Adena alumni provide window into past

ADENA – The Golden Wave continues to flourish in the community of Adena thanks to a group of past graduates who had great memories of the school and the village and wanted their children and grandchildren to see how life was lived in the 1940s-60s.

The Adena High School Alumni Committee is comprised of Ray Konkoleski, Class of 1952, president; John Parkinson, ’53, vice president; Hilda Wills Miric, ’52, secretary; Betty Walker Campbell, ’61, treasurer; Lois Raymer Konkoleski, ’54, reservations chairman; and Jerry Anderson, ’59; Marge Gullo Bednarki, ’53; Dick Ferda, ’61; Marge Goldsborough, ’50; Sandy Harubin, ’65; Pete Milicia, ’49; Mitch Toto, ’55; and Mike Zonkoski, ’56.

The committee set out to have an engraved stone monument installed at the community building, a project of Milicia’s. He also wanted to have an engraved brick project but in lieu of this the town gave them a room to develop into a memorabilia museum for the school, which was in used from 1899 to 1972.

With donations from the alumni and eight months of labor, they had a room, organizers said.

A lighted glass display case shows off pictures, stories and memorabilia of graduates who have made a name for themselves in sports, education and business. There is a vinyl, color mural of the community from one end of town to the other. The panoramic picture is 32-inches high and 24-feet long, put together in eight pieces.

Vinyl panels that are on floor racks with movable arms feature a memory lane section with newspaper articles, yearbook pictures and photos of proms, majorettes, band, cheerleaders, faculty and sport teams.

A large black and gold Adena football schedule is on the wall. It was painted by Oscar Recseke of Adena. There are scanned football programs from over the years along the sides of the large schedule.

One section of wall that is not completed as yet will list all military veterans from the school.

The committee is looking to expand the memories. Members are looking for more yearbooks and they want to have many of the vinyl hangers filled with stories and pictures of past graduates – anything that would be of interest to the community.

Tony Luber and Julius “Togo” Stanwick have donated most of the yearbooks that are in the alumni room now. Some of the books were damaged in the flood of 1990. They are asking for donations of the school books and duplicates will go to the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County.

The school building room they are enhancing was built in 1909 and ceased to serve its function, even after additions, so in 1921 another school was built. It is uncertain when that school was closed, but it is thought to be 1937 to 1939. The school near the railroad tracks, now an elementary school, was the last one to be filled with high school students.

The group held its all-class reunion on Aug. 17 at the Hopedale Social Hall and honored more classmates. Memories discussed included bon fires at the football field, lights on the football field, donkey basketball games and even the Harlem Globe Trotters who paid a visit once.

In the village, there was the Railroad Inn, Bridge Street Cafe, Candyland, Kay’s Grill, Cameo’s and the crowd at P & M Restaurant after football games, alumni recalled.

There was the movie theater, where the viewers could catch the latest news on World War II, a war that took over 600 men and boys out of Adena, it was noted.

Alumni also discussed a town that was like an extended family. If you did well, everyone knew it – if you messed up, likewise everyone knew that too. Kids played touch football in the streets and in neighborhood yards, and they rode bicycles through town yards.

For information about the memorabilia museum, contact Konkoleski at (740) 546-3918. And donations are being accepted to aid in the museum’s grow.