School Tour

Photos: Lynda Harrison and David Lee

I'd been waiting for this day for months with anticipation yet wondering why it meant so much to me. Along with other members of the reunion committee, we met Mr. Smyth at 2pm June 18th at the Boy's Entrance of good ol' Mt. View and our board office tour guide, who opened the door and I began my walk back through time.

Of course the air is now stale and musty but the first thing I noticed were the floors that so many thousands of students crossed. The drinking fountain, now boarded off, still some original lockers wearing their penned and scratched messages, the room numbers still intact over the doors, the high ceilings and the 'many' stairs up and down, the public announcement boxes still in place in the classrooms, the old slide-up windows and the chalk boards.....Down to the study hall we went first, of course just a room now, but it didn't take much to re imagine the tables, the chairs, the snack machines, the jeans, the card games, the laughter and even the books being used to study....after a few pictures and some laughs up we went to the main floor and down to check out the girls washroom (didn't we call them cans back in 72?). Well, the temptation was too great and Pam Stewart pulled out a few cigarettes for a tongue in cheek pose of 'smokin in the girls room'....then on to recall which teacher taught in which classroom. Some rooms seemed smaller than I remembered. Up we then went to Mr. Smyth's office where he posed within what used to be his domain (fallen ceiling tiles and all)....then a group picture in the outer office area where we recalled the location of the counter and the secretaries' desks (we had two, remember?)......the floor sags in places now but allowed us to cross into Mr. Brown's (vice principal) office and look into the old auditorium....once again the administration office space looked very small to me. As we gathered around the main steps leading out on the Carey Road side we looked above the main door and saw, intact, the Mt. View stained glass shield. I had almost forgotten it was there and we speculated whether it was crafted by a Mt. View art student(s). Looking for chalk we were given some by our tour guide and left a message Where Were You in 72, Mt. View Rocks! Then proceeded to the late Mr. Fawcett's old classroom for a recreation of our 72 picture waving out the window (peace signs and all).....all of this took about an hour and a half. As I joined the others to leave I remembered the 'pang' I had felt at the 20th reunion when we gathered in the study for our wine and was then as if I missed Mt. View and the good times a lot.......this time though, it was like I came back to remember it all and say goodbye to an old friend. Green and gold forever more.....

- Cathy Maxwell





I was curious about the scheduled trip to the school, but I wasn't flipping out like Cathy was. I wasn't even worried about whether or not I could make it. But fortunately, Cathy talked everyone into it.

Peer pressure.

We met outside, after parking in the teachers’ parking lot. Remember how students’ cars used to be towed away for parking there?

By attending most planning meetings this year, I've talked to Cathy, Linda, Pam, and Sandy. But it was a chance to visit Dave Lee, which was more nostalgic than I expected. And I saw Principal Smyth five years ago, but our conversation was quite brief, and consisted of talking about education matters. So on this day, his presence enriched our memories.

I was touched by Dave’s enthusiasm for setting up arty photo shots. It was EXACTLY the way he did things 30 years ago. I noticed that he managed to take a number of shots within a matter of seconds, rather than the incredibly long hours in the old days. Balancing shapes, textures, light, line bland old-school colours. I tried to see the corridors and classrooms through his eyes.

When we went downstairs to the old students’ lounge, I mentioned that Don had worked with the Students Council to bring in some durable but inexpensive couches and coffee tables for us. He firmly said it was not to be a hangout where students went to instead of classes. We naively and completely agreed. I also remember some of the guys working to bring in pingpong tables. I don't know where they came from. Did some of the Woodworking students construct them? I don't remember that.

But the large room contained a lot of tables and boxes with light fixtures and other stuff for the District. Any whispers of Pingpong tournaments were distant memories.

Pingpong was practically an art form once the tables were set up. Students lined up for chances to play against each other. There were frequent disagreements over who was next in line to play. I remember talk about a 24 hour competition, but I'm not sure if it ever happened.

Every room we entered or corner we turned brought vague memories. It didn't look the way it did at our 20 Year event. I could only remember 30 and 31 years ago.

I've always liked the old auditorium. It had more character than the rest of the school. We looked down through the window of Vice Principal Ken Brown’s office. Remember those indoor windows? But that space is also full of furniture and other storage items, so nobody could pull off a cheerleader practise, or one of those lame drama rehearsals.

I briefly stepped into the old typing room in the corner. I felt the teacher (was it Mrs. Holman?) marching down the aisle, screaming at me for wearing rings on all 8 fingers while trying to learn to type 120 wpm. That was a creepy memory better left unknown!

When we first thought about going on a tour, we were hoping to get a digital video camera and do a walking commentary. But none of us were able to beg, borrow or steal one. In the end, I'm not sure if it would have done justice to the musty odours, fallen ceiling tiles, "smell of teen spirit" or ghosts of past pranks.

- Connie Harrigan





My memories of 30 years ago have all been lost or faded and yet walking through the halls of our high school made time stop and I was transported back to a place where there were no worries or cares except getting through school, what to wear to the prom and , "I wonder if he noticed me!" I didn't even notice how badly the school has deteriorated as much as the many wonderful memories that came flooding into my mind. It was truly an uplifting and enlightening experience. At times it was as if a spell had been cast over me and suddenly the cob webs, the creeking floors the the broken light fixtures were taken away, as if by some magical, powerful force that made them disappear and we were back in 1972. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to not only share my memories with the rest of the reunion committee, but also with Mr. Smith, our principal. At times it was even overwhelming as I had forgotten how much those days meant to me. Being part of the reunion committee is helping me to remember and bring those memories to the rest of the grad class.

As we walked through the hallways and into some classrooms, I was instantly reminded of who I am and where I came from and how those years at Mount View High helped to mould me into what I am today. I didn't know it then but now I realize just how lucky I am. I have wonderful, caring & loving friends some of whom I made back in school days some I have been reacquainted with and yes, even new friends.

We each have had 30 years of life experiences some of which are good, some sad but for the most part, life has been good to us. Look where we have come in 30 years with the wonderment of technology. I cannot help but wonder what the next 30 will bring. I know the friends I made in school are with me forever. There may be years between us at times but I know these friends are friends for life.

I look forward to spending time at the 30th reunion, transcending back in time, yet again, to share the memories of a life gone by and to start a new set of memories to share for the next reunion.

- Lynda Harrison





As I pulled into the driveway of our school with a cell phone attached to my ear I could see the smiles on the faces of the reunion committee looking like we were 17 again! Full of excitement as school was finally coming to an end. There to greet us was our principle Mr. Smyth with a smile as big as the rest of us. I know 30 years has been kind to us with underwire bras and hair dye but Mr. Smyth looked like he hadn't aged at all. Time stood still for that minute. As we walked into the school we were warned that it was going to be different as 30 years was rougher on the school than us. We remembered the names of the teachers and the class rooms they taught in, we checked out the office and took pictures, we hung out of the upper front windows as we did 30 years ago and Mr. Smyth said the neighbors must be thinking oh god they're back. We checked out the washrooms and pulled out our cigarettes, we wandered the cafeteria and we could hear the conversations in the walls and the sounds of cards being shuffled. We visited the office and the sick room (where we slept off the effects of the night before at the Red Lion). As we left the school and thanked the custodian for allowing us in we gathered on the front steps for our final picture. I thought to myself where have 30 years gone, I remembered the laughter and tears, the singing and the cheers, I remembered the pep rallies, I remembered how simple life was back then and for a few moments I wished I was 17 again! As we hung around the parking lot not really wanting to leave we all realized that for a couple of hours 30 years disappeared and as we drove out I remembered I was 47 and I had work to do, bills to pay, family to care for, yard work to do, take my vitamins, etc etc. Thanks for the memories Mount View!

- Pam Bosmans





It's getting very exciting, less than 9 days away. I had to laugh to myself when I saw Pam drive up with her cell phone attached to her ear. Boy, what did we do back in "72" when we didn't have cell phones. Are we really better off now than then!!!! Life seems a lot more complicated even with all the new gadgets we have in 2002. Sometimes I would love that clock of ours "Mt. View's" to be able to go back to "72".

As Pam was stuffing me into a locker I didn't quite fit like I used to!! I remember her dressing up as Santa Claus and giving out Candy Canes and ringing her bells.

It was great walking through the halls and into our old classrooms and I could picture the teachers in front of the class. That was a strange feeling. Anyway I was very glad to be a part of the tour, bringing as many as we could find back together after 30 yrs. I hope the pictures bring back some memories.

- Sandy Mabon (Dean)

It's only weeks away before our 30th! A couple of weeks ago a group of us wandered the halls of the old school building, the place where we all met 30 years ago. The years have certainly changed us but we are still very recognizable by those little quirks and mannerisms. Don Smyth, our principal looked exactly the same. Now that's eerie.

Weeks before I had dusted off the school annual, The Scribe. Looking at the images I thought I would somehow be prepared for the visit. Once I was in the building I was quickly reminded of the way the light fell in the classrooms and the hallways. I could see we were all just taking it in, trying to remember events and places so long ago. It didn't seem that difficult to drift between the past and the present.

I was looking forward to finding some of the locations and spots in the photographs. Chris and I had talked about how it would be fascinating to have some past and present shots. I wish that Chris and I could recreate some of those images but many of the rooms and surroundings have since changed or disappeared.

We found the old school office. One of the annual photographs shows Don sitting at his desk in his office. Trying to reconstruct this photograph would be a little difficult now. The office looks like a demolition zone. Don was a good sport and indulged me for a quick shot of him in his old office.

Lynda suggested I take a picture of the punch clock in the school office. It was certainly an interesting artifact. I didn't realize how interesting until I was looking through the annual that night and found a picture of the clock. You won't believe it. The time on the clock face was the same ... well close ... the hour and minute hands were interchanged. What are the probabilities of that happening?

While the rest of the group was checking out other areas of the school I had to find my way to the darkroom, the place where those annual images first appeared, magically under the amber light of the darkroom. The room under the auditorium is still there. How time has changed photography, electronic sensors instead of film, a digital screen computer instead of an enlarger and trays of pungent chemicals.

At the end of the tour we ended up on the front steps of the school for a tour portrait, myself included. That doesn't happen very often when you're behind the lens. The steps are even more weathered now but the looks on our faces would indicate that perhaps for a few hours we had forgotten the passage of time.

- David Lee