September Kismet and School Daze

September is my favorite month, the blending of summer and fall, a time of beginnings and endings.

It reminds me of those early days of grade school – seven years to be exact – spent at Frank B. Cooper School.

The building is still there in West Seattle, standing strong and proud as the last century, more than a hundred years old.

We used the overpass to get there – up and around and twisty across the busy street – helped by students on patrol.

Inside were sights and sounds and colors and smells of times ago, the pictures below from decades later after the school became an art center.

Still, it hadn’t changed to me.

The stairs were scuffed and worn and carried me back in a school daze to 4th grade. There Miss Warner greeted me, her face and hair and dress all gold, her short hair tightly coiled. Her heels were black and upright – just like the piano she played โ€“ the music that encouraged me forever.

Yesterday I planted flowers, Kismet Orange Coneflowers, the color of the sixties like those golden school days. Intense and bright and fabulous.

Kismet means fate or destiny – meant to be – lot or portion.

I think I believe it.

~ Susanne

22 Comments on “September Kismet and School Daze

  1. That reminded me of all the stairs I climbed at three schools during my education. If we had been using step-counters back then, we would certainly have filled our daily quota, and more.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I love when a school is saved for another purpose! We have one that has been made into senior apartments and another is a civic theater and recreation center! Fun how you can still see the old beneath the new…

    • Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜Š It was fun to go back and see that it hadn’t changed much at all, even though it’s now an art center. When I entered, I was welcomed and they asked if I’d been there before. ” Um, yes, maybe 50 years ago? ๐Ÿ˜„”

  3. Nice old school. My middle school and junior high were similar. They both got converted to senior housing.

  4. Nice trip down memory lane, Susanne. I imagine there are a wide variety of memories of that place from everyone who passed through over the years.

  5. I had to laugh that your school is still the same. My “new” high school was demolished and replaced with a “new” high school this year. It is hard to believe I have lived that long! Glad I at least am still standing.

  6. Avenal High School looked like that in the 70s. I think itโ€™s cool that they made it into an art center though. In Avenal there is an old church thatโ€™s been converted into a museum, which is also a fun place to see. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Yes, I’m happy that old brick school is still standing. It’s such a classic! My old high school is the same era and style, and is still in service as a high school.

  7. I didn’t realize Cooper was still there! Mine was Genessee Hill, which went through several iterations before being rebuilt. My best fall memories go waaay back to visiting Hiawatha Field House north of the California/Alaska Junction (now the Hiawatha Community Center). When you lived in West Seattle, did you ever go there? The oaks and maples around the Center shed so many leaves that you could scuff your feet through knee deep rustling color. Haven’t been back in over four decades so guessing the trees are probably gone. Back in the day there weren’t as many fall blooming flowers – mums were ubiquitous and only two colors. So even now I sail right past those at the garden center heading straight for the asters, salvia, cosmos, and of course – thanks to your gorgeous photos – coneflowers!

    • Hey we were practically neighbors! We went up to the Junction and I vaguely remember the Community Center. But mostly we went to the Field House across the street from Cooper School. Lots of good memories!! Thanks for your comment. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  8. How nice that they were able to repurpose the school for the whole community ! It might look the same in a lot of ways but the tomato-sauce-smell from the cafeteria is probably gone…

    • Yes, I’m so happy they kept the building. It’s a classic. I loved the cafeteria. In fact it doubled as the auditorium, which is the picture with the stage and musician. And I will always remember the smells! ๐Ÿ˜„

  9. How lovely that you were able tosee inside your old school! And the colour ofthose cone flowers is glorious and yes, very Sixties!

    • Thanks so much! It was strange and wonderful to go back, so many memories! And the kismet coneflower is my new favorite fall flower!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  10. I went back to my two grade schools in Los Angeles about 10 years ago. What a trip! Hadnโ€™t seen either one since I left them in the 50s. They were still schools so I couldnโ€™t go inside. A real walk down memory lane!

    • Thanks for your comment. ๐Ÿ˜Š There’s something special about those early school days. I was thrilled to walk through my old grade school, with so many memories! And I was so happy that very little had changed.

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