Lincoln High School
Class of 1953
A Drive to YESTERDAY by Diane Linneman Bicknell
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It was a lovely warm day in early March and my husband suggested we take a drive around in our old “stomping grounds” to see all the changes that have taken place.  We have lived in Bothell now for 12 years and don’t get back to the old neighborhood often.


We checked out the east side of Green Lake and saw the “big hole” - an entire city block devoid of anything but a hole with some dirt where a major construction project is waiting…  On toward Green Lake itself to see the multitudes of people enjoying the path around the lake, joggers bikers, dog walkers by the hundreds.  It was like a huge anthill filled with people that were enjoying the area on this lovely warm sunny day.  Round past the Pitch n’ Putt and up onto the road to lower Woodland. This is where the covered picnic areas are located and the hillside where our Day Camp got together when we were children.  Now we go north and go under Aurora Avenue on Linden. I pointed out 3 different little houses, that were once “corner grocery stores”.  Remember them? Your mom would send you to the store for bread, or milk, or even pop and it was only a block away from your home. 


We continued straight up Linden Avenue and we turned on 72nd and down to the parking lot of what used to be Zion Lutheran church.  I literally grew up there from baptism, confirmation, youth group, choir, teaching bible school and married there.  This was with my life long friends at my side: Betty Hiller, Barbara Plenge, Joyce Polasik, Barb Kimbrough and me - Diane Linneman.  It was here I got my camera out, as the life long “landmark” is no longer where Twin Teepees once stood. Instead it is a half finished Condominium. Who ever dreamed that would not always be there?


Even my church is no longer Zion Lutheran it is occupied by the MeKane Yesus Evangelical Lutherans and the name Zion no longer appears on the outside of the church.  I didn’t go inside but walked all around the building. The grounds were overgrown and the walkway slippery from moss growing on it. Our own Gene Bensene's father Carl Bensene was minister there from 1940-1963. He married Bud and me. Our choir director was Stanley Weiss (also Lincoln High Band Director). Dick Evans, Gene Bensene, Carolyn and Fred Zimmerman, Lloyd Kinner and many, many other Lincoln grad's attended there. I was surprised to find that one of the neighbors still lived nearby and she was in the yard and spoke to me - however it turned out to be the daughter. She bought the house from her parents and she looks exactly like her mom.  We had a great visit. 


Onward to the most special visiting place LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL...  We turned up the street from Stone Way and parked in the front of the entrance thinking just to stop for a few minutes and take a few pictures.  The pink trees in front were in bloom, but there seemed to be a lot of activity, people going in and out.  A fellow walked by me and I told him I was class of ‘52-53 and he stopped and we talked.  It seems on this day it was an Open House for the schools that would be moving into the Lincoln building in fall 2010. They included: McDonald Grade School and Queen Anne Elementary school.


My new friend asked me about being mid-term and how did that happen.  I explained how in the “olden days” kids started grade school in January. I went to John B. Allen, which he hadn’t heard off, but knew it now as the Phinney Ridge Community Center.  Also, when it came time to graduate you either went to summer school if college was in your plans, or you stayed around for the additional time and had an extended big time in your senior year!  In some ways it was somewhat confusing for me especially since many good and close friends did graduate in ‘52 and I played around until ‘53.  But it was really worth the time. It was filled with Chanters, Drama (we put on Hit The Deck) and Office Training and early dismissal.  Besides who wanted to give up those fantastic, huge, morning Cinnamon rolls for 5 cents.  By this time someone was pulling out of a parking spot and I asked Bud to park the car I was going in!!! 

When attending Lincoln I most always entered by the north stairs that brought you out by the study hall.  That area is re-configured now.  Going up the main entrance and the double set of stairs was a bit of a challenge for me and there was no banister on the first set, so I grabbed Buds arm.  At the top to the left is the Solders Plaque on the wall and if you go left the original drinking fountain is still on the wall also. The north staircase is closed in by a wall as is the hall area (fire doors I suppose).  Looking at the stairs I didn’t even think of going upstairs, but I did recall the hundreds of times I went up from first to second to third floor and didn’t give it a single thought! Guess that’s the difference between being 17-18 and now 75!! 


There are no open cage lockers in the hallways like we had. They are all metal pretty blue half-size lockers, not full up and down either, guess that’s why the kids have to carry heavy backpacks. I continued on down the hall to what used to be our Study Hall.  It is now, and has  been for quite a while, the library.  The stage area is gone and the computer lab rooms are located in its place.  At the other end where we entered the library is walled off.  Turning to leave the area I spied an old friend; the “original clock” from our old study hall is still there.  I did walk around outside the hallway to see what that area is used for it was hard to tell, but appeared to be work areas of some kind, perhaps Library usage.



We did wander down by the offices, but didn’t want to intrude and they were closing for the day.  But how wonderful and unexpected it was to find the doors open and school having an Open House just on the day we happened by.


I’m delighted as I’m sure many others are, that the building, that was once Lincoln High School continues to be an “interim” school for many others to enjoy.  We have our own memories and the building continues on giving memories to others.


Diane Linneman Bicknell


PS: We arrived home as our daughter Debbie and husband John were taking us to dinner to celebrate my birthday.  We got in the car but stopped at our clubhouse instead, where 50 or so friends, neighbors and friends of our children were waiting for my arrival.  It was a surprise 75th birthday party for me! I was totally 100% surprised! 

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