Q&A With Two Alumni

The high school memories. We’ve all heard about how the “wellness center” in the basement used to be the cafeteria, and wondered what that would’ve been like to eat there, or heard about some of the epic pranks of the past. Everyone has their own take on the high school moments. I decided to ask two Ames High graduates what it was like going to Ames High School and what their take on high school was . . . or just what they remembered! These are the parents of my good friend, junior Keith Snider. They are Brian Snider ‘74, and Mary Kay Snider ‘79. Mary Kay is a Cyride driver who has more than likely driven you around, and Brian is the Funeral Director at Adam’s Funeral Home here in Ames. Q: Are any of the teachers you had still working at the high school? B: “No, none of my old teachers are still teaching, but a lot of the teachers I had are still around and I still see them. They’re all retired so I run into them a lot.” Q: What kind of classes did you guys take when you were at AHS? B: “Well one of the classes that I had was called T&I co-op (Trades& Industries). We got one credit for going to class and two credits for going to work. So during my senior year I would go to class and everyday I left at 10 o’clock to go to work.” MK: “If you had your credits done there was no minimum class hours you had to spend in school.” B: “Biology was good too. Outside of the Biology wing you have a pond. I built that- or our class built that in ‘73. Yeah we pretty much got out of Biology class to go out there and dig a hole.” MK: “I went farther than I needed to in math up to Trig, but back then it was called Algebra one through four. I didn’t take any science beyond what was required which was probably 9th grade. I didn’t think have anybody saying hey you should be taking all these classes and going to college! My parents never went to college so they never brought it up to me.” Q: So since everyone moved to the high school as sophomores did you feel more included in the High School or were you still the “underclassmen”? MK: “You’re still the ‘underclassmen’ but I think yeah you were in High School since you were 10th graders” B: “-except for the sophomore girls” MK: “Why?” B: They felt more included cause you know all the senior guys would ask them out. Q: Did you play any sports in high school? B: No. M: I did the Powder Puff football game. You’ll have to write that down! When the senior girls dominated the sophomores and juniors. Q: Was that a girls flag-football game? M: You had the Senior girl team and then the sophomore and junior girl team. The senior football boys came in and coached. It was just one game. We practiced for 3-4 weeks… and we just kicked their butts. We had some jock-girls in our class that were like the basketball or softball stars, and we started kicking their buts and they started getting mean! Shoving each other- we were practically playing tackle football. Looking back at it it was really fun! Q: Were there any legendary senior pranks when you guys were in school? M: “Oh! The rail… When I was in school the boys hung out on the rail. The rail that goes down to the old lunchroom. The boys either sat up on the top rail or just leaned on the rail.” B: “Yeah you pretty much had to be a senior to sit on that railing.” M: “That was the prank the year I was a senior. They stole the railing. I don’t know when they came in or how it happened but they came in and dismantled it and took the rail away. I actually have a piece of it! It wasn’t gone very long maybe a few days or so till they found out who was responsible and whoever was responsible for it got it back.” Q: What were your school dances like? MK: “We had winter formal- actually it was called “Christmas Formal” back then and it was before winter break- ‘Christmas break’ as it was called back then. I went my sophmore and junior year. It was held at the Union. I don’t even know where it’s held now . . . it’s at school isn’t it?” Q: Its held in the cafeteria now. MK: That’s so boring! Having it at the Union was really cool. I can’t imagine cramming everybody into that cafeteria. The homecoming dance we had was not very big and it was held Friday night, like after the [football] game. So it was like who’s really going to go? It wasn’t a huge Saturday night dance like it is now. Prom was in April, and I think I went to one prom- its hard to remember. Q: You didn’t go to Prom? MK: Well, you know, it’s one of those things. A lot of it was that my friends and I were dating people from out of town that didn’t go to our school. So we didn’t want to go with some random guy from school. Q: Were you not allowed to bring out of town dates? MK: Well, I don’t remember but we probably didn’t want to. Q: Was it pretty typical to date out of town guys? MK: Well, I don’t know it was probably just me and my girlfriends. When we didn;t have anything to do on a friday night we’d drive around and go to the bowling ally play pinball or foosball or pool or whatever, and thats where the out-of-town guys hung out. They were probably rolling into town to pick up chicks or whatever and thats where we met them. Q: Fill in the Blank Ames High ____? MK: Aims Hi! I’m sure some people used to say ‘is high,’ or ‘gets high’ B: I have one thing to say and its that from Ames High I have all good memories. MK: “Oh yeah, me too. When you talk to other people about it its fun to see what they remembered.’ B: Its great now with everyone on Facebook. You reconnect with all these people. I don’t know what its like now but I was friends with most of the people in my class. Now I think its more about getting into little groups- MK: -they did back then too though. [Brian] was just friends with lots of people. B: I mean, I looked at high school like it was just a big social thing and thats what I liked about it. MK: I think there was a lot of clique-y group stuff when I was there, but now you know, thirty something years later it’s changed. Before our thirty year reunion came around everybody was joining Facebook with talk of the reunion and the reuinion Facebook page. You couldn’t remember what you thought of them in high school. So you’re better friends now then you were in high school because they’re the people that you grew up with, they have those same memories, yet you weren’t close friends in high school. It’s really cool now we’re chit-chatting and writing on peoples’ walls and a lot of us have become close friends after high school. Q: Did you plan for your sons to go to AHS? MK: “You know it sort of just turned out that way. We thought about moving south, but we stayed because it was important to me for Keith to graduate from Ames High. All of my family graduated from Ames High, and all of Brian’s family graduated from Ames too, but Keith and his brother Ethan are the second generation, which makes me proud!” Q: Did a lot of your graduating class go straight to college? For our generation it’s like from the beginning its just a huge push to go to college from practically the minute you walk in the door as freshmen. MK: I don’t know if it was just being female . . . but they didn’t. It wasn’t quite the norm to push the females [to go to college]. B: Well, I think the thing is you guys had the push since day one going to school. For our generation when you got out of high school and you wanted to go to college that was great, but if you didn’t there were jobs available where you could get paid good money, with good benefits. Where now, [jobs] aren’t out there. If you don’t have a college education you’re not going to get a very good job. MK: I’d say about 50% or more went to college. B: I’d say about 30% of my grade. Q: Are you still friends with your friends from high school? B: Oh yeah. MK: He is a lot more than I am. B: I have one of the best friendship stories of all time. Ok, Jeff and I were best friends through school and we went into the Navy together, and after boot camp I said, ‘see ya later, Buddy’ and I didn’t see him for five years. He went to the east coast and I went to the west coast. My last duty station was Glenview, IL, and I met a girl and we came back to Ames and got married. She had a twin-sister who decided to move here. Well, Jeff’s brother lived in the same area that she did and Jeff met her. She said do you know Brian Snider and he said, ‘uh yeah!’ Jeff ended up marrying her, so we ended up marrying twins. We’re still good friends today.