August 12, 2010
Wally Linder's favorite Gladys Eisenhauer stories; she was never the same after a field trip to the Museum of Natural History
I was in the class of 1961 and Miss Gladys Eisenhauer was a very popular citizenship education teacher. She drove a big, new, expensive, gigantic, light-green car (Bonneville, I think). It was the kind of car that folks in Levittown just did not have. The trunk was as big as a queen-size bed. I suffer from CRS, and for the life of me, I don't understand how I can remember that. I think I was in love with her, and her car.
In the summer and fall of 1960, the presidential election race was hot and heavy. JFK debated Nixon on TV, and everyone watched. The difference between the two men seemed like the beginning of a new era. I was interested in politics for the first time in my life. I remember driving "The" 54 Chevy out to the end of the earth, Port Jefferson, to see and hear JFK. We stayed up all night in John Fitzsimmons’ living room to hear the election results.
Before the election, Miss Eisenhauer told us that she could not vote for JFK. She went on to say that she thought that JFK was the best candidate, but she had a big problem with, and fear of, LBJ. She told us that according to the "Historical Time Table," JFK would die in office. She really believed that voting for JFK would make LBJ President, and she was sincerely afraid of LBJ becoming president. Everyone thought she was nuts.
Right after the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK said "do for your country," and I did. I was in the Navy “seeing the world" in Millington Tennessee, when Miss Eisenhauer's prediction came true. I had not thought of what she had said, until that day - Nov. 22, 1963. I've thought about Miss Eisenhauer, every November 22nd since.
We went to the Museum of Natural History with Miss Eisenhauer. I think that was our senior trip. The poor woman, was never the same after that outing. I remember her, red complexioned and angry as hell (she was actually shaking), telling our class that Division Avenue High School had been banned from the Museum for all eternity, because of the behavior of its students. Something about mummies being disturbed. Because there was an outstanding invitation to her Old Westbury home, she still had a graduation party. We went, but things were never the same.
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It appears that Miss Eisenhauer left DAHS after 1961. Could you really blame the lady? Her photo does not appear in a yearbook after Wally Linder's class graduated.