Vintage OMPS Photos; Mrs. Hilt with the girls basketball team in the 1960s | PCL/Local History Room Photo
Vintage OMPS Photos; Mrs. Hilt with the girls basketball team in the 1960s | PCL/Local History Room Photo
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Last year, Bob Panter delivered several boxes of vintage Old Mission Peninsula School (OMPS) photos to the Local History Room at Peninsula Community Library to be archived and preserved. What a gift! Read all about it in this story by Mary Morgan, the Librarian for the Local History Room.

Also, I think Mr. Panter now works at either Lowe’s or Home Depot in town. You’ll immediately recognize him, because he looks exactly the same as when I had him for a principal at OMPS back in the 1970s. I’ll try to nail down where he works and get a photo of him when I’m in there. I’m thinking it’s Lowe’s. (Update: It IS Lowe’s – read more here.)

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About the vintage photos, I decided that I couldn’t do just one story with a giant photo gallery and call it good, because each photo has its own story to tell. So I’ll be posting regularly here on the Gazette about individual photos, the people in them, and the backstory.

Of course, Tim would be the perfect person to give me all the details for some of the photos. He was eight years older than me – more in my sister Carol’s era – so between the two of us, we could usually piece together names and dates and OMP history.

So, I will be calling on all of you for those details, starting with today’s photo of Mrs. Hilt and the girls basketball team. My friend Marge Long, who is IN the photo, says it was probably taken around 1965 or 1966. She and my sister, Carol (Johnson) Lewis – also in the photo – were born on the same day and were in the same class.

This photo was taken back when the school went to eighth grade. By the time I made it through elementary school, it only went to sixth grade. However, I did have Mrs. Hilt for sixth grade, but at that time, she had re-married and I knew her as Mrs. Happel.

She lived just up the road from us in Old Mission – near Lardie’s Grocery (now Old Mission General Store) – and I’d walk up to her house after school for extra help with math. I’m still not great with math – I’m a word girl – but she gave me enough basic knowledge about numbers to get me this far in life, and I just turned 63 this week. So far so good.

Now I’m wondering if we did have a girls basketball team by the time I got to sixth grade and I just don’t remember it. If any of my classmates read this, help me out here. Along with not being a math person, I wasn’t a sports person either. I played the violin and loved to write, and those were my things all through school.

But I do remember the whistle that Mrs. Hilt/Happel wore on a string around her neck. I think she wore it in the classroom, maybe to get our attention when we were unruly. Or maybe she taught gym class, and that’s where I remember it from.

At any rate, I have fond memories of her as a teacher, including taking our class down to the pond to check out the tadpoles, and guiding us through hatching baby chicks in an incubator in the hallway. Later in life, I became good friends with her son, Jim Hilt, and his wife, Carlene.

Thanks to Marge for helping me with the names in this photo. I knew a lot of them, but not all. Here’s her lineup for who’s in the photo, including Mrs. Hilt at the top:

  • Bottom row, left to right: Peggy Weber, Cheryl Lyon, Sherri VanHorn, Barb Frisby, Wendy Bacon, Margaret Brown (a.k.a. Marge Long), Nancy Blackmore, Virginia Dohm (now Coulter, who owns Old Mission Flowers).
  • Second row, left to right: Jean McManus, Vicky Mashka, Paula Elzer, Carol Johnson, Laurie Grubb, Gwen Gleason, Cindy McKinley.
  • Third row, left to right: Pat Hoffman, Bronwyn Slater, Susan Mathison(?), Laurie Manigold.

Are you in the photo or know somone who is? Feel free to share your memories in the comments section at the bottom of this story.

Vintage OMPS Photos; Mrs. Hilt with the girls basketball team in the 1960s | PCL/Local History Room Photo
Vintage OMPS Photos; Mrs. Hilt with the girls basketball team in the 1960s | PCL/Local History Room Photo

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A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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  1. I recognize many of the people in the photo. I graduated from OMPS in 1965 so I guess this would have been 2 years later. My sister, Pat Hoffman is there. I also recognize Peggy Weber, Jean McManus, Lorrie Grubb, Ginnie Dohm, and others.

  2. Wow! This brings back so many fond memories! I was in this class and I’m still in contact with a couple of these girls. Thank you for posting! I still have a photo of our 8th grade “graduation” picture!
    Thanks again,
    Jeff Lockman

  3. I was a year behind these girls. My dearest friend (Laurie Grubb Bloxsom) was in this picture. Mrs Hilt was my basketball coach and gym teacher. She was great! Her son Bill and my brother (Joe Bennett) were good friends.
    OMPS was a great school to attend! Such great memories.


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