Tabernash School reunion kindles fond memories
July 20, 2008
Armando Pacheco attended fifth through eighth grades with about 40 other students at a schoolhouse in Tabernash in the late 1930s to early ’40s.
At a biannual Tabernash school reunion Saturday at Fraser’s Historic Church and Community Center he was busily visiting with family members and old friends. But Pacheco hadn’t run into one of his former classmates ” Alpharae (Thurston) Keenan, a second-generation Tabernash student whose son Tom also attended the school ” until well after lunch.
When he finally did, the meeting sparked story after story.
Pacheco, 82, can rattle off the names of his grade-school teachers as fast as the items he ate for breakfast that morning.
He especially remembers one prank he, Keenan and others pulled on teacher/principal Guy Encll.
Their teacher had a girlfriend he couldn’t wait to see at the end of the day, Pacheco explained, and was always in a hurry to get out of school.
Tabernash students got a laugh after propping up the back tires of their teacher’s two-wheel-drive vehicle with wooden blocks, watching him spin his wheels in haste.
Asked if they got in trouble for the caper, Pacheco responded, “No, he didn’t know who done it.”
Perhaps mischief runs in the family. When it was Pacheco’s son Earman’s turn to attend the Tabernash school, Earman had other plans.
The family lived in Tabernash and “my mom walked me to school in the first grade,” Earman said.
But when they would arrive at the school, Earman would wait for her to disappear then run up onto a hill where there was a view of both the school and his house. There, he said, he would play hooky all day until Mrs. Gould’s class let out and his mom arrived at school to walk him home.
“I ended up taking the first grade over again,” Earman said.
By the time Earman got to the fourth grade, around 1958, it was decided Tabernash students would continue their grade school education at the Fraser school. Granby’s Middle Park High School had started a decade earlier and districts one and two, or East Grand and West Grand, were formed. The school in Tabernash would finally shut its doors.
According to reunion organizer Ida (Fox) Daniels, the Tabernash school building met its demise a few years ago.
Daniels, of Estes Park, has been organizing the biannual Tabernash reunion bash since 2002.
“It’s just to get-together and talk,” she said. Daniels’ mother Gladys Large was an alumnus from the very first Tabernash graduating class of 1915.
At the time, a small log-cabin served as the school, later to be built with three rooms in the heart of a then-booming town.
Daniels said the reunion turnout this year was good, although gas prices may have prevented some alumni from making the journey. “Different ones come different years,” she said.
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