Let's go back for a little bit and recall those lost, but not forgotten, days growing up and living in Galion. By sharing your stories, we can be reminded of those times in our own lives. All of us thank the ones who have contributed their stories. These stories need to be recorded. This website's main niche is to feed our desires to reminisce about Galion and this page is one of the things that make this place on the internet so popular among the ones who have spent any time in Galion.   Thanks Larry!


Our Memories of Galion


You can Email your memories to info at GalionGuy.com, and we will be more than glad to put them here with the others.

Fond memories of Galion..
Like many memories written, there are so many from us all. I started school with Ms. Markey at Rencheville School as my Father did and my oldest son. I also had Ms. Trout for American History in High School. So did my Father!! One thing, she never forgot a student. I felt the repercussions of that. In 5th grade at East, Mrs. Beardsley I believe..., the day Kennedy was shot. We were sent home early. I told my mom, she hadn't heard yet (Before the News Briefs and Internet). Watching it all on TV, the grief felt by all. Also watching Ed Sullivan on Sunday and the Beatles for the first time. (My father thought they were communist because they had hair touching their ears!) It seems Mike Long was a target for mischief makers. I wrote on the back of his shirt in 7th Grade and promptly sent to the principals office. Three wacks if my memory serves. Sorry Mike. Remember the trips to Mrs. Ross, school nurse?
Halloween was a special time of year. Going all over town. On Union Street there was a scary house. The passenger trains at the Union Street crossing would throw out candy to the children along the way. The 4th of July was Great! My Grandmother lived the last house next to the football field. We watched the Fireworks from there, some hitting the roof. I always wanted to stay at Grandma's during the summer, playing at the Park and Swimming all summer. Of course the YMCA was built and that brings back a lot of memories as well. One of the last memories, someone broke out a plate glass window, with a motorcycle I believe, right before Graduation! (1971) There were rumors but............. I hope all have fond Memories of Galion. It was a wonderful place to grow up. I left in 1979 for Florida. Only been back once for my 25th Reunion but I have met many, many people from or have relatives in Galion.
-----Trish Suggs (Patricia McCumber), Tampa, Florida

High School Memories..
I grew up in Galion, going to school there every year except 8th grade when my family moved to Massilon for that one year. It was the greatest place a kid could ask for. As I have read through these memories, they have sparked many of my own. I currently live in Florida and have not been able to make it back to any of the reunions for the great Class of '71.
From the pictures I have seen, many of those I remember have not made it back either. Some of the fond memories I have, especially from high school years (I'm sure I'm going to misspell some of your names -- sorry):

(1) sneaking around at the reservoir looking for parked couples with my buddies, Dave & Dan Beach,(2)driving around Columbus while attending the state track meet with Jim Burky and his dad looking for a Burger King so Burk could prove it didn't "take two hands to handle a whopper," (3) the day my chem lab partner, PhilGehrich, and I almost fried Mike Long with our "unofficial" experiment - a flame thrower, (4) Stu Auld squeaking away on his clarinet in band (while I was squeaking away on my trumpet), (5) sitting on the bench during JV basketball games with Tic, (6) the look of the home team's faces when we drove up to cross country meets in Jerry Hocker's black hearse and driving through town throwing snowballs out of the back windows of that same hearse, (7) running the mile in track meets with Rick Potter - and never being able to catch him, (8) driving through the alleys with Rick Kent chasing his girlfriends, (9) Tim Crimm growing his hair long our junior year just to see how long he could grow it before anyone said anything about it - they never did, (10) trying to hit a Matt Gotfried curve ball, (11) being so envious of Tim Leak's sideburns and beard, (12) Jerry Hocker shaving his beard and head for track season after not cutting it since cross country - everyone thought he was a new kid in school, (13) breaking the two-mile relay school record with Jeff Haas, Jerry Hocker, and . . . man, I forgot the fourth member of the relay team . . . seems like maybe it was Rick Potter, (14) my crush on Susie Wieniger our freshman year, (15) the manager for all seasons - Tom Tennis!

I could go on and on. . .those sure were great days. One of these years maybe I'll make it to a reunion. Best wishes to all my classmates from '71.
-----Rick Gow, 7220 Potts Road, Riverview, FL 33569.

When I was five years old..
...in (1957) we moved to Galion. We lived there for nine years. Because I was a kid, those years seemed like a very long time. It was a wonderful place to grow up.

I remember that day in November when President Kennedy was shot. The teachers at Rencheville where very somber the whole afternoon, but the announcement was not made until the end of the day. Mrs. Sidwell had us take turns reading "The Weekly Reader" which had a story about Kennedy.

That summer I had seen John Glenn at the YMCA camp (Camp Nelson Dodd) Glenn had worked there as a teenager. I was much more enthralled with heroes back then.

The great JC Penny fire. We awoke that Sunday to the billowing smoke across town. Everyone in Galion must have been downtown that morning. I remember seeing a line of customers in front of Tom McNew’s restaurant. It seemed strange to me that people would be drinking coffee and eating pie when the whole world was changing.

That opening winter street scene in "It’s a Wonderful Life" always makes me think of Galion. I live in the Deep South now days and do not miss winter except for that season. Downtown was so exciting with the lights and decorations. My memories usually include a lot of snow and cold. There was a jewelry store on the square that displayed those fantastic animated jewel boxes in the sidewindow. I have never seen the like since then.

Sledding down that big hill by the country club golf course. The midsummer excitement of the carnival in Heise Park capped off with the July 4th fireworks.

Watching "The Wizard of Oz " on that new marvel, the color television, at our neighbors.

The coldness of Heise Park pool on the Saturday morning free swim.

Having six television channels by using our tower antenna and rotor control. Cleveland with channel 8 and Ghoulardi the original ratfink. Japanese monster movies and the Three Stooges. Everybody knew the real reason Ghoulardi was pulled from the air (it involved a hamster and a cherry bomb)

No.#32 Jim Brown

We had a picture of Coach Woody Hayes on the wall next to a picture of Jesus.

Riding that cold bumpy bus all over the county every morning. I would always save a seat for the prettiest girl I knew (she lived on Bucyrus Rd)
-----Tom Roberts

My childhood Galion in the 60's..
I was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1956, and we lived in Galion during 1961-62 and 1964-67, since my father, Curt Green, was working at the North Electric Company. I really enjoy this web site recognizing all the places and names! I went to Renschville Elementary School in Kindergarten and in 3rd to 6th grade. I remember many of my school friends and teachers - no one mentioned, and no one forgotten. I am glad to find many of them on the photo of the reunion of the graduate class of 74!
In 1967, we returned to Sweden, where I have lived since then. To me, Galion is a great and pleasant part of my childhood. The carefree age of a 10 year-old, in combination with the charming small town contributed to this. It was in Galion, I took all my swim badges during the warm summers, and I went ice skating on the frozen creeks in the winter. -The picnics during the fall in Mohican Park with the other Swedish families, going to girl scout camp, riding my bike, playing tether ball on the school playground (enormously popular, but something that never reached Sweden!). And also just memories of typical American things, like the yellow school buses, tootsie rolls, Sunday school, the Galion Tigers, the Drive-Ins. In 1992, I had the opportunity to visit Galion, and my dear best friend from that time, Pat, and it was relieving to see that much of the town still was as I remembered it. I now live 200 km from Stockholm with my husband and children, and I work in the field of mapping and land surveying.
---- Agneta Green Engberg

What a wonderful page..
I am so happy to have found it and see so many familiar names. I was born in 1939 in Galion Community Hospital and have a brother, Robert "Ted" Eise, and did have a sister, Marilynn Eise Fullenlove. I was married in Galion but left to move to Alabama in 1962. Boy! Was that an eye opener!! Decatur still had segregated bathroom facilities, drinking fountains, waiting rooms in doctor's offices, etc. We had a neighbor who was a member of the KKK!!! Anyway, I used to come back to Galion to visit my sister until she died in May 1980. Ted and his family had moved from Galion with the North Electric Company. The class of '57 had its 40th reunion October 1997 and we drove up from Murfreesboro, Tennessee (where I have lived for 25 years) to attend. It was wonderful to see Judy Cass Karnes, Bob Karnes, Nancy Foote Wilson, Ruth Ann Maple Lazar, Carol Brush Bensing, Janice Yunker, Bob Ritzhaupt, and many others that I hadn't seen in many years. I remember the Youth Center well; Heise Park; sledding on Cherry Street when it was closed down for that purpose. I can remember the Galion Theatre when it was built and we went to the first movie but I do not remember what the movie was. The line to get in went halfway around the block. I half-way played clarinet in the GHS marching band and orchestra and sang in the high school choir (which was my love!). Yes, I remember well being able to shop downtown Galion...Anyone remember the "Clothes Horse?" I remember the flouroscope in Bennett's Shoe store on the square and I remember when they took the machine out because of the cancer threat from the x-rays! I was not a swimmer (scared to death of water to this day) but I spent many summer afternoons at Heise Park with my friends. Someone mentioned ice-skating on the pond in the park and I remember that very well. I can remember my brother taking me sledding on "Bunker Hill" which, I have since found out, was behind the McElroys house...that Bunker Hill was something else. I must have only been 7 or 8 years old at the time.
I hope this will be posted and that more people will see the Web Page and write in with more memories. I lived on the corner of Cherry Street and Jefferson Street. We went by there in Oct. 1997 and the house seemed so much smaller. They cut the trees down that were on the Jefferson St. side. My dad had the big tree in front cut down because he was afraid a storm would knock it down on the house? That old tree was home base when we used to have all the neighborhood kids come play "Hide 'n Seek"! What fun! Well, goodbye (and hello) to any Galionites that may remember the Eise's!
----- Joan Elaine Eise Harris

Misty Eyed..
I can never read through these memories without getting misty in the eyes, thanks to all who've shared theirs. I can add a few, but it always surprises me how similar everyone's are to mine, we really were lucky to have grown up in such a wonderful, classic spot. My fondest memories are of summers on Fairview Ave. with the gang - Barney and Kenton Mussleman, Bill Sickmiller, Lyle Crissinger, Joey Lock, the Music kids, and whatever guest stars happened to be present. We would sit on the bridge and listen to AM radio or 45's on the Mussleman's record player -Red Rubber Ball, Little Black Egg, etc.(you could play a whole stack of them). We spent months playing Euchre (only people from Galion know this card game) and raiding the neighbors' vegetable patches in the moonlight. There were UFO sightings, a mysterious albino creature was seen lurking under the creek bank, and the TasteeFreeze opened one summer with 65 flavors of milkshakes, so we'd all get a different one every night until we tasted them all.
We stood and threw rocks at the bulldozer that came to fill in the "Gully" and later the reservoir where we'd played so much as kids. It was situated in such a way that "eastenders" claimed one end, by the tracks, and we claimed everything else. One year Barney pushed some hood named "Spike" down the bank by the creek and we all thought he was a huge hero after that. Legends and ghosts were invented and maintained, and there wasn't anyplace we couldn't go play. I remember sitting in a dwarf apple tree in Mr. Mason's yard next to the Breinich's, eating myself sick on green apples, but thinking how beautiful it was with the sun going down, then getting scared about the dwarves. I could certainly go on, but I'd rather do this in person with my classmates. How about this big reunion in 2000? Seems like a great idea to me, but we'd better make it a week long event or we won't have time for all the reminiscing. I'd love to hear from any of the folks I grew up with - email me!
-----Stuart Auld

A transplant with deep roots..
Although I wasn't born a Galionite, I am a transplant with deep roots! My family moved to Galion from Omaha, Nebraska, just before my freshman year in 1972. Although my family moved away soon after I graduated in 1977, I still think of Galion as "Home". I remember --

  • Small town charm and character that rarely exists anymore
  • Wonderful neighbors that are still a part of my extended family
  • Riding my bicycle before I could drive from one end of town to the other
  • Mr. Alesch and all four years of Art class
  • Prom! An event in Galion! No one does it better!
  • Mike's Pizza
  • Yummy corn, tomatoes and bratwurst
  • Fourth of July fun at Heise Park
  • Hayrides
  • Parties (Swalley's, Mike Ford's, Gehrish's)
  • Some of the best friends (and now family) ever!
  • Playing Tripoley for pennies
  • Motorcycle rides
  • Learning to ice skate
  • Many major firsts -- first car, first dates, first kiss, first job
I feel really fortunate that fate led my family to Galion. It is a treasure!
-----Tami (Swanson) Treisch

Galion Memories..
I was born in Galion in 1932 and graduated from GHS in 1950. My sister has a long note on the "memory"page. I am hoping to see messages from folks who graduated in 1950 or before but they are few and far between. My memories of Galion are of the creek, the crick hills, ice skating on the creek. We boys killed the German & the Japanese armies several times over among the crick hills. We also did the same southwest of town at "Normandy Beach". Can't remember the name of the road (Hillgrove) but you went out Portland Way South until you got to the RR tracks (Gledhill Road Machinery) and turned right. It was out there not too far. You can follow that creek to the south and end up at Amanns Dam which I want to do again before I'm too old to walk. Does anybody still go out into the country and follow the cricks??
I grew up with Bill Andrews (Andrews Dairy), Duane Gow (his dad was chief of police in Galion in the 1940's), Richard Graham, Bob Blanz, Ted Vaughen, Bill Lamb, Herb Keeler(moved to Marion). Does anybody remember Sonny Cutshall? He moved to California in the 1940's and was killed in a car crash before he graduated, Jerry Baehr, Larry Franks, Bert Downing, John Moore. There is a message from Jim Casey(?) that mentions the old Galion Airport (west edge of town) and the twin Beech. It's actually a Cessna.
I almost grew up at that airport. Duane Gow and me worked out there for airplane rides. Some of the pilots from those days were Ed Tracht, Al Mulberg, Lloyd Piefer, Ivan Tuttle (owned the place), Vic Smith and the Stearman he brought back when he was discharged from the Marines. If I remember correctly he flew Corsairs and shot down some Japanese fighters, Norm Phaler, and Harold Beech (his daughter Pat was in our class and married Tony Bennett the singer). Harold Beech had a J3 Cub with wheel pants. That made him and the J3 something special.
I learned to fly at that airport which was actually a good deal because it was so bad that there was no other airport I was scared to land at. The final approach was over the high tension lines, thru the TV antennaes, between the buildings to a grass runway that had a dogleg and a hill. Not exactly Cleveland Hopkins.
We, too, went to the Sweet Garden, Tigers Den, Tuttles News and the youth center. Teachers were Miss Tracht, Miss Sayer, Mr.Swick (cut out that Tom Foolery he liked to say), Ed Hixson (we called him Mr. Stifffingers) just to name a few. How about Smitty the cop? Remember him? Another name from those days; David Gill. Went to NYC and was in show business. Saw him in some prime time commercials back in the 60's. How can I not mention Mr. Pickering, Principal. I am now living in Raleigh, NC as is Duane Gow. Would like to hear from more folk at or near 1950 graduates.
-----Ted Eise

Galion: 1968-71..
Just reading the other memories sorta spurred me to add a few random thoughts.

In the late 60s and early 70s Galion had its "outbreak" of hippies. I was one of them and hung with people who had nicknames like Fuji, Boomer, Bonehead, Puppy Dog, Goofy, Bees, and Spike. I spent a lot of time grooving in Heise Park - got tossed out a few times too!!

I remember walking around the Galion "square" on Earth Day singing "Give Peace a Chance".

I remember Gregg Sentieri's band Lb of Coke playing at the "Y" and then the local authorities breaking up the festivities cuz the band started to play Steppenwolf's "The Pusherman".

Yeah, I had many excellent friends and some righteous times in those days. Terry Tallman where are you?

Thanks for the memories (as Bob Hope would say) and mucho thanks for putting together this website!
-----PEACE, Leo Lunser

Born and raised in Galion on August 25, 193 ..
I remember Galion in the 40s when we could go to the Ohio Movie theater for 5 cents and see a double feature plus cartoons and a superman serial. Of course we had to keep our feet off the floor to avoid the rats!!! We also went to the State Theater for 10 cents and got the same movies and cartoons. We then headed over to Isaly's Ice Cream Store next door and had a giant cone for 10 cents.

Later the Galion Theater came along and out went the Ohio followed by the State. My Step Father 'Lucky Hocker' was a contractor and got the job of remodeling the Ohio and State into stores. I had the great opportunity to gather the 'junk' left over from the theaters. Sure wish I had it now as I would be rich.

Fun times were had at the swimming pool in the summers when we could purchase a season ticket and swim to our hearts content. Although occasionally the pool was emptied and cleaned out due to someone swimming in it that was found to have Polio. That always bummed us as we had to wait a few days to go swimming. Speaking of Polio we always had to take our afternoon nap in the summer so we wouldn't catch it.

We also enjoyed the GHS football teams on Saturday instead of the Friday games played now. For half time entertainment we had a bi-plane perform aerial stunts over the football field.

Good times growing up in Galion, too bad those times aren't around now. Including downtown shopping!!!!
-----Allen Finical

I was born at Galion Community Hospital..
My mom worked there, my dad owned Hocker Construction. He built the football stadium, police station, Sunset drive in and several homes. We lived on Clymer Ave. and then moved into a newly constructed home he had just finished on Timberlane Drive. My fondest memories were when they would close Cherry St. during the winter so we could sled down the hill without worry of cars. Also does anyone remember the ice skating pond at Heise Park where the playground equipment is now.

The dances held on the basketball court by Martha Boyd were always fun. Met lots of new people there.

Galion is a great place to raise a family, my only wish is that the economy could be better. I moved to Arizona in 1982 and although I have a top paying job with Motorola I sure miss home and would love to live there once agin if the economy would allow. The title for the home page is so true. Big Town Close, Small Town Cozy. I return every year for vacation around late August or early Sept. and always look forward to getting "HOME" I tell everyone "I work in Arizona but I live in Galion."
-----Colleen Hocker (Schuman)

Remember these early and mid-50s memories?.. 
...our Davy Crockett coonskin hat faze, shortly followed by Civil War caps in blue or gray...worn to school, church, bed, wherever. 
...buying chameleons on a chain at Woolworth's and wearing them to school, church, bed, wherever--especially dinner. 
...watching ladies pro wrestling outside at Heise Park stadium. 
...Dick Kerin's "last" amateur boxing nite in the Jr. High gym (bantam match featured 9th-graders Charlie Tiller and Chuck Metzger). 
..."Sock Hops" in the gym with KYW dJs Wes Hopkins and Joe Finan. 
...appearances by the "Tumbling Tigers"--Joe Zeller, Ed Gray, Charlie Tiller, Larry Huegenin, Jim Casey--at GHS basketball halftimes. 
...burger baskets make their debut at McNews (cost of burger, fries, large coke: 75 cents. Add lemon pie: 90 cents). 
...seeing "Blackboard Jungle" at the Galion Theater and rushing out to the local record shop afterward to buy "Rock Around The Clock." Rock takes Galion by storm. 
...Galion's first garage Rock band--The Tiger Trio + One (Mike Callahan, Joe Zeller, Larry Huegenin, Jim Casey) gets weekly Sat. a.m. radio show on WMRN, Marion. Sponsor: TomBoy Drive-In. Group later forms "The Scooters" with addition of Ed Gray, Jerry Stevens and Bob McCoy. 
..."pegged" pants in khaki or black are the rage, along with button-down shirts, white or tan bucks, or saddle shoes.
...coolest cars: Don Tucker's '51 black chopped and decked Merc, Tom Unckrich's '53 Midnight Blue chopped and decked Olds, Tiller's '55 baby blue & cream Chevy convertible with its Continental kit. 
...English 3-speed bikes hit town (along with their skinny seats). So long, ol' faithful Schwynns...it's been good to know ya. 
...A&W Drive-In opens...serving root beer in iced mugs and Mmmmm chili dogs to the Rrrrroooar of GlassPack mufflers. It's "American Graffitti" long before the film was made! 
...Joe Nussbaum, GHS' star halfback on 1958 NOL Championship team, named to All-Ohio. Goes on to BGSU with arch-rival Russ Hepner from Shelby. 
-----Stay tuned...Same time, Same channel. More to come. 
Jim Casey, ('58 GHS grad)

A few more early-50s recollections..
...Grade school kids cringe and cry over mass polio shots to fight the growing epidemic. But, good news: the swimming pool, closed for part of the summer, reopens. Our favorite hangout is back! 
...GHS marching band gets zocko new uniforms (orange and blue, of course). 
...Marv Fogt gets record turnout from Jr. High Schoolers wanting to learn how to play instruments and play in the band. He becomes Galion's instrumental "Music Man"...followed shortly by the best choir director in probably all of Ohio: Herb Krishbaum (he'd even let us sing pop rock tunes. Imagine that!) 
...Jack Schuck, fresh out of college, becomes Galion's elementary phys ed teacher, serving all 4 schools. He's young, good-looking, and, best of all, cool. Very cool. 
...East Side Park--once a bramberry-filled ravine--opens, thanks to Mayor Jay Nichols and east side councilman Roami Stall. It's primitive, but at least east side kids now have someplace to play ball and swing, too. 
...1954...best bullfrog catchin' season at any of Galion's reservoirs. Froglegs become almost as popular as bratwurst. 
...Favorite thing for most any kid to do downtown when bored: Stop in Bennett's Shoe Store and stick your feet in the Fluoroscope. It's fascinating how toe bones wiggle, isn't it? 
...Porky's Drive-In opens..and the burgers are great! (but how does he put that salty crust on there???? It's still a family secret, I'll bet.) 
...Bill Enders makes Indians farm team! Will he make it to the Big Show? 
...TV hits kids big...with Howdy Doody...Space Patrol...Captain Midnight...Uncle Miltie (of course)...Red Skelton...George Gobel...Mr. Peepers...The Mickey Mouse Club...and, our most favorite rock/dance shows: The Gene Fullen Show, The Phil McLaine Show & Patty Rowe Show, and, of course, Dick Clark's American Bandstand. And, on late Friday night's: Ghoulardi. 
...Following not far behind: Swanson TV Dinners, and Chef Boy Ar Dee homemade pizza mix (with that thin red paint you were spose to spread all over that icky, sticky thin crust. Gawd, wasn't that awfulll????) 
...Rollerskating to "Standing On The Corner, Watching All the Girls Go By" at Sharrock's big tent/roller rink over by East Park. Remember the greased pig catching contests, too? 
...Snitching rhubarb out of Mrs. King's (my piano teacher) patch behind her home on Grove Avenue. Following a piano lesson, there's nothing better than raw, peeled, salted rhubarb to make the world seem right again. 
...Best place in town for ice cream: Isaly's...just a few doors from the SweetGarden and their scrumptious pop corn. 
...Attending "B" movies with the Garverick brothers (Tubby, Harry, and Jim) in Galion's "other" theater down by City Hall (who the heck owned that one?)...and watching Buck Rogers...The Durango Kid...Zorro...Tarzan...and some other jungle kinda guy.
-----Enuf for now. More to come later...as I recall more. 
Jim Casey, ('58 GHS grad)

Five junior high boys, standing in Tom Unckrich's backyard on a warm summer's day, watch a "bright silver disk" dart back and forth in the blue sky high above before... suddenly, in an instant, it flies STRAIGHT UP and out of sight! The excited boys call and report the sighting to the Galion PD who guffaw, slap their knees, and roundly chuckle. (I was one of the boys who saw the "saucer" and have seen three more since. Anyone up for discussing Close Encounters of the First Kind?)

Spring 1954: School's out. Not much to do. So three boys, looking for something to do, decide to check out the ancient twin-engine Beech plane that always seemed to sit parked in the field at the old Galion Airport off Portland Way. Sneaking across a cornfield, they climb in, start playing "Flying Tigers" with the controls when... BOOM!... SPUTTER! SPUTTER! WHIRRRRLLLLL!...the explosive charge in the right engine unexpectedly ignites (no one knew planes had such things!) and... RUMBLE... RUMBLE... CREAK... TWIRRRRRRR... the damn plane starts taxiing down the runway and.... ROLLS... ROLLS... (and not ever so gently) CRASHES straight into a tree! LIMBS FLY! LEAVES FLUTTER! Causing the three boys to SH_ _ (fill in whatever you want there) especially when they see 4 men running out from the hanger towards the plane and...THEM! Quickly...as fast as crap goes through a goose, they hop out and take off back over the cornfield to make their getaway. But, curses, gol' dang it anyway, one of them is wearing loose PENNEY LOAFERS...which muddy cornfields treacherously love to gobble up to leave you...shoeless. He gets caught. The other two get away...until. Until later that night when police show up at the parents' doors and say, "We've heard your son, without asking permission, tried to take a flying lesson this afternoon...and things got more than a little out of hand." SLAM! BAM! The three boys spend the night in jail (courtesy of the then mayor--who was the grandfather of one of the boys. "This'll teach 'em a lesson," he said. And you know what? It sure as hell did!)..and the rest of the summer
mowing the lawn and washing windows at the airport to pay off the damages.

1957 (and perhaps the craziest of all): Two GHS sophomores, with only a day to go to turn in their science project for Mr. Friar's biology class, but with NO PROJECT as of yet, decide to do it up big. Their project, they decide, will be a FULL skeleton... with ALL bones minutely and magnificiently labeled to show they've truly been paying attention in class. "This'll certainly earn us an 'A'," they say. "No question about it!!" But where can we find a FULL skeleton, they ask themselves...on such terminally short notice? Why, the CEMETERY, they decide. Of course!!!! And, yep, you guessed it. Off to Galion Cemetery they went in the wee small hours of the morning... only to, the next day, be collectively told by Mr. Friar, Mr. Blosser, Mr. Trehearne, and the Galion Chief of Police that "We are not amused, boys." Nor was the whole town...especially the resurrected one's family. School suspension and court probation followed. And where the boys are now...who knows?
-----Jim Casey, ('58 GHS grad)

In memory of Marth Belle Boyd..
Saturday, January 31,1998 -Galion, Ohio, Inquirer - Page 5

Your Historical Galion
By Bernard M. Mansfield, M.D.

Martha Belle Boyd served youth center

Fortunate were the young people who were able to take advantage of a local enterprise called the Galion Youth Center many years ago. During the early days of World War II it was evident that Galion's youth had no place to congregate. There was no Community Center at that time, no YMCA, and the movies were available for only a few hours at a time.

The need was there, and in 1942, with funds supplied partly by the Galion Community Chest, the Youth Center was organized and a board of directors was chosen.

The following year the center was opened in the parish rooms of the Grace Episcopal Church and organized by Rev. Robert McGregor. At that time Mrs. Coral Eckstein was the director of the youth group. Later the Municipal Building became the headquarters, and a large amount of space was devoted to youth activities.

There was one large room on the third floor that served as a lounge and as a dance floor. In another area on the fourth floor was a TV set, radio (noted to be an FM set), ping pong tables and a canteen. A large selection of books and magazines was available here. The jukebox on the third floor was kept supplied with records, and about a dozen new ones were purchased monthly.

The spark plug behind all this activity was Galion's Martha Belle Boyd who was its director sincite 1949. Besides overseeing the operation of the club, she was the one who selected colors, drapes and other artistic furnishings for it.

This was really a type of club, for members (who were chosen for their "good moral character") paid fifty cents three times a year to belong. The age limits were 14 to 21.Guests were welcomed, but they had to pay 10 cents for any evening visit. Besides these small incomes, the Community Chest (now the United Way) underwrote much of the expense. In addition, C.F. Boyd and Martha Belle often were anonymous donors of money and supplies.

Special activities and dances were held. On holidays, Valentines Day, Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving and at other times, dances were held, and appropriate decorations were displayed. But there was a problem, and that was lack of space.

In addition to the 192 member-ships in 1953, for instance, students and guests, 500 in number, crammed into the facility after the Halloween Mardi Gras parade. When the attendance became so large, the dances were held at the Galion Fire Department in the same building, and at other times, the Galion Armory was used.

New Years Eve provided a reason for another party and these occasions were heavily attended. During Lent, the Youth Center members attended church together, the group going with Martha Belle to a different church each week. Sometimes the Public Square would be roped off for a dance.

And young people were cared for in a motherly way by Mrs. Boyd. One student noted that in addition to making homemade cookies and food for the group "...she even taught some of us to knit and tat."

The Board of Directors in 1953 consisted of- Ed Rehm, who was president, and Mrs. Robert Fink, the treasurer. Other board members in that year were Mrs. M.D. Bonsteel, Marion E. Shank, Mrs. Ivan Cass, Mrs. Carl Weithman, Marvin Adams and Donald Lewis.

This "mecca" for teenagers was so successful that other cities became interested in the operation and plan one for their own towns. And Martha Belle Boyd was noticed by state officials as well. She was appointed to the Youth Commission of Ohio and served on the Advisory Board under both Governor Rhodes and Governor Lausche. She received numerous honors and plaques recognizing her outstanding contributions to youth.

She was awarded similar recognition by the Galion Booster Club at the time of her 40th year of service. She received a commendation in 1977 by the Galion Area Betterment Commission. The Galion Community / YMCA Center, where the Youth Center was later located, gave her a resolution of recognition for long service to Galion and area youth. The Youth Center consolidated all its activities with the ones of the Galion Community Center after the latter building was constructed.

Ferd Unckrich, in 1980, presented a special award to Martha Belle for her years of service to the youth of the Galion community. She retired shortly after that and died in 1984. Martha Belle Boyd was one of those dedicated persons who, because of her concern and love of young people, left a legacy and an example that will be affectionately remembered by those she has served.

-----Thanks to Earl Eidt and Barbara Boyd Kump for their help in preparing this story. And to grandson, Steve Kump, for requesting it to be added to this page.

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