Madison West High Alumni

The All-Alumni Network of Madison (WI) West High School

Does anyone remember having gym and art and afties in the basement?  Is that where those classes still are today?

What about bird-watching with Mrs. Parker?

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Yes I do!!  The big art room was the deepest part of the basement.  Down more stairs than the stairs which led to the basement.  Across the basement hallway was a small classroom.  At the time of the Cold War and the Russian scare, there were Russian language classes in that small classroom.  I guess the students were grade school students but I never met or knew anyone involved in those classes.

I remember the gym.  It has lots of those clunking voting machines around the perimeter.  During local city or state elections I remember entering those machine with my dad.  He let me pull the large lever to close the curtain.

He would then just pull one lever and vote for everyone in his party.  Years later I questioned that tactic.

In the 60s we ate our lunches (sack only, no hot lunch) in the large gym.

There were girls' and boys' bathrooms across from the big gym, and we girls would dare each other to peek into the boys bathroom!

Mentioning those bathrooms reminds me of the paper sheets were were given as towels.  Our coach (was it Ms. Meyers?--must have been a man) taught us to wipe the water off our bodies first with our hands, before then using the paper sheet to dry ourselves.  I think of that when I sometimes still do that!

The ceiling of the gym was so low that any long basketball shot was subject to hit the beams - even a shot from a 4th grader!

It was cavernous down there!

There was a small gym across from the art room that had a bar for doing pull-ups on; we were tested one by one with everyone watching, and I couldn't do even one! Still recall how embarrassed I was at the time!

I attended Randall during WWII, and it seems as though little has changed in the basement in the last 70 years. Apropos of the voting machines, my last visit to Randall was to vote in the '56 primary at the time of my graduation from UW and my departure from Madison. In the primaries THE lever allowed one to pick the party for which they wished to cast a ballot. I was later bemused by an invitation, mailed to my college address, to attend a Democratic party function, apparently based on my choice of ballot.

Rolf Peter Darbo said:

Yes I do!!  The big art room was the deepest part of the basement.  Down more stairs than the stairs which led to the basement.  Across the basement hallway was a small classroom.  At the time of the Cold War and the Russian scare, there were Russian language classes in that small classroom.  I guess the students were grade school students but I never met or knew anyone involved in those classes.

I remember the gym.  It has lots of those clunking voting machines around the perimeter.  During local city or state elections I remember entering those machine with my dad.  He let me pull the large lever to close the curtain.

He would then just pull one lever and vote for everyone in his party.  Years later I questioned that tactic.

I remember having art classes in the basement with Miss Harf. (I think that was her name)  I thought she was very cool.

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