More about “Fort Knox High Days” (2015 Reunion Overview) (4-6 Sep 15)

 

I want to start out by writing some basic truths: I, along with some other Fort Knox High School (FKHS) grads, “crashed” the reunion weekend planned by the Class of 1978. They were extremely gracious in extending an “okay” to me and some other grads from OTHER YEARS other than theirs. 
 
See, when I was a senior, most of these folks were, um, juniors or sophomores.  Their reunion was scheduled for those who graduated from Fort Knox High between 1978 to 1982, but later extended it backwards to those who graduated from 1974 to 1982; and then finally, they threw some caution to the wind and opened it up to ANYONE who attended FKHS or ANYONE who worked or taught there.  Good choice I say.  In these tight financial constrant times, however, the organizing committee (to which I was NOT a part of, didn’t even stay at the Holiday Inn Express…well…more on that later…) took a risk and it worked out fine.
 
I personally have very little to hide — those of you who saw me in person or have seen the photos, know that’s also the ground truth. I’m working on it, leave me alont! *smiling* However, because it was a REUNION, some of the details are, well, you can view the photos and make your own conclusions.  Keep in mind to keep it clean, as we all did…*grinning*.  So very little “deep details” will be shared here…find someone else’s account of the weekend and read theirs!
 
I had an open mind when Phyllis invited me to come. I attended several others and while I’m no rock star (see comment about photos above), I felt that some of the previous events were geared only for a “certain group of people” and we’ll tolerate the rest because they also attended our school.  It was NOT that way at ALL this go-around and I was very much happy that ALL of our graduates felt that they were part of something very special this past weekend — even those who did not even ATTEND Fort Knox High!
 
Let’s talk about my high school first. I am proud of my high school. The original 1-12 grade school, still standing and still being used for educational purposes, was built as Camp Knox became Fort Knox. The school housed as I stated, all of the elementary and secondary school students on the post at that time. 
 
The first Fort Knox High School (now the education center headquarters and classrooms)The first Fort Knox High School (now the education center headquarters and classrooms)
 
Soon, a new set of schools were built as the post expanded westward and eventually a new high school was built on the grounds of the old post hospital. New traditions started.  As the post grew in size, the high school was expanded three times.  A causul walk down the main hallway shows where the second expansion, to add band and shop classrooms; and the third expansion, to add additional science and tech classrooms as well as to expand the bus area (there was a fourth expansion but it was really a take over of part of what used to be Scott Elementary School for a new JROTC area) but the high school still expanded the size needed. A new high school — using elements of the older one — was built, bascially doubling the size of the old “new school”.
  The new Fort Knox High, using elements of the older school....
The new Fort Knox High, using elements of the older school….You know timing is everything and while the planners had it right at the time, Fort Knox itself — thanks to something called the “Base Re-Alignment and Consolidation Act” (BRAC for short) removed two-thirds of what Fort Knox was known for, built upon and depended upon since 1943 — Army Armor.  Fort Knox was the “Home of Armor” and trained officers, NCOs and Soliders on that key branch skill — and with it the families and civilian workers whose children were eligible to attend Fort Knox High School.  In its place, they said, would come civilians and military people from three other bases as the Army consoldiated their Personnel centers at Fort Knox.
 
(It’s hard to see personnel types, tablets and laptops in hand, fighting off Pussy Galore and her female flyers attacking the Gold Vault.  It’s a Goldfinger reference…you have to watch the movie to understand that…*smiling*)
 
They did at one time relocated a Brigade (rough 4,000.. the Army doesn’t want us giving exact numbers but 4K is a good number…) from Germany to Knox…and that was great until their parent organization complained (after we built facilities for them, natch) that the Brigade needs to come home to Fort Riley instead of being used as an “emergency force” to guard one of the two Gold depositories in the nation…So they went, and along with them those families.
 
My home town is a small shell of what greatness it USED to hold…and that includes our school.  At it’s high water point, more than 1200 students attended the high school; in 1977 (the year I was given a diploma from that high school) it was a little over 700.  Now, I was told that there are about 350 students and climbing as the “BRAC” actions are all settling down for now.
 
So now you know what we’re dealing with…a declining population base; students who really have no concept or idea of traditions because they literally “jumped over” to Knox from seven or eight different CIVILIAN high schools (Forts Knox and Campbell are the ONLY TWO high schools on a military base owned by the military — the Department of Defense Dependent Schools Agency (DODDS for short — dontch love those military acroynmns? *smiling*); and an alumni base which crows several General and Flag officers, several more senior military advisors (Command Sergeants Major) to those General/Flag officers, lots of captains of industry, some athletes, some musicians, and some actors and actresses. (Doug Simmons, one of our “celebrities”, post on a regular basis who those folks are, their contributions to Fort Knox, and some other history tidbits.  I rely on him for a lot of historical information I don’t know or can’t find… THAT Doug Simmons, featured on the History Channel…)
 
On to the actual Fort Knox High Days and my comments…
 
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About Settummanque

Take your standard Oliver North. Add strong parts of Bill Cosby and Sir Robert Baden-Powell (the founder of Scouting). Throw in Johny Bravo without the "hurhhs!" and his pecks. Add a strong dose of parenting, the sexuality of a latin lover, and Mona Lisa's smile. And a 40 year old's body frame. That's me basically *grinning*

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