Niagara Gazette

Columns

April 29, 2013

HIGGS: Past personal connections and two connected schools

Niagara Gazette — Where did April go? I guess time flies when you’re having fun.

Working on the Beautify Niagara event is always fun as I encounter so many wonderful people in and around our city. Writing these columns is also fun for the same reason. I received a telephone call from Dale Flagler who lives in the Gowanda area. He told me he went to 5th Street School and South Junior and his family lived across the street from 5th Street School.

He said my story brought back memories of when he attended 7th, 8th and 9th grades at South Junior and when I asked him if he something to share like maybe a girlfriend or other friends he surprised me. I always knew Western New York people always have something in common but this was close to home for me. He said yes, he had a sort of girlfriend who lived on Augustus Place where I now live and her name was Kathleen Lake. Dale graduated form NFHS in 1964 and worked as a repairman with New York Telephone Company and Kathleen was a teacher at Lockport High School following her college education. More research led me to find that Dale was married to Sharon in the early 1970s and Kathy as I know her today married a young attorney, Ralph Boniello III, around the same time. He went on to become a Supreme Court Justice and I was on his staff for a few very pleasant years until my retirement. Small world isn’t it?

We now pay a visit to North Junior High School and the new Cleveland Avenue School as they are intertwined. Construction was started in 1922 at Cleveland Avenue and 15th Street on the North Junior High school. The work was completed in the spring of 1923 and at that time all the classrooms, furnishings, equipment and students from the original Cleveland Avenue School were moved to North Junior, where they remained until June 1925. Elmer Knowles was the principal at this time.

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