Moving To Fonda

by John Tischer on February 8, 2010 · 1 comment

We moved to Fonda in September of 1963. We were living in Sioux City, Iowa prior to moving. My father was a banker and took a position at the Fonda bank. I did not want to leave Sioux City. I was enjoying success in baseball having made All Star teams and throwing two no hitters. I also was a starter on the 7th grade basketball team at North Jr. High and was looking forward to playing football as an 8th grader. I had friends and really didn’t want to move. At North Jr. High there were 1,000 students in 7th, 8th and 9th grade and I would have gone to Sioux City Central as a 10th grader.

My first day at Fonda was a typical first day at a new school. You were enrolled, I met the Principal Tom Adams, he took me through the school, showed me the gym and told me if I worked hard I might play there someday. He then took me upstairs and introduced me to Denny Stafford and told Denny to show me where to go the rest of the day, take me to lunch and make sure I got the hang of things.

I still remember walking to the class room. You had to go thru study hall to get to the room and the study hall was full. All eyes were on me as I walked thru the study hall to class.

In Fonda in those days there were two schools. There was Fonda Public where I attended and there was also Fonda O.L. G. C. the parochial school. We had a 15 kids in 8th grade and I think O.L.G.C. had like 43 give or take. Fonda was very split on religion in those days so that is the reason why the two schools. Also, why we were good at baseball in the summer and really only average to a little better than average in the other sports. I have always said that if the two schools would have been together, what we would have had for athletic teams would have been incredible. We had state tournament caliber teams if together.

We lived in the country when we first moved to Fonda as there was no housing available in town. Actually we lived in the Lytton school district, but my brothers and I rode with my father everyday to school. We moved to Fonda proper in the spring.

I started on the 8th grade basketball team. Dennis Stafford was really the best player. Mr. O’Rourke was our coach. I remember my grandmother came up from Early to watch me play as an 8th grader. I fouled out in the first half as I wanted to impress her so much. She thought the refs were picking on me. lol

The biggest event of 1963 was the assasination of President Kennedy. They say there are events in your life that you will never forget, this is one of those. We were all in music class sitting on the stage when it came over the intercom that the President had been shot. It was a Friday. We sat there and talked amongst ourselves, Jane Stauter was sitting next to me and I told her I thought Jackie had him shot, trying to be cute.

About 15 minutes later they informed us that he was dead and sent us home. A very long weekend, we were all scared, the weather was terribly cold, I know we lost power over the weekend and a farm house in the winter is not the place to be. I also remember that Sheral Adams and I played taps at the ceremony in Fonda in the parking lot of the post office. It was so cold the spit froze in the trumpets and we had to stay in the post office till it was time to play. Sheral had a problem with the high notes when playing. She asked me what key we were going to play it in. I told her we would play it in open valve, meaning we would not depress any of the keys. She lead off and I followed her as we played what is called “Echo Taps” It didn’t take long for me to figure out that she was not playing open valve but playing with the first and third valves down, making the key much lower than what I was playing in. We got it done, no one said anything but I certainly was not a happy person with her. lol

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Renata Cintra March 11, 2013 at 3:59 am

I lived in Fonda in 1976, when I was a foreign exchange student, and I remember Mr. Oats and Mr. Peterson. I remember açç the basketball games, the Fonda Flyers, and the Flyerettes. I remember some friends: Jim Tolan, Mark White, the Gilellands, and the two others exchange students: Sarah Torres from Paraguay, and Martin Schulz, from El Salvador. Sometimes I eas babysitting de MacDonald’s children. The play Yankee Doodle at the gym…good times that I remember so well but that will never come back again,,,


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