Yore Place

...in Egg Harbor

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The Old Sturgeon Bay Gym - #1109


The venue was a gem with its stage on one end for the pep band and an alcove with seating on the other end for the 'little gym rats'.  The student body sat on the bleachers on the sides that had been set up for the game by the boys who could get out of last period study hall.  The bleachers were single boards on wood frames that were stored under the stage.  Bill, head custodian, supervised the setup, board by board...5, or so, rows high.  The balcony capped off the environment.  Mostly seating for adults on folding chairs, it wrapped around both sides and the end opposite the stage, the alcove end.  It was really neat to be shooting free throws on the alcove end and look up and see your mom and dad sitting in the balcony right above the backboard and rim...that didn't help much.   Oh, those unforgiving metal fan shaped backboards and the 'clang' of the ball skipping off the board with little success...not like the 'sweet kiss' of today's glass rectangular boards.  And, those black wood practice side backboards with the fan shape painted in white, what can be said but,  "now we know why we never won a basketball championship, it was the backboards".

Besides basketball and wrestling practices and contests, the old gym was host to the Friday night after game dances, the Homecoming, Sadie Hawkins, and Prom events...what memories.

The whole school building was like the gym, a gem for those who were lucky to attend it.  It was built as a K-12 school in 1909 after the second of the city's school buildings burned to the ground.  The three story brick structure featured a south entrance with a designation for GIRLS and a north entrance marked BOYS.  The auditorium was ahead of its time.  The winding flights of three sets of stairs kept the student body in shape.   It was a K-12 school until the building of two new elementary schools in 1954 separated some friendships; remember, we were in 5th grade and some friends were sent to the 'other' new school, only to be brought back together as 7th graders in 1956 into our old building.  In 1969 a new high school was built, starting the end of an era, the old building continued to serve as a junior high school until 1980 when a new junior high building was attached to the new high school out near the end of Michigan St.  The old building tried to survive by serving different functions such as a YMCA, but to no avail...it's gone.  Another central icon in the city of Sturgeon Bay simply gone forever.

Sturgeon Bay's Class of '62' senior athletes loved their football (3-conference championships with only one loss).  We were respectable in other sports such as track and field and baseball.   However for basketball, it's all 'stories' since the yearbook didn't even bother to post the team's record.  Ask the boys and they'll say,  "we won some and lost some, but ya, we should have won more", and, "oh ya, we had some great laughs!"  Girls interscholastic sports didn't exist at that time, so unfortunately the boys didn't have them to help put victories into the Clipper win column...something they probably would have been good at.

Original watercolor by PaPa Giz - 10"x18" - #1109 - SOLD - Prints available, phone or e-mail for pricing.

(the painting is in sequel to "First and Ten, Do It again", a painting of Clipper football, and "The Reception Line", a painting with a baseball theme)


Yore Place in Egg Harbor