Glen Sampson, `43, reports that the hot lunch program started in 1934 or 1935 and we were one of the first schools to have such a program.
The lunch room was located in the southeast corner of the first floor with the kitchen are a just to the immediate north. This picture of a 4-H meeting in 1954 shows the northeastern corner of the lunch room. The kitchen was through the serving windows at the left of the picture. The railing was an attempt to keep the youngsters in some resemblance of a line, and woe to anyone who might sit on it or even push against it too hard. The door in the center of the photo was to exit through the cooking room with one's tray after eating and where one made a cursory attempt to clean the plate into the garbage can. The cooler is where the cooks stored the milk that was served to the students. The milk was usually served in half pint glass bottles and was placed in metal serving racks on the serving area just behind the speaker. Occasionally, as a high school student, one got an extra milk which was always a special treat. Milk, at that time, was bottled in real glass bottles.
It was here, in this very room, that one of the most pleasant memories of Milford Twp was created for many students. One of the long time cooks, Mrs Lon Williams, had a formula for making the best cinnamon rolls that ever graced a plate. To this day, if ever a really good cinnamon roll is tasted, it is compared to, and falls short, of the delicious cinnamon rolls served by Mrs Williams and her crew. And, if you were able to secure “seconds”, WOW! it made not only your day but was a highlight for several more. Then, you tried to recall what you had done right, or at least hadn't done wrong, and planned to do that the next time these cinnamon rolls were served. I believe her formula is on page 334.
The windows give testimony to the fact the floor of the lunch room was about 3 1/2 feet below the surface of the outside ground level. These windows could be blocked open at times, and the method that seemed to have evolved over time was the very effective empty three pound coffee can. Also, note the insulated pipes going overhead. What the insulation was-- well, take a guess.
In the early fifties when Larry Baldus and then Keith Hopkins were the superintendents, as a special treat, because they liked baseball, we, the high school students, came down to the lunch room to watch the World's Series on the Television. One was encouraged to bring along their textbooks to study a little and, believe it or not, some actually did. Although, some, I'm sure, just sat with non-seeing eyes and looked at the pages. We had to keep the rough housing and noise down to a low level (so as to not disturb the other students who were in their classrooms) or one would have to return upstairs to the study hall. Television was a new world to central Iowa at the time and so this was a double treat.
Molly Wakefield was in the last kindergarten class that began their education at Milford in the fall of 1960 under the tutelage of Mrs Allen. See page 284. Of her experiences she writes:
“In June (of 2008) our class of `73N was privileged to take a last tour of the (Milford) building. What a shock it was to find that the first classroom we came to still had Mrs. Gallagher's name over the door. Though the building was sadly “coming unglued” inside, the memories of those who walked the halls that one last time were as alive as if we were transported back to elementary school aged children. Every room had a story and Tim Tendall regaled us all with trivia and memories of the antics of students. In the dreams I have of going to school, the setting is always Milford. It was like walking through a dream once again and seeing that my memory of the rooms had held true.
“The first room I went to was the Kindergarten room, for it was there that I have the most vivid memories of those first days of public education. The huge entry doors seemed formidable to a 30+ pound child (Mom worried constantly that I would be the last one to the door and would be left outside as the doors were too heavy for me to open.), yet the classroom was like coming to a second home. Mrs. Allen was a loving teacher and I still remember dressing as pilgrims and Indians as we learned about the first Thanksgiving.
“I recall the bus rides to school. We all had assigned seats and about twice a year the bus driver would let us sit anywhere we wanted to. Being a timid child, I just felt safer sitting in that seat all year, in spite of the encouragement to “sit anywhere you want” from my cousins and other riders. I remember the snowsuits Mom made me wear and waddling to the end of the drive with Dad (Don “Red” Wakefield'40) or the bus driver having to help me on the bus as that first step was just too high.
"Recess was spent on the monkey bars or the teeter totters in which we tried to bump off our partner by bouncing our end of the see saw on the ground. That was frowned upon by the teachers, obviously for safety reasons. I'm not sure how long it was before those boards were removed from the metal bars. I also recall always having to drink a carton of milk after/before afternoon recess and how hard it was to get that much milk into my stomach. Mrs. Jacobson seemed like a pillar of stone on the playground when she was wrapped in the long yellow slicker. She never seemed to move except to blow the whistle at someone. Poor lady was probably frozen as were many of us during those cold and wintery days.”