THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Tales from the old-timer
My cousin, Ed Leveille, friends Glen Alswager, Bob Heinz and Bo Story, with the exception of Bo Story, all signed up as students at what was then called the UW Extension, which held classes in the Vocational School in Marinette. Bo served in the military later on, as we have made sure in the years after World War II to have a fresh war ready for each generation as it came along. The nice campus of UW-Marinette, with its modern format and buildings, was not yet in existence.
All of us, except Bo, were World War II veterans and the newly created GI Bill paid our tuition and books. We rode to school in my old 1937 Hudson Terraplane Coupe, bought from Snort Dupuis for about $375. The instructors were dedicated and competent. The credits we earned were good at any college or university, as are the credits earned at UW-Marinette today. We got the itch, though, and Bo and Bob Heinz, nicknamed Weazel, went to what was to become UW-Oshkosh, and I went to UW-Madison and took up education as a main subject, with English my academic major.
A great friend, Bill Mellen, also opted to Madison and majored in economics.
In any event, I have since learned, by reading the newspapers, that any elected official, regardless of his educational level, knows more about schools and education than any of us could have possibly learned in Madison or any other college or university.
On getting my first teaching job in Orangeville, Ill., I taught 9th and 10th grade English for the first two years and 11th and 12 grade English the second 2 years. We had no teachers union, but salaries generally had to match the prevailing rate in similar schools in Illinois and nearby Wisconsin, or they might not have been able to fill vacancies. Fringe benefits came along later, with health insurance last, though it cost not nearly so much as it has climbed to along with government employees in todays violent political world. Huge outlays for foreign military occupations are considered a first priority at the federal level, and there are new wars cropping up every year under the guise of saving our freedom.
The civilians in those Middle Eastern countries dont line up both sides of the roads cheering and throwing flowers when our men pass by, and our men are frequently killed by those we have sent to save their governments. This was how I and my comrades were greeted on the roads and towns in France in 1944 - cheers, flowers and gifts!
Incidentally, the GI Bill was not a case of welfare handouts - it furnished a fresh supply of engineers, business leaders, scientists and technicians in all fields our expanding society needed.