From Marilee Gardner,
- The jacket clubs. We DEBS
had 18 members; our best friends were THE
MATADORS. We all got together on Sundays
and played ping pong at someone's house,
or in the summer we played softball or
football. Then our cheerful happy
principal Mr. Myers forbade us to wear
our jackets to school.
- We had dances after every
football game at The Rose Ballroom. None
of us ever had rides so we walked from
the stadium downtown, then back home
again after the dance.
- There were soda fountains
at all the drug stores.
- If we had some extra
change, we might go to Kline's at noon
for a hot dog or stop at Tribe-O-Rea
after school for a cherry coke.
From Mary K. Smith, MHS
'55, from her 45-Year Reunion Speech:
- We dressed up to go to
school and girls wore skirts -- not
- You knew what high school
a girl attended by the way she wore her
bobby sox. (We wore ours rolled like
tubes and stuffed with old nylons.)
- We wore hose and flats to
school and panty hose did not exist.
- Every guy had a pair of
gray flannels and a pink shirt.
- We took typing, not
Geyer, MHS '56:
- The Mistletoe Ball, often
at the Indiana Club or Erskine Country
Club, with all the girls in their gowns
- Pizza on Saturday night at
- Tower Hill after the prom.
- The Lariat Drive-In on
- Summer FOP baseball
leagues at all the Mishawaka Parks.
- Summer dances at the
Playland Park ballroom.
- Playland rides.
- The 4-H Fair.
- The Blue Sox women's
From Jim Lifke, MHS
- The White Spot Drive-In
located "out in the country" at
the corner of Highway 20 and Liberty
Drive. Had the best pork tenderloin
- The miniature golf course
across the highway.
- George's Chili Parlor on
Main St. in front of Bock's Roller Rink.
The best grease chili and hot dogs in
From Marlene DiFiori,
From Pam Weesner, MHS '65:
- We entered Mishawaka High
School in 1961, the largest incoming
freshman class in the history of the
school -- Baby Boomers filled the
building to overflowing! The first-floor
main hall was packed wall to wall with
teenagers trying to get somewhere other
than where they were. Sometimes it was
faster to run up a flight (or two) of
stairs, cross the hall and run down a
flight of stairs (or, as some of the boys
did, slide down the banister) in order
not to be tardy.
- My senior class home room
was the auditorium. There was a huge old
dictionary in the back that I used one
time to look up diarrhea for the
excuse I was writing after skipping the
prior day. I thought my goose was cooked
when Miss Martin walked right behind me
as I bent over to add the troublesome
word to the note I was about to hand her!
- The closest thing we had
to a co-ed gym class was when the boys
ran around the track at the top of the
gym as the girls exercised on the gym
floor far below. We girls hated the
shorts we had to wear; they were so baggy
and ugly. And we had to sew our
names on the shirt pocket and the shorts'
hem. No permanent marker - hand
- Mr. Chelminiak writing
sentences with fill-in-the-blanks on the
blackboards all around the biology
classroom; trying to identify different
trees, and dissecting a poor dead frog.
- Miss Emmy directing the
junior and senior class plays. What a
- Lunches at Kline's
drugstore. The place was packed wall to
the walls. Every day I had a hot dog and
green river phosphate or a flavored Coke
(cherry, vanilla, etc.).
- Ratting my hair. Spraying
it stiff. Crying before every dance or
school picture because it wouldn't do anything
DeDapper, MHS '65:
- I came from St. Monica and
had a smaller circle of friends than
most. I had general courses, and the
teachers I knew and respected most were
Mr. Wood, Mr. Armel, Mr. Mamolenti, and
Mr. Portolese. I remember Mr. Blue, Mr.
Arndt, and even Ms. Cable in study hall
in the auditorium. Roger Favorite was my
counselor, and I held him in great
- I took lunch at a small
mom-and-pop grocery that was two blocks
west of the north side of campus. I
remember the drugstore mostly because
they sold cigarettes one at a time.
- I have memories of the
greenhouse on the roof and the "new
wing." I even got into the clock
From Kevin Tansey, MHS
- Kraft's Drug Store at
Mishawaka Ave. and Main where I could get
6 boxes of Good & Plenty's for 25
cents to study with every night.
- The Blue Flame Tavern
across from Kraft's where they left the
side door open at night so you could see
the country bands with their white shirts
under blue lights.
- Luigi's Pizza.
- Battell Park tennis courts
when they were clay.
From Mark Stephens, MHS
- Shopper's Fair, where I
got my first catcher's mitt.
- McKee's Drug Store on
Milburn and Ironwood.
- The old museum next to the
YMCA, called the Children's Museum.
School City of Mishawaka used the museum
basement as a storeroom for school
supplies. I remember seeing the
brown grade books the teachers used, and
stacks and stacks of the terrifying
- Merrifield Park -- ice
skating on the flooded tennis court and
sitting around the bonfire afterwards in
the winter; fishing under the bridge.
- The rink. I had a
memorable experience on the rink/tennis
court one winter day when I was in the 8th
or 9th grade. I could skate
fast; I just didn't stop too well. The
common practice was to slide up to the
fence near the entrance and grab hold of
the fence to stop. I was coming in for a
"landing' one day, and as I reached
out to the fence, a beautiful girl from
the MHS Class of '66 stepped directly in
front me. I didn't grab the fence; I
grabbed both her breasts instead. Honest
to God, I didn't mean to do it. I was so
embarrassed that I couldn't talk; I just
left the rink.
- Merrifield Park tennis
court. Friday nights dancing to Sam
the Sham and the Pharaohs (c. 1964).
- St. Joe River at the
Merrifield Bridge. Remember the rope tied
to a tree limb on the west side of the
bank? It was great for swinging out over
the water. That rope was there for years.
- The "Blue
Daniel" -- the largest hill in the
Mishawaka Hills, near Ewing and Ironwood.
I used to ski down it with a couple of
- The White Spot Restaurant
- Returning from Marine Corp
boot camp in 1967 and spending the night
at the old Mishawaka Hotel just because I
From Alice Beard, MHS
- Cream-filled cup cakes
from Kuss' Bakery.
- The colored lights on the
snow at the stones, steps, &
waterfalls at Battell Park, leading down
to the river.
From Mark Greenwood,
- A place called Bob's Hobby
Shop (located at Main at Lawrence).
- That museum next to the
YMCA that we were expected to go to on
- Kamm's Brewery.
From Jon Groth, MHS
- The old root beer stand
next to the high school. That had
to be the best root beer on the
- The corner grocery stores.
On the east end, there were Maurie's (at
LWE and Home St) and several others, and
of course Sara's Market across from
- Slow dancing at the Y sock
- I spent a lot of my
younger years in Little League at a field
just east of the Lincoln Highway Inn,
built mainly by Mr. DeCloedt with some
help from Mr. Creevy and Tom Baiz and
several parents. I remember no one
wanting to even get in the batter's box
when Frank Firmani was pitching (the Ryne
Duren of our league -- lots of speed, but
From Lora Nicolini, MHS
- Kuss's Bakery. I will
never forget the glazed donuts that
melted in your mouth.
- Sadie's hamburger joint on
- The beautiful old library
across from Main Jr. High.
- Those of us in orchestra
will never forget our beloved Madelin
Hackett and her polka dot dresses!
From Robin Lee Hacker,
- Shopping at McLellan's and
- The downtown stores
staying open later during Christmas
- Princess Bakery made the
best everything! Especially their
gingerbread men at Christmas -- chocolate
chip buttons and eyes instead of yucky
- The smell of Kuss bakery.
- The circus was always held
at Dodge's parking lot.
- Sandy's or Kline's drug
store for lunch.
- Halloween parties downtown
and bats circling the belfry at First
- Pier 1 opening at The 100
center. Wow was that exotic!
- Indian guides at the YMCA.
From Bonnie Hacker, MHS
- Volleyball, sledding, and
the fountain in Central Park. (We used to
swim in the fountain.)
- Merrifield Park and
- The first pay toilets at
Greyhound Bus Station. (My grandma made
me crawl under; she wasn't paying.)
- Miss Nettle's store. (She
used a razor to cut bonus points from
canned goods before you left with them.)
A sack of candy for a quarter!
- Walking past Ballband to
Main Jr. High everyday, saving bus money
to stop at Kuss Bakery after school.
- The Tivoli Theater.
- St. Joseph Hospital and
- Open lunches at MHS (how
cool was that?) and the ala carte line.
From Lora DeFauw, MHS
- YMCA dances for the three
junior highs on Friday nights. Everyone
walked en masse to Bonnie Doon's on 4th
Street for cones afterward. If you liked
someone, this was your chance to hold
Nice folks from
Mishawaka, now gone:
- Miss Irma
De Bruycker was
a Belgium lady on the south side of
Mishawaka. She had a little store where
children would visit to buy candy and to
learn about planets and stars.
- Miss Olga
Csapo ran a dry
cleaning store on Lincoln Way East, west
of the high school. Some from MHS would
spend their lunch hours visiting with
Olga, and avoiding the school cafeteria.
- Mr. Martin
Felton was a
kind man who for many years was the one
who kept North Side Elementary operating.
He kept the boiler working to keep us
warm; he kept the plumbing working; he
kept the building spotless, and he was
able to fix everything that we broke or
- Information about various
Mishawaka educators can be found here: