Vintage OMPS Photos: left to right, Alex Galligan, Norm Crampton, Bernie Carroll, Bill Welhusen and Bob Panter | Panter Collection at Peninsula Community Library
Feel free to share this post...

(This story is part of a continuing series about a collection of slides that Bob Panter gave to Peninsula Community Library in 2022. Read how it came about here, and check out other vintage Old Mission Peninsula School photos here. -jb)

Today’s installment of “The Panter Collection,” as I like to call it, is a photo of Mr. Galligan drinking coffee with the guys in the OMPS cafeteria. There are several of these types of photos in the collection, so I’m guessing this was a regular occurrence where Mr. G sat down with the bus drivers for a cup of coffee, maybe after they’d delivered the kids to school in the morning.

Old Mission Gazette is Reader Supported.
Click Here to Keep the Gazette Going.

That’s Mr. Galligan on the left, of course. This was likely taken in the mid-1960s when he was the school principal. I believe that’s Norm Crampton in the back, Bernie Carroll in front of him, Bill Welhusen in the back right, and I’m thinking that’s Mr. Panter in the front on the right (drinking a carton of milk – way to go). I wish I could see who was in the middle of them. Maybe Ed Brown? Read more about Ed here.

Except for Mr. Galligan and Mr. Panter, all of these guys were bus drivers. Mr. Welhusen was my bus driver in Old Mission for the entire time I went to OMPS, but I got to know the other drivers, all of whom became iconic figures in my childhood. That’s what happens when you live in a small farming community like the Old Mission Peninsula.

Vintage OMPS Photos: left to right, Alex Galligan, Norm Crampton, Bernie Carroll, Bill Welhusen and Bob Panter | Panter Collection at Peninsula Community Library
Vintage OMPS Photos: left to right, Alex Galligan, Norm Crampton, Bernie Carroll, Bill Welhusen and Bob Panter | Panter Collection at Peninsula Community Library

I mentioned in this photo of Mrs. Hilt’s Girls Basketball Team that I thought Mr. Panter worked at Home Depot or Lowe’s. I can now confirm that he works at Lowe’s, because when I was in there a few days ago, I spotted him in the paint department! Thanks for being a willing photo participant, Mr. Panter.

Bob Panter at Lowe's in Traverse City, Michigan; former teacher/principal of Old Mission Peninsula School | Jane Boursaw Photo
Bob Panter at Lowe’s in Traverse City, Michigan; former teacher/principal of Old Mission Peninsula School | Jane Boursaw Photo

We had a great chat about the photo collection and his time at OMPS. He said he began teaching at the school in 1963 and became principal when Mr. Galligan left in the late 1960s (1969?). According to this Record-Eagle story of August 27, 1968, Mr. Galligan was the principal that year.

Alex Galligan; Grand Traverse Area School Principals in 1968 | Traverse City Record-Eagle Archives
Grand Traverse Area School Principals in 1968 | Traverse City Record-Eagle Archives

Below is the Traverse City Record-Eagle clipping about Mr. Panter joining the school in 1963 (Mr. Thatcher was new that year, too.) He taught fifth grade, along with Mrs. Greene, whom I had for fifth grade – read more about her here.

I’m sure the other teachers in the story – including Mrs. DeWitt, Mrs. Robinett, Mrs. Cook, Mrs. DeYoung, Mrs. Van Vorst, Mrs. Elhart, Mr. Matson, Mrs. Edgecomb, Mrs. Hilt and the rest – are familiar to you, as well.

Traverse City Record-Eagle; August 23, 1963; Robert Panter and James Thatcher join staff at Old Mission Peninsula School | RE Archives
Traverse City Record-Eagle; August 23, 1963; Robert Panter and James Thatcher join staff at Old Mission Peninsula School | RE Archives

I started Kindergarten in 1965, so I had Mr. Galligan for the first few years, but Mr. Panter was my principal for the rest of my time at OMPS. By the time I made it to the upper hallway, the school went to sixth grade, and then I moved to what is now West Middle School for seventh, eighth and ninth grades (a culture shock!). Previously, OMPS went to eighth grade.

He mentioned that he and Bob Lindsey (our janitor – remember his giant ring of keys?) took a lot of the photos that are in The Panter Collection. Mr. Panter remembered his time at OMPS fondly, and mentioned that he and his wife Joanne (who taught at the high school) bought the house on the Samuelson farm on Bluff Road.

Tim and I ran into Merry Samuelson several years ago out in Leland – read more about that here. Also, Mr. Panter said the Samuelson barn is featured in Evelyn Johnson’s “Barns of Old Mission Peninsula” book – stay tuned for more about that barn.

Mr. Panter also mentioned that the buses for the Old Mission Peninsula School District were always clean and well cared for. Annexation of OMPS to the Traverse City Area Public School (TCAPS) system happened in 1968. For a time, we had both OMPS and TCAPS buses carrying us to and fro. Eventually, it became all TCAPS buses.

School bus at Old Mission Peninsula School, circa 1960s | Panter Collection, Peninsula Community Library
School bus at Old Mission Peninsula School, circa 1960s | Panter Collection, Peninsula Community Library

OMPS is now a charter school, thanks to a group of dedicated people who made that happen in 2018.

Add your own memories about OMPS and this photo/these guys in the comments section below. Or better yet, write them into a story and send it to me – [email protected].

And, as always, feel free to correct anything I’ve gotten wrong in the story – that especially goes for you, Mr. Panter!

Also Read…

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

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan

4 COMMENTS

  1. What a wonderful picture! Mr. Carroll was my bus driver and I recall him as such a nice man and family friend. Many, many happy memories from OMPS!

  2. Great to see a photo with Bernie Carroll in it! He was my bus driver all of my elementary school years as I rode the bus “into” town going to St. Francis. He was a terrific driver and always pleasant! He had a good amount of patience as well, lol. Seems like there were always a handful that had to come running out of their house for the bus.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
  
Please enter an e-mail address

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.