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Walnut Hill School

Posted by northdallasgirl 
Walnut Hill School
November 22, 2019 12:27PM
This post has taken a few weeks to appear because I've taken that long to get used to the idea of Midway Rd. without Walnut Hill School. I attended from 1955 to 1961, from 1st to 6th grade and have always considered it the cradle of my love of reading and my outlook on life and the world in general. I have never forgotten any of my teachers, from Miss Henry in 1st grade to Violet L'Hommedieu in the 6th grade. I had teachers who had taught there since it was a one room schoolhouse surrounded be farms and a dairy in the 1920's. I haven't even driven in to town to survey the scene for myself because I can't bear the thought of seeing the damage to to the school. I spent most of my adolescence at Preston Royal, but for some reason the damage there doesn't have the same emotional punch. Growing up in Dallas, one becomes used to the idea that nothing is permanent, but to lose such a wide swath of my childhood AND the Million Dollar Oak in the same week is too much.

Victoria Snyder Alvey
Re: Walnut Hill School
November 22, 2019 02:13PM
Victoria, I read with sadness about the damage to Dallas, including historical and beloved schools and other buildings. My wife's nephew had serious damage to his house in Walnut Hill. I thought of the many friends and acquaintances from North Dallas, including some who attended Thomas Jefferson High School. I grew up and attended school in Oak Cliff, but that does not mitigate my concerns for North Dallas. I attended Kimball High School, a sibling of Thomas Jefferson. The two buildings have the same architecture and opened within a year of each other (perhaps the same year?). After Sunset, we Knights considered the Rebels (they must have a new mascot, but I don't know what it is) our second greatest rival. My undererstanding is that TJ will be repaired, but that Walnut Hill may not. Do you know for sure?

So sorry that Dallas suffered this. I no longer have to worry about tornadoes, here in inland Washington, but we have fire worries. Our forests burn in the summer.

Dave McNeely
Re: Walnut Hill School
November 23, 2019 11:46AM
Thanks, Dave. The TJ mascot is now the Patriots. Walnut Hill and Cary are apparently not salvageable. The tentative plans are to use TJ as the center of a combined campus with K-12 grades. Even in 1955 there was a steady flow of kids from Cary and TJ taking a short-cut across our playground, which our p.e. teacher, Miss Mary Herring, was not happy about.

Victoria Snyder Alvey
Re: Walnut Hill School
November 23, 2019 02:02PM
Thanks Victoria. According to Wikipedia, TJ opened in the fall of 1956. Kimball was in 1958. So, I was wrong that they were in the same year. Bryan Adams was in 1957, so that was a busy time for DISD in bringing new high schools up. All three have essentially the same architecture, though some details differ.

Dave McNeely
Re: Walnut Hill School
November 23, 2019 02:46PM
Boy, is my face red! The Highland Park Christmas tree was a pecan, not an oak. Thank God my grandmother wasn't here to see that. I really DO know an oak from a pecan!

Victoria Snyder Alvey
Re: Walnut Hill School
November 26, 2019 08:25PM
Wow! I had not known that the big pecan tree was taken down. What a loss, but of course, living things don't last forever. That tree was a grand thing, whether lit up at Christmastime, providing a living link to the past, or just being itself, there in the median.

Dave McNeely
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