Re: Lawton School

01/04/05 - posted by Jaye

I attended Lawton in the seventies. The majority of the students were Black or Asian. By the time I got to Lawton only 4th, 5th and 6th graders made up the student body. It was a great time. I had a ball each and every day. My teachers were Mrs. Pumphrey(a riot); Mr. Gough (his very first year at Lawton); and Mrs. Burke (a nice lady).
Some of the things I loved about Lawton were the Christmas programs. They were incredible. I still remember the kids from Mr. V's class singing "Silver Bells" and dressed as silver bells. Today, I still sing "Oh Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah" every Christmas season. I just love the melody. I have Mrs. Gallagher's (?) class to thank for that. They always did it so well. I am still hoping to someday attend a a real celebration.
What I remember most fondly was my principal, Mr. Langendorf. Whenever I think of the quintessential principal, I salute him. I loved the way he used to stand on the balcony before school and talk to us after the pledge. I also loved the class kickball competitions he started, and I loved when he sold pink popcorn on the yard. Also, if you were there, you must remember all of the assemblies. "Good afternoon, Mr. Langendorf, faculty, and fellow students." How could I forget that!They were so great! And, I loved the parting song. Never did we ever leave the auditorium without singing "Let There Be Peace on Earth". Even today, thirty years later I sing that song. I love the lines, "...Let there be peace on earth/ Let this be the moment now/ With every step I take/ Let this be my solemn vow..." It was all so beautiful, so seventies.
Little did I know then that my "fellow students" and I from the Ingleside were really unwelcomed. Fortnuately, the factions of illwill that existed in the Sunset community never impacted my time at Lawton. I don't know if I should credit the Lawton faculty or just the blessing of youth.

The Western Neighborhoods Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.