• by Kirk Gaw

The Walkerton High Class Trip And Passages From Dairy Bar 1958

Many times on our Walkerton Facebook page we hear parents talk about how there isn't any place for the kids to go anymore in Walkerton? Long ago, at Illinois & Van Buren St. there was the Dairy Bar. It was a favorite hangout for the young to stop in for pie, have a soda, or a milkshake and gather. I'm sure when my Mom and Dad were students at the old Walkerton High School they had their share of moments with their peers planning events and doing homework?

As a kid I would look through photos from the 1950's of their High School Days and imagine that they were in the Happy Days TV Sitcom. I'll bet it wasn't much different than Al's Diner? My Mom was in the Walkerton High Class of 1958. She said she spent many times after school at the Dairy Bar where they would meet to plan student council events and sometimes do homework.

They met there after basketball games and football too! I can only imagine the deluxe sundaes, malted shakes, and banana splits as I crave what all the fuss was about at Dairy Bar? Visions of soda jerks, and waitresses carrying plates of hot dogs, and cheeseburgers through the diner complete my thoughts of the delicacies and pimpley faces of the crowds of 1950's students.

Walkerton High Class of 1958 bording the train at Plymouth, my Mom on far left, bound for New York City.

My favorite story was when my Mom's class of 1958 took a

train trip from Walkerton to New York City, and then on to Washington DC. All of the students organized fundraisers the whole year long and saved money so their class could be together on a train departing from Plymouth bound for New York City Grand Central Station. My Mom said she went to walk on Broadway, and Times Square, and that they saw a Broadway Show "No Time For Sargents." She said they even got tickets to go to Radio City Music Hall to see "The Rockette's!" I can only imagine the excitement? All of those Walkerton kids keeping together on the busy streets of NYC?

Walkerton Class of 1958 hamming it up on the Train bound for NYC.

Then they went on to see the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. I cracked up when my Mom said that she and her friends got caught in their hotel room by the chaperone smoking cigarettes! Who can blame them with all of the lit billboards lining Times Square showing the glamorous smokers? But, they got caught.

The girls with my Mom in their NYC hotel room eating room service. Look at those 1950's Coca-Cola's!

Class of 1958 Students in Washington DC.

Later they went on to Washington DC where they toured the Capitol, The Mall, and The White House. The best part about this story is that the students planned this trip together with their faculty and made it happen! The place to be was "Dairy Bar" and that is a place with a lot of history from the stories of my parents and friends from their generation? I think the bowling alley came along later on the other side of downtown Walkerton? What memories I have of that! I guess it replaced the Dairy Bar as the place to go after it was torn down to build the Farmers State Bank Building across from the Supermarket. I miss bowling, french fries, pinball machines, and the video games.

My Mom posing with Class of 1958 students measuring for cap & gowns.

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