James Whitcomb Riley Elementary School

So, you ask yourself, what about those pictures of the elementary schools he mentioned in his Leonardo blog entry.

Well, here is the first one and a description of some of my adventures as a kiddygarter through 4th grader.

James Whitcomb Riley Elementary School, annex on the right

When it came time for me to go to school I was very excited. Now, I would finally be able to read comic books! Such is the great lie of kindergarten. We wouldn’t be getting on to reading for at least a year and it was a couple of more years till I could actually read comics. Sigh.

James Whitcomb Riley Elementary was on the corner of Urbandale Avenue and 53rd St in Des Moines, Iowa, and was built in 1917. It had two stories and a basement as I recall, with the basement being a half-flight down from the entrance. I think the older students had their classes on the upper floors.

I attended Riley from kindergarten to fourth grade, when we lived on Merle Hay Road. That would be 1953 through 1958. I transferred to Moore Elementary for fifth and sixth grades when we moved to 52nd St.

I remember all my teachers at Riley although I’m not sure I remember the spelling of their names perfectly.

Here they are:
Kindergarten – Miss Gode (Goad?) (Margarite?)
1st – Mrs. Fisher
2nd – Mrs. Florence Tenney
3rd – Mrs. Kappelman (Thelma?)
4th – Mr. Cooper

I suppose just about everyone loves their kindergarten teacher, I did. I don’t remember a lot about the class. I do remember that they had a kind of blocky playhouse with a slide and I remember her making us lay down at nap time, much to my displeasure. She had very white hair.

Mrs. Fisher was the first teacher I ever had a run-in with. She had this unique punishment that we all lived in mortal fear of. For a long time I had only observed it being administered to other students. “Not me,” I hoped, “Not me!” But such was not to be my fate. On the playground one day, one of the girls clobbered me and only being six years old I clobbered her back. She wasn’t seen doing it. I was. Hauled in front of Magistrate Fisher the verdict and sentence were swift and sure. Her hand shot out and she pinched my chin between her thumb and forefinger. Shaking up and down, my teeth went clickety, click, click.

Sally Spot and Puff heading home

We were also introduced to Dick and Jane in this class. See Spot run. Run, run, run and all that. There was a “Think and Do” workbook that came with the series. I remember two activities, one was a page with a picture of the characters for us to color. I colored the house black and was called to task for that. Another one showed an overhead view of the neighborhood with Sally and Spot in the foreground and their house in the background. There was a small circular park in the middle of the road. They must have lived on a cul-de-sac or something. Our job was to sketch the paths that each of them would take to get to their house. Being a good, obedient, and proper boy, I drew them dutifully staying on the path as they were surely expected to do. One of the kids drew a straight line for Spot cutting right across the park on the shortest route. I wonder if this was some early test to identify students who thought “outside the box” or maybe to identify future troublemakers and jaywalkers.

During the years it had stood there, Riley felt the pinch of increasing enrollments. They had built an annex off to the side of the main building. I always assumed it was during the baby boomer years which I was an early part of. But the photo I got from the Des Moines Public Schools shows the annex with a 30’s vintage car out front so the annex must have been built much earlier. You can see half the annex off to the right in the picture at the top of this entry.

My second grade class with Miss Tenney was in the left classroom of the two the annex housed. I was given to believe she was a first-year teacher and we were her first class but I think now we were her second or third one. She was pretty young at any rate and I liked her a lot.

That year we learned how to shoot marbles and that started a craze all across the whole school. We were taught the traditional game with a circle and a player trying to knock the other guy’s marbles outside the ring by thumbing his marble into the center. We didn’t care for that much though. Our preferred game was to have the two players stand next to each other. The first one threw his marble out ahead of him. The second player threw his marble trying to hit the first one. If he hit it, it became his. If he missed, it was the first player’s turn again and he tried to hit the second guy’s marble. This went on, back and forth, till one player hit the other’s marble and won it. We had a subtle variation on this game. We put up a marble as the prize of the competition, but we did our actual gameplay with another marble. Sometimes this marble was called the shooter, but more often we called it a boulder.

Purie and Cat's Eye Marbles

Most normal marbles were made of glass, about a half inch in diameter. They came in three types. Puries (pure ones) were clear glass and could come in many different transparent colors. My favorites were green and gold. Sometimes they would have an air bubble inclusion in them. I found that by putting a clear one up to my eye it would function as a magnifying lens. The second type was the cat’s eye. It usually was completely clear, no color but had a painted swirl in the middle reminiscent of a cat’s eye. These could be quite beautiful depending on the colors used in the swirl. The last type was the least desirable. It was opaque glass and often had stripes or swirls of different colors on its surface.

Boulders were bigger than the normal marbles, about an inch in diameter. They came in the same colorations as the others. Boulders were seldom put up as prizes to be won or lost. The most prized boulder was the “steely.” It really was a ball bearing the size of the other boulders. Since you would hardly ever be able to win the other guys in boulder, the next best thing was to hit it hard enough that it would explode. Using another glass boulder yourself meant yours could be the one that exploded just as easily. One advantage that the steelies had was they wouldn’t break.

With all the marbles around, there were bound to be marble incidents. I was showing my collection to some guys one time when a big kid, I don’t remember his name, sneaked up behind us, swooped down, and scooped up a handful of my marbles and ran off. What could I do, he was a big kid? Well, I told a couple of my own big kid friends, Billy Leffler and Rod Atha, and they roughed him up a little bit for stealing from me. Long after that he had a ruptured appendix and died. The marbles didn’t have anything to do with that of course, but as a kid you associate unrelated things sometimes and I worried I may have been the cause of it somehow.

Approximate location of the infamous marble heist

Approximate location of the infamous marble heist

As you would expect, lots of marbles in lots of little second-grade pockets led to almost constant spills as hands went into pockets to retrieve some other non-marble object. It was so bad that marbles were in danger of being banned altogether. Miss Tenney came to the rescue. She came up with a project for us. Granted, it didn’t seem quite right to us boys since it was kind of a girlish thing. She had us make marble pouches. These can be any size but most often they were three or 4 inches square when finished. They pulled shut with a drawstring. She even showed us how to braid the strings. She positioned us around the walls of the room, tied the knot on the ends of three pieces of string and thumb tacked them to the framework of the blackboards. Then it was left over middle, right over middle, till we got to the end of the strings. She tied them off for us and we sewed them into the bags. I seem to recall that we had to “check” our marbles during class time.

I could remember a couple of names of my fellow students from that time, but not many. I called the Des Moines School District to see if they had class lists. They told me they had some but I would need to get permission from every person on the list for them to release the list to me. How was I ever going to be able to do that when I wanted the list to help me remember who they were in the first place? They didn’t have any problem telling me about the teachers, however. As I ran through the list I recounted at the beginning of this story, I was told that this one was dead and that one was dead. I didn’t figure I would even be able to find Miss Tenney because she was pretty, and probably married over the years. I didn’t have a clue what her first name was. They told me they had a Ms Tenney and they gave me her first name, Florence, her address, and her phone number. I called her immediately. As luck would have it, it was a school holiday and I found her at home. I asked if she had any class lists. She had all but two of her classes over her entire career. She had mine. She sent me a copy and a recent photo of herself. I was sad that she did not remember me but it had been almost 50 years in the past. When I got her letter I opened it and eagerly scanned through the list. I recognized a few names but not as many as I hoped. I slept on it and the next morning I could remember many more. When I wrote my letter back to her, I included a picture of myself from 1955, when I was in her room, and a sentence or two about everyone I remembered, from a second grader’s perspective. [After I put up this blog entry I did a little web research and found Miss Tenney again. I called her and asked her if she would like to read this account. She did, so I sent her the link to this. She had a couple of corrections. I guess she got married the year before she was my teacher, so her name was really Mrs Tenney. 55 years of having this wrong. No wonder she was easier to find than I thought she would be.]

At that time most students in the lower grades stayed in their home rooms all day. By third grade they had started to have some specialized classes; art, music, gym, that sort of thing. But because of the overcrowding we started passing classes in second grade, a year early.

When I went to third grade I just switched to the right side of the annex. Mrs. Kappelman was my teacher. We did a unit on transportation or commerce or something. During that unit I became familiar with the song “Donkey Riding.” A donkey is a crane used dockside to unload ships. Mrs. Kappelman explained all this to us and much of the other obscure imagery in the song. Also as part of the unit we created a mural of what we were studying. She tapped out Frederick Wagner and me to draw some of the trickier bits. Years later when I wrote to Miss Tenney I discovered that Fred’s last name was really Weidner.

In third grade I was in a hurry to get to school one day. I must’ve been late so I just pulled on the trousers I had worn the day before. Sometime after I arrived at school I felt a bunching in my pants and realized to my horror that the underwear I had taken off the previous evening when I was putting on my pajamas had found their way into my pant leg. You know what happened next. When I wasn’t looking they sneaked out and positioned themselves right in the middle of the floor. The teacher, Mrs. Kappelman, spied them and went right over and picked them up. Holding them up to the air she said, “Who’s are these?” Right! Like anyone would answer. “They look kind of small,” and named the two or three smallest boys in the class, me among them. “Are these yours?” “No!!!” The loss of a pair of skivvies was far more preferable than a lifetime of ridicule and mortification.

Riley had a small auditorium. One Christmas we were giving a Yuletide Pageant. For some reason I was chosen to play the sleepy boy through whose head the sugarplums danced. Mostly I just laid in the bed pretending to be asleep. I had to wear pajamas which only makes sense if you think about it. But for some reason the thought of being seen in my jammies embarrassed me. Almost like being seen in my underwear. I guess the pageant must have had a Nutcracker theme but I don’t remember anything else about it.

We also used the auditorium for timed tests. During arithmetic they would march us down there and hand out a mimiograph sheet of all the math problems for that class. At first it was addition and subtraction, but in later years we also had multiplication and division tests. Mostly there were 81 problems; 1×1, 1×2, 1×3, up to 9×9. They seemed to ignore the zero ones. They were really cagey though. They would present them in random order so you really had to learn them and couldn’t just memorize a pattern. I didn’t do too bad, finishing second or third sometimes.

At recess we used to have an organized activity. Often times it was a Pom Pom Pull Away. All the kids were at one end of the playing field and the guy that was “it” was in the middle. When he yelled “pom pom pull away” we all ran to the other end. The “it” guy tagged as many people as he could during the mad dash. That left a bunch of kids in the middle and fewer at the finish line. Then we had to run again but it was easier to get caught because there were more “its”. This went on till everyone had been caught, then the game was over. The first person tagged was “it” for the next round. In another variation, the last one tagged was “it” but that doesn’t seem right does it. If you were going to be stigmitized by being “it”, why would you want to be the last one caught?

The last grade I attended at Riley was fourth. Mr. Cooper was my teacher and I liked him a whole lot. He was the first male teacher I had. I heard a rumor that he was going to shift to Moore Elementary School when I did but that never happened.

Riley was abandoned in the 1970’s and its students reassigned to 2 other nearby schools. I was long gone by then of course. When I got the scans of my schools from the Des Moines Public Schools Library Services Department in 2010, I learned that Riley stood vacant for a while, then was home of the Des Moines Ballet after that. It caught fire and burned down around that time. I wanted to look at the old school when I was older and even took Karen by to see it, but it was no longer there. The location is now a city park named in honor of the school. The playing field which seemed as big as a football field turned out to be no bigger than a city lot.

This entry was posted in Autobiography. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to James Whitcomb Riley Elementary School

  1. Diane says:

    The skivvie incident is priceless! I’m jealous that you can remember all that stuff.

  2. Jessica says:

    I did NOT love my kinder teacher she was not very nice 😛
    Luckily she did not ruin school for me completely.

  3. Wendy says:

    These are great stories, but the underpants story is the best of all time, of course.

  4. Doo says:

    Didn’t you have Mrs. Buck?

  5. Mark Haller says:

    I attended Riley 1964-1967 . Loved your story about the marbles! It was as if I wrote it. I guess the tradition carried on. Thank you!

  6. Jim Hoffman says:

    I had miss boys as a second grade teacher, miss riley as a third grade teacher

  7. David Higby says:

    My name is David Higby. I stumbled on your blog while googling James Whitcomb Riley Elementary School Des Moines. I was born in Jan. 1947 and moved to Des Moines in about 1953 to 6124 Urbandale. I went to Riley from 1st to 5th grade and then transferred to Perkins. I had Ms. Tenney, Ms. Kappleman (we called her Ms. Applecan) and Mr. Cooper who was my favorite teacher ever. Your description of marbles was right on. We called the game “Bombsies”. I’d be interested in seeing Ms. Tenney’s student lists from that time if you would be so inclined to share them.

  8. Roger McLean says:

    If memory serves me(?) from Riley I went to Roosevelt for 7th grade, when TRHS had a jr hi.The only teacher I have a vivid recollection of was Mrs Youngerman. Since those years I have never stopped using her name as more of a reference point in getting the stories of Riley out to my friends. It had to be because her deep blue PACKARD 120 4dr sdn kept me coming to school just so I could peer into it each day! This was the time we began playing football w/o any sort of pads, etc. I have not one clue where i got the $$$ for a brand new set of Johnny Lujac shoulder pads(which I still possess).Funny thing about those pads no one ever told me they go under the shirt so in my infinite wisdom I wore them out in the open for all to gaze in wonderment . I may have been twelve years or younger?

  9. Gene Adamson says:

    Like Roger Mclean I remember Mrs. Youngerman and Lotti Higgins,art teacher also, Nellie Teahan Gym teacher, Mrs. Baker, English and what a thrill it was to get out of school a little earlier to go on traffic patrol. I also remember the marble games they were discribed just as I remember them. And mumbly peg played with our pocket k
    nives, only when you lost you also lost your knife.Imagine carring a knife to school. Riding your bike to school and parking next to the fence in the far back of the school. Oh yes, I remember Fire Drills, but not the fire escapes shown in the pictures. they must have been added after my startin in 1940 to 1948. sorry to see it gone. my best to all. Gene A.

  10. Dick Nelson says:

    Roger McLean, Gene Adamson and I were classmates at Riley starting in 1940 and all went to Jr. High at Roosevelt. I remember the teachers mentioned as well as two others. Mrs. Hampton was my second grade teacher and Miss Lincoln in kindergarten. I started in mid year a few months behind Roger and Gene but went to school in Mitchellville, IA in 4th 7 5th grade when my dad was gone in the army. They had no mid year classes so I was mover up 1/2 grade and finished with Roger and Gene. Dick Nelson

  11. Dick Nelson says:


  12. Vivian says:

    I read a lot of interesting articles here. Probably you
    spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of time, there is
    an online tool that creates high quality,
    google friendly articles in minutes, just type in google – laranitas free content source

  13. Steven Dreyer says:

    Im SteveDreyer went to Riley 1953-1958 lived 2 blocks north of Riley on Ovid ave between 54th&56tst. I may have been in the same class as “butchieboy”my teachers kindergartens ms Gode.1st grade ms Black..2nd grade Mrs Tenney..3rd grade ms Kaplleman 4th grade ms Mossback who married and became mrs Henderson(she showed the class film in Hawaii of her honeymoon. I moved to 48st place 2 houses from water tower and went to Hillis school for 5th &6th grades. ms Black taught math in first grade.She grabbed and pinched my chin and shook me with great power on more then one occasion.butchie said Mrs Fisher did exactly the same thing to him!this has to be the same person!that woman could dish out a big piece of nasty!! I have to go nowbut I have a bunch more about Riley Iam 67 years old living in Clearwater Fl if anyone wants to communicate feel free to email me

    • Eric Darling says:

      Steve, I was two years (?) later than you, a classmate of Ted Dreyer, who lived where you say you lived, so I’m hoping he is your little brother. He was the funniest guy! I have always wondered what happened to him. I hoped to see him at the TRHS 50-yr reunion, summer 2017, but didn’t.
      I don’t think this goes to you at your email, because it says it won’t be published, I think it just goes in the in-line comments, but my email is ejdarling99@4securemail.com, and I would enjoy hearing from you or any other Riley kids. -Eric

    • Elaine says:

      This is for Steve Dreyer. I lived on 54th and I think that I used to babysit for you and your brother while your mother went to work. Was your house on the left side of the street when going from 54th to 56th? Do you remember the Rhoads family that lived on the corner of Ovid and 54th? I was just thinking about the days that I went to Riley and the teachers.

    • tommy spencer says:

      i also went to riley in the late 50,s, i rember karen whittenbaugh who had allergies real bad, mrs black i remember and i had a friend with first name mike who lived east on urbandale in one of the round house,s. i have a class picture of all of us on the front steps. i was a traffic boy there on 53rd street in front of the school. riverview every summer for being one.

  14. Mary (Krugler) Herrig says:

    I don’t know why but I just Googled Riley and this blog came up. I went to Riley for K-2nd from ’65 to ’68. If I recall at the time those were the only grades left. A couple of things I remember…Miss Boys the 2nd grade teacher has red hair and cats-eye glasses…and I think she was the teacher who had the boa constrictor and raised baby white mice to feed it. The snake’s name was Beau Brummel. The other vivid memory was that for some weird reason in 1st or 2nd grade I suddenly had an anxiety attack on the stairs going to the top floor coming back from the rest room. I simply could not climb the stairs and sat on the bottom stairs crying. I remember almost all the teachers coming out of their classrooms and closing the doors behind them…they all just sat on the stairs with me, joking with me, making me feel better, as they each would slowly move up a stair and sit, with me following, until we were at the top. That’s some New Age Zen right there folks.
    Oh, and one more for the road….In 1st grade we had a Christmas play, and a kid named Jay Lohner was going to be Santa because he was the tallest. He got to pick his own Mrs. Claus and he was going to choose a tall girl named Cindy Holloman who was a friend and neighbor at the time. I remember cajoling Jay into picking me instead. So Cindy, wherever you are, I apologize. You would have been way better than I was.

    • Clay Thomas says:

      I got to thinking about Riley, & stumbled on this. I had Mrs. Buck for first grade in 1967, & Ms. Boys for second grade in 1968. I moved to Omaha, Nebraska in 1969 for third grade, & moved around a lot from there. I went back to Des Moines, to reminisce, on the way to visit a friend of mine in Minnesota. Riley had been torn down & turned into a park. I have vivid Memories of Ms., named Boys. She didn’t want to be called Miss, or Mrs., but rather Ms., meaning she’s single, & professional. She did have Red hair, & cat glasses. Had the Boa Constrictor named “Beau” We’d take turns holding the snake. Also, she’d bring in baby garder snakes to play with, & white mice to play with. She’d play the Bing Crosby song, “Would You Like To Swing On A Star” in the class. She was a strange but interesting teacher. I, also, remember seeing her at the Iowa State Fair, around the snake exhibits. My parent had a hard time wrapping their heads around my classroom tales of holding the Boa Constrictor. As a kid, I’d walk a few blocks down Urbandale to school. I lived on 51st street, I think. In first grade, I thought the old school looked scary & foreboding. It’s great to see these pictures & hear some of the stories. Thanks for posting.

    • Julie (Connett) Pregosin says:

      I remember you! You hung out with us on 57th. I have bundles of memories from Riley.

    • Joseph lemke says:

      I remember Steve Holloman!!

  15. Deborah (Brinkman) Budd says:

    I attended Riley for Kindergarten in 1958. We lived on 56th St and I walked to school. Attended Moore the next year for 1st grade. At that time I lived with my grandmother on 52nd and Douglas Ave with Moore just being steps away. Moved to Ankeny for 2nd grade and beyond.

    I attended adult ballet classes at Riley when DM Ballet was there. Probably 1978.

    Fondest memories include the lunches I carried. Slice of thin ham on white bread with 3 green olives in the center cut. Potato chips (Highland?) and milk. Sometimes a Hershey’s bar for dessert.

    Remember when Hinky Dinky sold those ham sandwiches already made? A bread bag full of white bread and ham sandwiches ready for lunch sacks.

    Loved the school. The auditorium. The gym. The smell of the mimeograph machine just walking by the office door.

  16. Fred Bowers says:

    When I went to riley for kindergarten in the fall of 1970 it was only k-2. In kindergarten I had Mrs wheeler, a large women I think. I remember we made butter in her class and put it on saltines crackers. I can’t think of my 1st grade teacher, but for 2nd grade it was mrs. Rizer, just the sweetest old lady you could hope to get as a teacher. I remember one time we had to go into the tornado shelter which was downstairs by the lunchroom, we were packed in like sardines. They also had a nice stage for plays, I still have pictures of me in my alligator costume. Good times


    I went to Riley School in 1945 –47 home room teachers Miss Higgins art teacher – Miss Dobson music teacher English teacher I don’t remember her name but she sure love Iowa and America you forget your home work she would tie a string on your finger it better be there the next day or have to stay after school for and hour.
    the likids I remember our Richard Lenard – Sandra Shelton – Larry Hagen – Merle Ray -Sherwood – Beverly and Barbra Jenson – Dudley – Norman Edwards and Steven Foster. I live at 3500 Merle Hay Road 0 Yes and fiend Larry Brown
    I also played marbles too.

  18. Jim C says:

    Attended Riley from September 1962 to May 1966. It was just a few blocks from my house on 57th St across from McNeal Shopping Center. K-Mrs. Wheeler, 1st – Mrs. Buck, 2nd – Mrs. Olson, and 3rd – Mrs. Riser. In Kindergarten, I still didn’t know how to tie my shoes. A girl “Desi” tied the hood on my winter coat, caught my front tooth and sent it flying across the room. When JFK was assassinated, the teachers were out of the classrooms a lot and we got rowdy – they eventually came in and told us what had happened. At lunch, milk was served in small glass bottles which were regularly knocked off the folding arm “desklet” – it started with the sound of breaking glass and then you waited for the river of milk to head down the sloping auditorium floor. Mr. McDivitt would come flying up out of the basement to get the mess under control. The fire drills were scary since the fire escape was the iron grate staircase on the building’s exterior. I was sure my feet were going to slip between the bars. Thank you for finding the photo of the school; I had great friends there.

    • Julie Pregosin says:

      And I lived next door to you. (My Dad still lives there, btw.)

      • Joseph lemke says:

        Oh my gosh McNeil shopping center and Richard’s pharmacy!!just about all of my family worked at some place around McNeil shopping center during our lives! I remember Mr and Mrs McNeil he was very nice she not so much!?!

  19. Eric Darling says:

    I loved reading all of this! Wish I had a time machine! I went to Riley in 1955-59 K thru 4th, then Byron Rice in Beaverdale. One really fine memory is getting out of school at the end of the day during the World Series and what a fine day it was. Thanks everybody for listing the teachers’ names – it helped me remember I had Miss Gode, Ms Black, Miss Tenney in the annex, Ms Kappelman, and lastly Miss Mossback/later Mrs Henderson. I remember the chin-pinching too, but I don’t remember who did it. First grade, Ms Black? Miss Tenney had a table of plants against the window. One day we came in and she had asked Mr McDivitt to turn it around, and all the plants were looking INTO the room! It was amazing to see them turn back to the window over the next couple days.


    Hello All: I went to Riley in 3rd Grade with my class in the annex. I lived on 57th and Hickman so had to walk to school, it was a long walk. It was a little traumatic for me. When my father registered me he said I was in the 3rd grade. They asked A or B, I said B, but my dad insisted it was A (I am sure he thought A came the first half and B was for the last half–but he was wrong). Anyway, I missed learning the multiplication tables and 3A was starting Divide. The teacher soon recognized my math shortages. So I got some extra homework. She gave me a pack of index cards. I had to write the times tables on those cards and turn one in every morning. Believe me, I have never forgotten the times tables! I don’t remember the teacher’s name. It would have been about 1952. My younger brothers and sisters went to Hillis. I remember two of my friends Barbara and Vernon. Thanks for the memories. Charolette

  21. Michael J Polson says:

    I lived acrossed from Riley 1940 to 1959. Started January 1945 and went to Franklin the second half of 6th grade. I rember Roger McClean who had a fifty Packard of his own. Dick Nelson and Sandra Shelton lived on my paper route. I have all of my report cards if you need any names of the teachers. Bill Leffler had two older sisters. Mrs Kappelman lived on 53rd also.

  22. Dennis Kleber says:

    I attended Riley 51-58 (K – 6 grades). One of my friends was Fred Weidner who lived 2 houses up from me on 56th street. He had an older brother named Butch. The Weidner family also lived on Ovid for a few years before moving back to their previous house on 56th. Billy Leffler was a friend of my brother Terry, the one who died from a ruptured appendix when he was attending Moore elementary. Fred died in the Viet Nam war in combat in either 1968 or 69 (he was in the 82nd Airborne Division). Yes I also remember the marble craze and the game where you tagged people as they ran across the field (great fun). I also had several of the teachers that you had (I was one grade ahead of you).

    • Dennis Kleber says:

      I also remember participating in the Duncan Yo-Yo contests at McNeal shopping center. My brother an I climbed on top of Riley once and at a later date a friend of mine, Denny Jones, and I also climbed on top of the school Halloween evening.

      • tommy spencer says:

        i was also in a yoyo contest at the little toy store on merle hay and hickman. next to safeway. the world champion was there and we got to meet him, my yoyo had the diamonds in the middle.

  23. Gary Freiburger says:

    Wow! I just discovered this article while looking up Riley. I only attended Kindergarten and part of 1st grade around 1954-56. I had Ms. Gode for Kindergarten (thanks for the reminder) and Ms. Fisher for 1st grade.

    I remember playing marbles outside in a dusty area and I remember all of the games that you talk about. My other memory is walking home after school, past the gas station on the corner a couple of blocks away. They would let me take the soda pop tops left in the soda machine when people would open their pop. I had a great collection!

  24. John B says:

    Does anyone know if there was any sexual abuse at Riley during the 60’s? I was a student there around 1965-67. I’m trying get some questions answered for myself.

  25. Joe lemke says:

    Strangely enough I can’t remember any of the teachers names at Riley!!I went to Moore elementary after that and can remember just about every teacher!!

  26. Gary Olinger says:

    I was in your class

  27. tommy spencer says:

    i also went to riley in the late 50,s, i rember karen whittenbaugh who had allergies real bad, mrs black i remember and i had a friend with first name mike who lived east on urbandale in one of the round house,s. i have a class picture of all of us on the front steps. i was a traffic boy there on 53rd street in front of the school. riverview every summer for being one.

  28. tommy spencer says:

    i was also in a yoyo contest at the little toy store on merle hay and hickman. next to safeway. the world champion was there and we got to meet him, my yoyo had the diamonds in the middle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *