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Poe Elementary School Bombing


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Does anyone remember this? I was in the 6th grade at Horn Elementary in September of 1959. They told us to go straight home, but would not tell us why.

I knew that Kolter Elementary was named after one of the teachers who died. A few years ago I worked with a lady who was the substitute that took over Jeanne Kolter's classroom after her death.

You will need to scroll down to read the part about Poe School.

http://www.texasranger.org/dispatch/7/Gooding.htm

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I remember the event well, but never knew the details until I read your link. I just remember a guy walked onto the school grounds and blew up a satchel killing a couple of kids.

I remember thinking how easy it would have been for someone to repeat that act, but I never worried about the possibility of it happening at my school. It was a lot like

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I remember the event well, but never knew the details until I read your link. I just remember a guy walked onto the school grounds and blew up a satchel killing a couple of kids.

I remember thinking how easy it would have been for someone to repeat that act, but I never worried about the possibility of it happening at my school. It was a lot like

Edited by 57Tbird
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  • 2 months later...

I was in kindergarten or the first grade at St. Thomas Episcopal School in Meyerland. We were told to walk straight home, to never talk back to teachers, and to obey their orders immediately. We were told by teachers and parents that the children that were killed would have been saved if they had listened to their teacher and gone back into the classroom. These lessons were repeated for several years, and whenever I heard sirens during school I suspected it was a school bombing.

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I attended Montgomery Elementary from kindergarten through the 6th grade (1968-69 through 1974-75). Our school was built in 1960 and named after James Arlie Montgomery, a custodian at Poe who was killed in the explosion after saving some of the children. We even had a school song for the hero, Mr. Montgomery.

Edited by EspersonBuildings
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:(

did the source say whether the work had been publicly displayed?

In a way yes, because you can view the work on his very public website here:

http://zonezero.com/exposiciones/fotografo...as/default.html

I ran the story of the Poe tragedy by a long time Houstonian who remembered it and she recalls reading in Time magazine the week after it happened that the man's son was the offspring of an insestious relationship the father had with this daughter. Anyone else know anything about that?

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  • 6 months later...

So in essence, only a few people were killed? Right?

The topic title had me thinking the whole school was imploded like the Oklahoma City situation. Strange how time repeats itself. Who would think 50 plus years later it would still be happening but with guns. :(

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Does anyone remember this? I was in the 6th grade at Horn Elementary in September of 1959. They told us to go straight home, but would not tell us why.

I knew that Kolter Elementary was named after one of the teachers who died. A few years ago I worked with a lady who was the substitute that took over Jeanne Kolter's classroom after her death.

You will need to scroll down to read the part about Poe School.

http://www.texasranger.org/dispatch/7/Gooding.htm

Additional source for Ed Gooding's story at:

http://www.maxmcrae.com/major_fires/poeElem.htm

I was in 4th grade at Fondren at the time which was a small country school way out in the middle of no where back then. We were all affected by this terrible event and took our fire drill bells very seriously after that.

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I attended Montgomery Elementary from kindergarten through the 6th grade (1968-69 through 1974-75).

I too went there from 1st to 4th grade (1961-1965), then to Hobby when it was completed in 1965. We were very aware that the school was named for a "janitor" who died in a school explosion, but never got the exact details.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I went to Poe but decades later (class of 1990). While I was there it was the height of the cold war in the 1980s. The USSR had just launched their new Typhoon class of submarines that carried enough ICBMs onboard to destory any city in the world in a matter of minutes. We used to do these disaster drills in Poe where we hid under our desk if we were in he classroom or crouched in the hallways agaist the wall covering our faces with our hands.

The Houston Post ran a story about that bombing in the late 80s during the anniversary of it one year. One of the student survivors was an amputee and they had a large color photo of him that I remember very well.

During my time there Poe suffered a fire during summer vaction of one year but it never impacted the school calendar year so it was a non-event as far as I was concerned.

If any fellow Ravens are here; did the school always have those lights that were an incandescent bulb with concentric rings around them? During my 1st grade year they did a major renovation to the school and all of those fixtures came out. In went the flourescent tube lights; getting us ready for coroporate settings I guess. On a side note and totally off topic thing I would like to say that Ms. Irvin of 2nd grade in 1985-86 was the most attractive teacher in the whole school during the time I was there.

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  • 10 months later...
I attended Montgomery Elementary from kindergarten through the 6th grade (1968-69 through 1974-75). Our school was built in 1960 and named after James Arlie Montgomery, a custodian at Poe who was killed in the explosion after saving some of the children. We even had a school song for the hero, Mr. Montgomery.

Does anyone remember any of the words to the song? My understanding is that it was written by the principal (Mrs. Nesbitt)

"Oh Montgomery is a school named for a hero,

A man of courage in the face of danger,

he did his duty well,

and earned respect from all.

We're proud to have a school named Montgomery."

Seriously, that's how the first part went.

Having a school with such a dire inspiration certainly made an impression on me when I was 7 years old. Think about it! Your school was named after a janitor who died a few years ago in an EXPLOSION!"

If anyone out there remembers the other words to the song, please let me know. I'm thinking of setting up a website to centralize much of the info now available about the bombing. It would be nice to have Mrs. Nesbitt's words there.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had a Mrs. Nesbitt as my 1st grade teacher at Love Elementary. This would have been 1961 to 1962.

I wonder if this is the same lady. I don't recall a missing finger.

Man, I hadn't heard that name in over 40 years. Am I nuts, or did she have a missing finger? That's the image that popped into my mind when I read her name.
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Mrs. Nesbitt was the Principal at Montgomery while I was there 61 to 64, so it wouldn't be the same lady. I played Joseph in the Christmas play, and remember blanking out when she indicated that it was time for the children in the play to step off, I think I might have been focused on her missing finger and missed her cue to leave. The way my memory is though, I may have mixed memories up.

I had a Mrs. Nesbitt as my 1st grade teacher at Love Elementary. This would have been 1961 to 1962
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The teacher mentioned in the Time article was my second-grade teacher as well. Her name was Pat Johnston, not Johnson - I still have a thank-you card from her for a birthday present.

Also interesting - Wikipedia lists Poe as desegregated in 1970. I remember at least two black kids in my class, and the last year I attended was third grade in 1969. I was good friends with one boy named Robert until the sponsorship boook sale, in which kids picked out books they wanted to donate to the library and the parents would buy them. I picked out a book about Dr. Martin Luther King, and he wanted to donate a book about Robert E. Lee because he had a grey horse named Traveller, and Robert loved horses. I was told by my mom that I had to leave my book for the few black children to pick out because "colored people had so few examples to look up to that I had to leave that book for them" and I can't imagine what poor Robert was told regarding his selection. There may be a book about Grandma Moses in the Poe library with my name on it that my mom decided to buy - I didn't care anymore. Robert and I felt really weird and didn't play together anymore after that, so I have no idea if he donated anything.

Great memories of Poe other than that. My kindergarten teacher was Mrs. Coakley, first grade was Miss Bess Smith, second grade was Pat Johnston and third grade was Mrs. (Beth?) Miller.

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Native Montrosian: It would seem that the adults of your time missed a fine opportunity for you children to learn about people of different backgrounds and experiences. Imagine what insights the two of you could have had, plus still remained friendly. I so sorry than happened. Like the previous example of the children at Poe not receiving appropriate therapy after the explosion, it just shows how differently we perceived caring for our children back then.

I'm not slighting the previous generation; they did the best they could with what they had at the time, I'm sure. For example, it was thought by not discussing traumatic events that have happened, for example, that children would "forget" about it in time. This was also the mind-set of adults in my own situation. Little did they know......

I like to think that our perceptions and methods of parenting have changed since 1958. Let this be a heads-up to all of us now, with kids and grandchildren of our own, if nothing else.

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Thanks, kayzer. I still feel a faint twinge of anger decades later when I hear the name "Grandma Moses". The book was selected as appropriate for me to donate because my father was an art major - I lost at Hangman because I couldn't draw a stick figure, so it meant nothing to me. In addition to world events, I loved history, space exploration and cool planes like Spitfires & P-38's, but those paths were equally perilous because books on those subjects were "for boys." <_< I gave up and let my mom buy what she wanted rather than risk a spanking for arguing.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Man, I hadn't heard that name in over 40 years. Am I nuts, or did she have a missing finger? That's the image that popped into my mind when I read her name.

Yes, she did. My older brother and I fixated on the missing finger when we started going there back in 64.

Do you remember the song?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Yes, she did. My older brother and I fixated on the missing finger when we started going there back in 64.

Do you remember the song?

Devonhart, I too went to Montgomery Elementary from 65-70. What I liked about that

school was the wide walkway leading up to the front doors. It sloped down from the

front doors to the street. We lived across the street so we use to ride our skateboards

down the slope without having to peddle, it was great for riding your stingray bike down

it also, lol.

Ms. Nesbitt, was the talk of the whole school. She is the one who did indeed write the song

and we had to sing it every morning right after the Pledge of Allegiance. After all those years of

brain washing, who could ever forget the song? She did have a finger missing and all the

kids were intrigued by it. Rumor was that she lost it in one of those guillotine type paper

cutters that went "woosh" when you slammed down the blade. I also recall that she had very

large eyes. I am sure she was a very fine lady, but we were still scared of her. Just being

threatened that you were going to be sent to her office was enough to make you fly right.

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Yes, she did. My older brother and I fixated on the missing finger when we started going there back in 64.

Do you remember the song?

Boy, my memories are pretty shakey, can't recall the song. I do remember I was in Mrs. Coleman's third grade class when the announcement of JFK getting shot came over the PA system.

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Devonhart, I too went to Montgomery Elementary from 65-70. What I liked about that

school was the wide walkway leading up to the front doors. It sloped down from the

front doors to the street. We lived across the street so we use to ride our skateboards

down the slope without having to peddle, it was great for riding your stingray bike down

it also, lol.

Ms. Nesbitt, was the talk of the whole school. She is the one who did indeed write the song

and we had to sing it every morning right after the Pledge of Allegiance. After all those years of

brain washing, who could ever forget the song? She did have a finger missing and all the

kids were intrigued by it. Rumor was that she lost it in one of those guillotine type paper

cutters that went "woosh" when you slammed down the blade. I also recall that she had very

large eyes. I am sure she was a very fine lady, but we were still scared of her. Just being

threatened that you were going to be sent to her office was enough to make you fly right.

She did have large eyes -- I think we heard it was a lawnmower accident. All rumors and conjecture, of course.

Can you type the lyrics you remember? I remember the first part and end but not the middle -- something about "We want to learn to read..."

I have an old friend who also attended the school who would get a kick out of knowing the words as well.

Thanks!

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  • 2 months later...
I too went there from 1st to 4th grade (1961-1965), then to Hobby when it was completed in 1965. We were very aware that the school was named for a "janitor" who died in a school explosion, but never got the exact details.

I attended Montgomery from 1960 to the spring of 1963. Here are the complete lyrics to the Montgomery school song written by Mrs. Nesbitt:

"Oh, Montgomery is a school named for a hero

A man of courage in the face of danger

He did his duty well, and earned respect from all,

We're proud to have our school named Montgomery.

Now, we must learn our lessons and be good

Be earnest in our efforts and be true

We want to learn and read,

To figure and to see,

And then we must learn to be brave.

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Oh, one other thing...Mrs. Nesbitt would not allow the use of the word "janitor." We were only allowed to refer to these men as "custodians."

That's right, I had never heard the word "custodian" until Montgomery. We'd say "janitor" when it was just us kids, but "custodian" if a teacher was in earshot. I remember liking 3rd grade teacher Mrs Coleman, but hating my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Clingman, she's the only teacher I remember actively disliking during my school career.

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  • 1 month later...
Does anyone remember this? I was in the 6th grade at Horn Elementary in September of 1959. They told us to go straight home, but would not tell us why.

I knew that Kolter Elementary was named after one of the teachers who died. A few years ago I worked with a lady who was the substitute that took over Jeanne Kolter's classroom after her death.

You will need to scroll down to read the part about Poe School.

http://www.texasranger.org/dispatch/7/Gooding.htm

I remember it. The "Juanita Weidner" referenced in the story was my cousin.

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I was in the ninth grade at Lanier Jr. High when it happened. We could hear emergency vehicle after vehicle coming down Woodhead in front of the school. The teacher would not let us stand up to see what was going on. The school went on a lock down protected by Some of the bigger foot ball players from the school holding bats at the main entrance door, the other doors were locked. My mom was called by a personal friend from the sheriffs department asking if I was still going to Poe. She informed him that I was now in the ninth grade at Lanier. He them told her what has happened at Poe. The deputy hadn't seen me in years and was not sure just how old I was at the time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So in essence, only a few people were killed? Right?

The topic title had me thinking the whole school was imploded like the Oklahoma City situation. Strange how time repeats itself. Who would think 50 plus years later it would still be happening but with guns. sad.gif

 

 

 

This is eerie as heck...

 

 

:(

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