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GHS School Days: 1962-63, Part 11 Port Washington, Wisc.



Upon arrival in Milwaukee, we were greeted by hosts in their private cars and whisked away for the 30-minute ride to Port Washington.

The drive was parallel to the Lake Michigan shore, obviously scenery that we had never seen.  It was a beautiful drive.

My student host was Paul Shafer, a very fine student who was a junior at Port Washington High School.

He was an only child and had great parents. His dad was a snow-making machine salesman.

With 3-feet of snow in their back yard, I could not imagine the need for snow-making machines but based on their home, it was a lucrative business.

Mrs. Shafer was an attractive stay-at-home mom. When asked, they told me they had not been in their back yard since September. Probably limited the number of back yard cookouts.

We were entertained royally. On the first night, there was a progressive dinner in old Port Washington.

Nice big homes on large lots much like our Fort Dale and College Streets with well-cared lawns under the big snowfalls.

Port Washington was settled by Germans so the food theme that first night was German.

We hungry Alabamians adapted nicely. During the week, we were entertained and hosted by various civic clubs for lunch and dinner.

The focal point was a very nice restaurant with a large meeting room upstairs. Ronnie spoke at one, I spoke at another, each of us telling stories about Greenville.

Each day, even in the snow, we went to school and sat in classes similar to ours with Port Washington students.

One day, Mrs. Walburn, our brave chaperone, asked me to make an announcement over the school’s PA system.

As instructed, I said, “Will all y’all Alabama students please meet in the school library immediately after lunch”.

There was roaring laughter all up and down the hall. I guess they weren’t familiar with “All y’all!”

While we were there, their basketball team continued to practice and play. The class and the team were led by a senior, Pat Reynolds.

He was headed to the University of Wisconsin on a football or basketball scholarship. The team was one of the best in their division.

With four of us from our Greenville team on the trip, someone suggested a pickup game between our schools.

We added a fifth from among our class and played them to a standstill. Eddie covered their star, Pat, like white on rice, Ronnie scored from underneath, Dave was relentless on defense and offense and I tried to own the lane. We gave them a run for their money.

On another night, some were less fortunate. At that time, Wisconsin had minor bars meaning anyone 18 to 21 could partake of beer in the establishment.

No one outside those ages was allowed. Richie and I steered clear of them knowing going there was asking for trouble.

However, a few of our classmates went into a minor bar with a couple of the Port Washington students including the class leader and basketball star, Pat.

When the news came out, a disturbance had occurred at a service station and the police had been called.

Pat was suspended from the basketball team for a game or two. On the way home on the train, Mrs. Walburn called several of us together and gave us an ultimatum.

Upon returning home, we had 24 hours to tell our parents after which she was going to call them.

Richie and I had dates that night with our weeklong girlfriends and didn’t know anything about it until Mrs. Walburn’s meeting.

Nothing to tell my parents but Mrs. Walburn asked the next day. Still don’t know who was involved!

In April, the Port Washington students came to Greenville. We entertained them royally as well.

Having stayed with a junior, I did not have a student guest and I was not included in all the activities but still I enjoyed being with them in class and around campus.

On Sunday, during their visit they were taken by bus to Panama City.

They were enthralled with the white sandy beaches and the beautiful blue-green water.  It was surely a trip they did not soon forget.

The Student Exchange trips continued for several years. Hearing about some of them, I don’t believe there is any way that any one of them could match the learning experience and the fun that we had.

It was a great way for us to see and experience how people in another part of the country lived and breathed.

Coming up:  Our Last Semester in Greenville High School, Spring, 1963


  1. Bob Montgomery on August 31, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing Carter!

  2. Sam Morton on September 1, 2023 at 6:42 am

    Carter is a gifted story teller and always fondly recalls those times and people that were so memorable.

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