice throwing the Discus and Javelin up at Iowa State.  (He apparently was completing Graduate courses and was on his way back to Polk City when he discovered me working at trying to get better at Throwing objects for distance at the collegiate and National level..

Because of Mr. Marriott, I was able to compete successfully with some of the best athletes in the country back in the middle 1960's.  





07/24/22 10:56 AM #171    

Michael Connelly (1968)

Jim, we had a couple plays where we would split our ends, Dave Halverson and myself, out but when you are so stacked with unstoppable running backs, Garry Graham, 245 lbs fullback, and speedsters like Scott Stanfill and Danny Christianson we didn't throw the ball all that much.  Dave and I usually would just block.  Yes, I had moved back to Des Moines and Coach Burgett passed away from Covid pretty much at the height of the pandemic.  They had his memorial service quite a bit later.  I believe I was the only former UHS student/football team member at the service.  A ton of people from the Eastside, an area that he loved.


07/24/22 11:52 AM #172    


James L. (Jim) Beasley (1967)


Kinda what I figured.  Did you and Dave make All Conference, or All State your Senior years?  I know Graham did.  One tough dude!

Dave was also a great catcher on the Baseball team.


Same here, sorta.  My first track meet, Conference Indoor at Drake, I was a lap behind at the end.  I believe it was the 880!  I just hated running The Square.  But I lettered four years in golf, and can still do that.  

Slip stick was my undoing at Moo U, and got me out of the Engineering College after just one quarter.  Because I was a year ahead in math and science at Urbandale, I didn't take any my Senior year.  So, my first quarter at Moo U was a real unwakening.


07/24/22 01:18 PM #173    

John West Hunt (1960)

Having seen recent postings mentioning long-ago coaches/teachers Jack Marriott and Norval DeWitt, I thought I might throw in a comment.  Then Richard Leutzinger's (1961) posting about his discus throwing cemented my interest in writing since I (1960) could directly relate to that too.  Both of the mentioned teachers/coaches were among my favorites, along with Dick Boyer (band), with whom I still have occasional email contact.  I visited both coaches at UHS when I could get to Urbandale while attending ISU, although my parents had moved to Illinois the summer before my senior high school year at UHS.  I had stayed at the Laverrenz's.  In typing class, Mr. DeWitt let me use a keyboard with all the characters on the keys so I could look at them as I typed, then memorize a line and type it, etc.  I actually was pretty good at it, but he knew what I was doing.  So one day he put me on a typewriter without marked keys and I had to look at the chart on the wall, memorize a line at a time, and type each one.  Having had fun with me and made his point that I would never be a touch typist, he let me go back to "my typewriter" to cheat for the rest of the term (but he gave me a B, probably for speed/accuracy and at least using all of my fingers).  I'm down to 8 fingers now.  He and I played table tennis in the old lunchroom (in a separate small building from the original high school) after everyone cleared out from lunch.  

Discus: I was a pack, at best, mile/cross country runner in high school and was more useful as track manager by keeping track of records.  That gave me time to play around with discus throwing.  Being a 5' 8'' 115-pound thrower (not much strength but with long arms and a fast rotation), my throws were a gross number of yards shorter than Richard Leutzinger's.  I could almost toss my numerical weight in distance, and once in awhile even earned some points for the team by beating the other team's backup thrower.  I still have the black, rubber discus my parents bought me to practice throwing when I was in high school.  I sometimes wish I could still spin and take it out for a spin....  As others have mentioned their slide rule days, I also still have my 1960 K&E slide rule from ISU.  No, it never comes in handy, but I can't just throw it away. 

07/26/22 03:55 PM #174    


Debora Holmes (1978)

Wondering if anyone remembers Mr. Cedarholm? I had him in 10th grade for Creative Writing. Anyone who knows his whereabouts or where he went after Urbandale? He made a big difference in my life and I'd like to thank him.

09/19/22 08:46 AM #175    


James L. (Jim) Beasley (1967)

I, too, owe a debt of gratitude to a lot of people at UHS back in the day, which it took time to realize.  Coming in as a Roosey, I have to admit that those who counted gave me a fair chance.  I had opportunities at UHS I would not have had there.


10/04/22 01:12 PM #176    


James L. (Jim) Beasley (1967)

Hurricane Ian:

We got the clean side at our Englewood, FL Winter home.  No storm surge and no flooding.  Lotsa trees down, and they all missed our house and outbuildings. No electricity, no water or sewers, no gas stations, no internet, spotty cell service.


10/05/22 01:16 PM #177    

Anthony N. Woloch (1972)

Glad you are ok Jim.  Hope things get better for you soon!

10/12/22 09:17 PM #178    

Jerry Stuckle (1970)

Glad to hear you didn't have any significant damage, Jim.  I was worried after hearing of the other damage in Englewood.  That's a pretty area.  Wish I could convince my wife to retire down there.  Spent a lot of Christmases with my parents at Weston's Resort (now the WannaB Inn) and loved every minute.

10/13/22 10:09 AM #179    


James L. (Jim) Beasley (1967)


We're going down the last week of October to do cleanup.

I reached out to a fraternity brother on Sanibel and he said "both" his "houses" are still standing, but he was worried about his "boat company" in Cape Coral.

We're not in the same tax bracket. 

Two roads diverged in the woods and I, I took the one less traveled by.

And that has made all the difference.


11/04/22 08:28 AM #180    


James L. (Jim) Beasley (1967)

Could it still be true that Mike Connelly holds 10 Urbandale Basketball records, but is not in the Hall of Fame?



11/05/22 07:35 AM #181    

Valerie R. De Hart (Baker) (1977)

Debora Holmes, I believe the Creative Writing teacher you were asking about is John Cederquist? He was an amazing teacher, and I'm sure he had a lasting influence on many of his students!

11/05/22 11:19 AM #182    

Michael Connelly (1968)

Hey Jim....thanks.  Apparently it was an oversight that was never corrected.  Coach DeWitt and Coach Page told me they were trying to find an appropriate picture to use and then nothing.  Must admit, it has always bothered me a bit.

11/06/22 10:12 AM #183    


James L. (Jim) Beasley (1967)

Well, as best as I can tell, the contact for the Hall of Fame is


Surely someone who still holds ten records after 54 years, plus all the other accomplishments Mike did, should be in the Hall of Fame.

I am going to start by sending this discussion.


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