Old Chester, PA: Addison H. Showalter
A letter to his son, A. Harold Showalter, describing the Testimonial Dinner given to him on June 2, 1958 when it was announced that the new central junior high school in Chester would be named the "Addison H. Showalter Jr. High School".
Addison H. Showalter
154 East Parkway Ave.
Tuesday, June 3rd, 1958
Mr. A. Harold Showalter
1816 Chestnut Street
I have a carload of news for you. Last night my school friends really set off a "Chester Sputnik"' with me in the "middle".
Arriving at the Y.M.C.A. where Mother and I were invited by the teachers for a Testimonial Dinner, I found the Rotary room empty because the crowd of over 300 was too large and the Gym had to be used. That was my first "thrill".
After eating and listening to selections by several High School students, the program turned to "This is Your Life".
Imagine my surprise when Eugene Cernert, my High school and college chum, and also, Ira Kraybeal, my college teacher stepped up and told of incidents before 1920.
The incidents of Prospect Park Burgess, County Commander of American Legion, Keystone Award for Safety Education, Key Club Award, happenings when I was Principal, etc. were then recalled.
The President of the School Board lauded my work.
Miss O'Rourke, for the teachers, presented me with a "Special Book" of Cheater Schools and the signatures of the teachers with their best wishes. I have a mental picture and a spot in my heart of each one.
They gave me an electric Hamilton wrist watch. Three pieces of airplane luggage were given Mother and me. Any one of these three presents I would consider as quite generous in itself.
By this time I could have gone home feeling that my friends had gone "all out" for me in their efforts. They had gone to great lengths in making the evening a big success. All day I heard of these fine efforts, but which were kept a secret until last night. Some even went up state to gather material. This letter only tells you of some of the high spots of the evening.
I wish you and Ruth could have been there to see "my Life".
The story, however, is not yet complete. The climax of the evening then came when Mrs. Donahoo, Chairman of Teacher's Committee of the Board, spoke and cleverly led up to the point when she announced that the new central Jr. High School will be named by the Board as the "Addison H. Showalter Jr. High School". As I sat there on the platform, and not only heard the applause of the audience, but saw the crowd spontaneously rise to its feet in approval. That sight I shall never forget.
I thanked everybody for their kindness and told an amusing story or two but it was anti-climax, I know. As the meeting adjourned, the many friends came up to personally extend greetings to Mother and me.
It was a most enjoyable evening and I am very thankful to the teachers and the School Board (each member was present). It was a "great night".
(A. H. Showalter)
1 - Thanks to A. Harold Showalter email@example.com, son, for sharing this letter from his father.
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© 2002 John A. Bullock III.
This page last updated 10/18/05