December 17, 2011

About the geographical border that mandated who went to Division Avenue or Levittown Memorial for high school

Your blogger emailed the following to some class of 1960 members who lived south of Hempstead Turnpike:

Maybe you can fill me in on some things.

What was the dividing line concerning who could go to high school at Division or Memorial? As my classmate Bill Stanley pointed out, it had nothing to do with Hempstead Turnpike. I had assumed that all you southerners had a choice, but that is incorrect.

You all lived south of Hempstead Turnpike, so I wonder if you had an option for the start of high school.

Did any of you attend Division in seventh and/or eighth grade? I know that Don Davidson didn't. Most of the kids in those grades at Division, when it was a junior high in 1954 and 1955, had attended Northside Elementary School.

This is a big puzzle to me, but worth exploring as part of the history of Levittown that I am trying to record.

Ira Selsky replied . . .

It was the 1950s and neither we nor our parents questioned authority. If the School Board said we had to go to Division instead of Memorial, we went.

I went to Wisdom Lane Junior High School. It was just around the corner on Center Lane, right across the street when we were able to cut through yards.

The fact that we were always in the “senior” class at Division made up for the trek across Hempstead Turnpike. And it was always a great stopping point at the shopping center.

Warren Zaretsky

No choice. Went to Wisdom Lane, then Division -- no idea why. Interestingly, my brother and both my sisters went to Memorial.

Don Davidson

Warren and I can attest to the fact the dividing line in our area was Chimney Lane. We were on Winding Lane, the next block over. The Chimney Lane guys all went to Memorial.

Bill Stanley

I just read your blog story, but I can tell you for a fact that Hempstead Turnpike was not a dividing line for Division vs. Memorial. All of the people I am about to mention, lived on the south side of the “Pike”. As for the following friends, here goes: me - Bluegrass Lane (A.K.A. doctors' row); Ira Selsky, Barbara Almquist - both Shelter Lane; Toby Rutner -Shotgun Lane.

Others who lived south of the “Pike” included Richie Bernhardt, Arnie Katz, Dick Heffernan, Peggy Coe, Don Davidson, Carol Doyle, John Mulligan, Kenny Kemmer, Nellie Ortiz, Warren Zaretsky and Perry Berns. I’m sure I missed some, but you get the idea. I have no idea how they determined who went to what school, but Hempstead Turnpike was not it in our area.

I went to Wisdom Lane School and then Center Lane School up to the seventh grade and then I went to Memorial for the eighth grade. Since I played baseball, football and wrestled, it was easy to make friends and I actually knew many of our Division Avenue classmates from Little League, Pony League and other kids sports organizations when I became a Blue Dragon in my freshman year of high school.


Marilyn Monsrud Frese said...

I wonder if the "Lines" changed periodically, if not annually, so that one HS would not be overcrowded while the other went on without full classrooms? Maybe it had to do with keeping the class sizes pretty equal in each HS?

Mark Rotker said...

by the time we "kids" went to Division, the TPK was the dividing line. Nobody from the south side went to our school except for the Technical Electronics kids and the Vocational shop kids.

Bill Fey said...

I was in the same class as Mark at Northside in 6th and Division 7 through 12. But my sister only had 3 classes a day at DAHS in the AM, and then was bussed to Memorial for the rest of the day for cosmetology class.

Frank Barning said...

Mark and Bill, the kids to us older Divisionites, were class of 1968.

Anonymous said...

Sandy Adams, class of 1960 commented....

I had always thought that the turnpike was the dividing line for the high schools, but interesting to learn that it was not. I used to fear that my neighborhood (Horn Lane) would fall into Hicksville's Division Ave territory - I recall my mother mentioning something about it. So glad that these fears didn't come true!!!