Sunday, February 22, 2009


Many thanks to that wonderful group of 25 or more who attended the Kuser Mansion program we had this afternoon. I can honestly say that you all were one of the most receptive and enthusiastic groups I have had the pleasure of performing for in my 25 or more years of presenting "The Music We Grew Up With." We had a wonderful two hours of music and memories, and I was really impressed me with how enthustically you sang, and more impressively, how you remembered the words to some songs you haven't heard in 60 and 70 years! Thanks so much for being there. I hope we can do it again soon.


In 1908, the very beginnings of Kuser and Klockner Schools were made a part of the public record. Klockner chose 1908 as their centennial year. Kuser chose the year 1909, the year when the school was actually presented to the public with the dedication of the school in September, 1909.
My apologies for the missing letter "l" in the word "egal" in the black bordered note I added above. It was a typographical error, the results of a very poor keyboard on a Toshiba "Satellite" keyboard.
(Just one feather touch to an adjacent key will jump the cursor and text to another location on the screen.)
Thanks to George Conwell, Director of the Hamilton Township Public Library, the Toshiba has been replaced with a computer made for touch typists rather than a "hunt and peck" keyboard.)

1922: Rosalie Kuser School

In the early years the school was referred to as "Rosalie Kuser School," named for the incredible lady whose family, along with the Lawton family, played such an important part in the founding of the school. Rosalie Kuser was an incredible lady who was very active in the affairs at St. Francis Hospital. Her portrait still holds a place of honor at the hospital. There is a press account that at one point in her early life, she was out in the fields cutting asparagus or some other vegetable from the Kuser garden while in her ninth month of her pregnancy.


We called it "Reception Grade," not "Kindergarten." The chair in the foreground was replaced ages ago, but there was a rocker there when I was a student in 1939. The fireplace is the original and has thankfully been preserved. I'm sure that many of my contemporaries agree that there are many memories in that little room at Kuser.

Friday, February 20, 2009


This Sunday afternoon, February 22, from 1 to 3 PM, I will be presenting my music program " When Music Was Music" at Kuser Farm Mansion, Cedar Lane and Newkirk Avenues in Hamilton. We will be singing the songs of Patti Page, Dean Martin, Barry Mannilow, Joni James, Andy Williams, and all of the "easy listening" songs from the 40's, World War II, and choice ballads and novelty songs through the 60's and 70's. This year, in recognition of the centennial of Kuser School, I will also be recalling grammar school in the years of my (and our) youth. Once again we'll be singing "Do You Know the Muffin Man," "Go In and Out the Windows," and other school playground songs, and recalling ink wells, blackboards, milk boards, girlfriends, lavatories, cloak rooms and all those fascinating vestiges of a now vintage era. I can pretty much guarantee a fun filled two hours. I hope to see you there. Call 890-3630 and leave a message to reserve a seat (or seats). I hope to see y'all there!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


"LOVING GREETING" from this early 20th century trade card in my collection. I hope each and every visitor to my website has a love-filled St. Valentine's day. Have a great day, and remember to keep that
lamp of love burning brightly! As Petula Clark sang so beautifully back in the 1960,s,
"What the world needs now is love, sweet love..not just for some, but for everyone..."

Thursday, February 12, 2009


This is the title and facing page from the 1927 Kuser School yearbook. It was printed on quality "enamel" paper. Thanks to Dorothy Obert O'Donnell.

1927: KUSER CLASS OF 1927

Thanks to Mrs. Dorothy Obert O'Donnell for this, the oldest Kuser class picture in my collection at this time. The clarity of the photo is exquisite.

Monday, February 09, 2009


I have received a message from the webmaster at that Betsy Scott Fitzmeyer has sent a message to me on my Facebook "Wall." As you can see by the message, Betsy is a published author who rightly gives credit to her Kuser School and Hamilton teachers for instilling in her the talent and ability to write. Thanks very much for the post, Betsy, it's a privilege having you as both a visitor to this website, and counting me among your friends.

Betsy wrote on your Wall:

"Hi, Tom,

Don't know if you have had a chance to check out my website, The site profiles my new novel, SEASON of the FLAME. I've had some book signings so far. A cross-section of readers, from teenagers to seniors have apparently found worth in the book, which glorifies God, and the overall theme of which is forgiveness. In any event, Tom, as I conveyed to the current principal of Kuser, I credit a lot of my passion for the written word to my dedicated English and Latin teachers of Hamilton.

Much appreciation for your work,

Betsy Fitzmeyer"

To see your Wall or to write on Betsy's Wall, follow the link below:

The Facebook Team

1990: Anthony Gies, KUSER '47 AND HHS '51

Tony and I went through all 12 years in the Hamilton school system from Kuser School right up the the class of 1951 at Hamilton High. We were close friends during all those years, and I recently met Tony's sister Viola at one of my senior citizen programs. Tony was a gentleman, and is missed.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Today (Feb. 7) from 1 to 3 PM I will be presenting a Valentines Day program at Kuser Mansion, Newkirk and Cedar Lane. THe program is called "The Love Songs We Grew Up With," with the sing-along music of Perry Como, Patti Page, Dean Martin, Neil Diamond, Elvis Pressley and others from the 40's, 50's and 60's. The Valentines Day angle will also include stories of my experiences of Valentines Day at Kuser School, and other Kuser School memorie. This is the first of a series commemorating the 100th anniversary of Kuser School. Once again we will recall blackboards, clapping erasers, those wonderful teachers we had in the 40's and 50's, Friday assembly, and all those long ago memories. Come on out. You'll love the two hour program.


Friday, February 06, 2009


One of the more interesting projects I am working on (as time permits), is old letters I acquired some 20 to 25 years ago; correspondence which was destined for the recycle bin! These letters provide historians with invaluable information as to who taught at what school, where and when he or she taught, indeed, even a few copies of letters from the Superintendent of Schools notifying a teacher of his or her appointment as a faculty member of one of Hamilton's numerous schools. It really breaks my heart when I realize that there has been many critical historic documents consigned to the trash pile. Indeed, it is inexcusable. The graphic above tells us that Miss Annie Holland was a WWI member of the Kuser School faculty. Trivial? Not to anyone interested in Hamilton's educational system, and Kuser School's splendid heritage.


There's an old saying, "Old friends are the best friends." It's true. But when that old friend is a person you grew up with from childhood to manhood, the boy who was with you from Kuser School "Reception Grade," 1939, right up to graduation day as a classmate in the Hamilton High Class of 1951, there is a real part of your soul that sustains an enduring pain. As a proud, God loving Christian, it is my belief that as we age, we become more and more aware of our mortality. In truth, our journey in this physical life is only the beginning of another journey which all of us will make. My religion teaches me that physical death is not the end...that there is another place "which the eye has not seen, nor the ear heard..." I'll see you there, Jess.

1942: Miss Abromovitz's Kuser Second Grade

Were we ever this young? These winsome Kuser Kats from 1942 are posing along the back fence in the Kuser playground. I would guess that the iron goal posts are nearby. A great photo, and many thanks Pat Markey for help to keep Kuser School's magnificent historical heritage alive.


These pretty girls are putting their best foot forward in presenting "The Cotton Candy Dance." Thanks again to Pat Markey, Kuser '48 for this long forgotten press photo.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

1982: A TEACHER'S PRAYER - Tom Glover Graphic

The above graphic, (Not "A Teacher's Prayer,") was published to accompany a column I did on little Tommy Glover's experiences in Miss Mary Kelley's "Reception Grade;" known today as Kindergarten. We laughed, we cried, we pasted, we cut out pictures from magazines, and a number of us hadn't quite learned to control certain bodily functions, but we were always patiently cared for and understood by Miss Mary Kelley; the epitome of a love and kindness toward very innocent children. It takes a special person with a special personality to be a "Reception Grade" teacher. She is a temporary "mommy" as well as a
teacher molding innocent minds. That beautiful poem, "A Teacher's Prayer," most certainly ascends directly to the intended source.

Monday, February 02, 2009

What a treat! Here are the classes from Kuser School when I was in Miss Carnall's second grade. First of all, an embarrassing apology to those who have heard me boast about my extensive honor roll record! Through the years, Mom Glover boasted that "Tommy" was on the honor roll every year through Kuser School, right up to the 7th grade. Who wouldn't believe their mom? Well, much to my consternation, I find that Mom was either girdling the tree of truth, or honestly thought that I had reached the level of my intellectually superior classmates. As you can see, there is no "Thomas Glover" in the second grade listing! So now I find that I must confess to being an honor student for most of my Kuser Grammar School career, until 8th grade when along came Millie Long, Madeline Bencivengo, Shirley Whitebread....the list goes on. However, what a joy it was to run through the classes from lowest to upper. I looked for my grammar school "crush," Madeline Bencivengo in first grade, but she was also absent; but there was another of my childhood "sweethearts," Mary Lou Saxton, a second grade classmate. The other names are so familiar!---Eileen Quick, Lorraine Feehan, Jake Tarr, Carolyn Saxton and Mary Lou Litwin, plus all those in my brother Bud's 8th grade class at Kuser School.

Over many years of collecting, any collector will tell you that quite often clippings get mis-filed, lost, forgotten, or overlooked. The above graphic is an example of a few Kuser School related clippings that went astray. Fortunately, again as any collector will agree, those strays always seem to turn up in the most unusual places. These were on a 5 year old CD.