By AVON WATERS

avon.waters@heraldbulletin.com

ELWOOD — Cherishing every bite, Nancy Sumner ate hot dogs and sauerkraut in her school cafeteria. The smell of the combo just seemed to call to her, Sumner said.

“I got so excited, I forgot I brought my lunch,” Sumner said remembering a day in the cafeteria at Red Corner Elementary in 1954. “They had a cafeteria, but I still took my lunch — we couldn’t afford the nickel for lunch. After I had eaten I remembered I had my lunch, and they came around to collect and I had no nickel. They let me have lunch free that day.”

Linda Glotzbach Ead, Walter Updegraff and Sumner are planning the first Red Corner school reunion for Sept. 23. The school stood just east of the Indiana 37 and 28 junction and was razed in 2004. It operated from 1905 to 1971.

The organizers hope others will come and share stories and memories such as Sumner’s story. She attended the school from 1954 to 1959.

Ead, a 1945-1951 alumni, said they hope people will come and bring pictures or any sort of memorabilia from their school days there. If they get enough, the organizers would like to put it in some kind of book form for others to share.

“Walter bought the school bell in a 1973 auction, and he’s bringing it to the reunion,” Ead said. “He’s got it on wheels or a cart or something.”

The trio has been working on the reunion since conceiving the idea in January.

“It’s for teachers, students, principals, or anyone who walked through the doors or had anything to do with Red Corner,” Sumner said. “It’s been fun, and we’ve had a lot of feedback from people we went to school with there.”

The fun has come in uncovering the history and running across people unexpectedly who then tell them stories of the school or share that they once worked or went to school there. Sumner, a librarian at the Elwood Public Library, found some unlabeled pictures. It was pictures from the school.

“I asked a library patron, Lornell Mock, if she knew anyone who might have gone there,” Sumner said. “She said, ‘Yes, I used to teach there’. Oh my gosh, I didn’t know she was a teacher.”

Grades one through eight at one time were housed at the school, Ead said. Later the higher grades went to other schools.

“When I went, there was no cafeteria. And we had an outhouse,” Ead said laughing. “My grandchildren asked, ‘What’s an outhouse?’”

In 1906, the first class pictures were taken in front of the school, she added, showing one of the group photos she had found. In 1904 a smaller school, the Douglas school, was razed to make way for the Red Corner school. She found a picture of it too.

Ead said, “In 1970-71, redistricting put the school in the Elwood school system. Within a week the Elwood corporation closed the school.”

It was a sad time, she said. But people can use the reunion to bring back some of the good memories. The organizers also will have a raffle for a Prestige Glass paperweight that has a painting of the school in it.

Ead said, “We want people to come and share but to come and renew old friendships.”

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