More about “Fort Knox High Days” (2015 Reunion Overview) (5 Sep 15)

 

Saturday morning started for me with a note from the “IHOP gang” but I was too far the other direction to turn around and join them at the “Internal House of Tantakes”… *heheehehee* (one of my kids called it that, and it stuck in my brain).  I got a needed haircut and the Korean lady who ALWAYS cuts my hair there really missed me. We spent a good ten minutes just catching up on what she and her husband (retired from Fort Knox a while before me) have been doing and what all I’ve been doing and why haven’t I been there to get my hairs trimmed every three weeks.
 
It goes back to what Hector Ortiz said to me Friday night after the game, whereby I asked him where was the Sam Adams Brewery at on the post: “You know EVERYONE here, Mike…I’m sure you can ask someone and they’ll tell you if you haven’t figured it out yourself…”
 
After the haircut and a Starbucks mocha, I started out on my task for the day: to highlight and take photos of what has changed at Fort Knox since last summer.  I have been taking sets of photos featuring each community (Fort Knox in my day, thanks partly to some short skinny fella named “Miguel” who went by “Mike”, was divided into three “military communties” — Dietz Acres, Rose Terrace, and Van Voorhis Manor.  They were the largest housing areas within the community, which encompassed both officer and enlisted housing areas. It lasted for about 14 years.)  I started at the bottom of Estrada Avenue, the “main street” of Dietz Acres Community.  In a few years, the 50 or so buildings which lined that street were demolished as part of a massive reconstruction of the Fort Knox living arrangements. A lot of great memories was gone forever.  Here is what it looked like when I took photos before the destruction in 2011…
 
South Estrada Avenue (main street in Dietz Acres) in 2011 before the demolishement of the lower end of Dietz Acres starting in 2012...South Estrada Avenue (main street in Dietz Acres) in 2011 before the demolishement of the lower end of Dietz Acres starting in 2012…
 
And this is what I experienced when I drove around today… (Taken through the chain linked fence)
 
South Estrada Avenue (taken in 2015),South Estrada Avenue (taken in 2015),
 
The rest of South Dietz remained the way it has been since the housing area was developed in the late 50s. I drove up Beard Avenue and took some photos there; and then back up Estrada toward the dividing line (King Street) between North and South Dietz and the Mayor’s office building is still there…
 
Old Mayor's office...Old Mayor’s office…
 
Someone knocked some common sense into those working at Knox Hills and renumbered the housing numbers to the old 7900 block numbers (South Dietz had 9100 and 9200 numbers; North Dietz was in the 7800 and 7900 blocks). 
 
The rest of Dietz Acres Community is about the same…as a reminder, Binter Court does not exist any more; Anderson Greens is a large housing area which is brand new and occupies much of the old Anderson Golf Course and surrounds a new outdoor pavillion, a Chinese resturant, and the relocation of the Wickam Guest House and conversion to a Holiday Inn Express. There are photos of all of the housing areas in my and within the Fort Knox High Reunion pages. Pressler Grove is there intact (I hope it remains so, because it’s the only example I can point to as to how old Prichard Place looked like for the most part!) and the Abrams (“400 Block”) and the 4th/5th Avenue housing (I keep forgetting the new name Knox Hills gave it…) is still there.What is NOT going to be there, and it was good thing I took photos of it, was Kingsolver Elementary School.  It is being consolidated with Pierce Elementary School (beside the High School) and will become Kingsolver-Pierce School.  Here’s a photo of old Kingsolver…
 
Old Kingsolver Elementary SchoolOld Kingsolver Elementary School
 
…and the signage announcing the new school….
 
Signage announcing the new consolidated schools...Signage announcing the new consolidated schools…
 
…and a peek at how large this school will become…
 
New Kingsover/Pierce School.  Don't want to say "elementary" because it may be so...New Kingsover/Pierce School. Don’t want to say “elementary” because it may not be so…
 
Pierce was and continue to be the “trendsetter” school, mainstreaming physically and mentally developmentally disabled youth alongside “normal” kids from Morand Manor, Pressler Grove/Littlefield Loop, and Binter Court.  Kingsolver took in kids from 4th and 5th Avenue, the “400 Block”, Oakland/Godman Terraces, and Edwards/Custer Drive housing. 
 
I took photos of all of those housing areas, the Visitors’ Center building (my favorite building on post!), and stopped on Water Street for a bit, just to sit there. Pleasant memories.  I also took some other photos which some FKHS graduates and attendees may find interesting…
 
After a brief stop in New Prichard Place to attempt to take a “selfie” of myself in front of the New Prichard Place signage along with the 8th Armored Division Drive signpost; and to sit in the bus stop which sits on top of where I used to play in the backyard (the bus stop lies exactly where the backyard surrounding buildings 4651, 4650, 4649 (which faced “main street”, 8th Armored Division Drive) and 4647). How do I know this?  Walk out to the fence which still sits separating US 31W from the housing area.  See the small spray paint?  I painted it there when I heard that Prichard Place would be mowed to the ground and I hoped that they didn’t replace the fence. They didn’t…just everything else…*frown face*). I went onward to Van Voorhis Manor.
 
The Knox Hills people broke Van Voorhis Manor into two “neighborhoods”.  Silly people…it’s ALL VAN VOORHIS!!!  They stopped construction (ran out of money I was told; I sure hope not after they demolished much of our childhoods) of housing blocks bordered by Demoret Avenue on the northeast and West Chaffee Avenue on the southwest.  They have kept Brett Drive (the “main street” in Van Voorhis Manor), Adams Street (extending it outward past Demoret) and Gilkey Street but as you can see, there’s nothing there being constructed now…
 
Open field (supposed to be housing but the Knox Hills folks supposedly ran out of money) between Gilkey and BrettOpen field (supposed to be housing but the Knox Hills folks supposedly ran out of money) between Gilkey and Brett
 
Nothing else really changed…a photo of North Brett Drive…
 
North Brett DriveNorth Brett Drive
I went back, showered, shaved (yeah, shaved) and after watching a little tennis with my brother, I ran out to the car and drove out to the Officers’ Club (well, now it’s called the “Saber and Quill” and no longer just an officers’ club…).  Several of us got there early…like we couldn’t wait to get things started…*heheehehehee*  But we did get some water and sat around and waited for everyone else to join us…and they did.  There’s lots of photos (and some video) which are posted. 
 
We had a wonderful time, assisted by some of our teachers and administrators.  I made a new friend in with ElizaBeth Gilligan (those who went to FKHS probably knew her as Elizabeth Murray) and we talked books. When I share with you that I am very jealous of her and her ability, I am not kidding here — she is MORE of a published author than I am, having published TWO romance novels and is finishing a third; and she’s got several other products in the bin.  She didn’t dance but I and many others enjoyed her company while we were there.  I am so proud of her… and I’m now one of her many fans!!  Like me, ElizaBeth has been writing since before high school, and have a lot of characters to draw upon…
 
I also made new friends with several others who have been following me out here on Facebook… It was simply wonderful — I know I’ve used that a lot, but I can’t find a better word from my heart — to talk with folks about our lives, how Fort Knox High shaped what we ended up doing for a living, how now that we’re adults we now understand why our parents were so much on “our cases” back then, and just to hear that we all lived similar but unique lives as we grew up “Brats”.
 
The evening ended early in the morning with various folks offering rides to some of us who had a bit more to drink than we should have.  We continued to meet in a smaller group at the new Wickam Guest House/Holiday Inn Express until we all “turned into pumpkins” ourselves (Betty Jane Kirby said that to me that earlier when many of the administrators and teachers left around 10pm or so *smiling*) and went to our rooms.  A long day, a longer evening, one I will treasure in my heart at least until the next time…
 
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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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