Four brothers revisit Delaware Elementary before demolition

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SPRINGFIELD — The Randall Brothers all attended Delaware Elementary in the 1950’s, and decided to see it one more time before it is torn down.

Over the next few weeks, one of Springfield’s oldest elementary schools will be torn down, and is set to be rebuilt this fall.

As part of Proposition “S” passing last April, Delaware Elementary will be reconstructed, and its students will be moved to Sherwood. The school was built in 1951.

On Friday, four brothers who attended the school got a final look at the building before its demolition.

Chris, Dana, Don, and Gene Randall all live in different states now, but at one time at Delaware Elementary back in 1958, the Randall boys roamed the halls of Delaware Elementary at the same time.

At the time, Gene was in 5th grade, Don in 4th, Dana in 2nd, and Chris in 1st.

Dana Randall with his 2nd grade teacher, Elizabeth Sweet (2014)

“It’s just a special time when you see your school that you went to and have so many memories, and it’s kind of sad that we’re going to see it torn down, but we’re here to try and capture some of those memories,” says Dana.

This weekend, they’re back in town for their annual family reunion. They got word that the school would be torn down soon, so they toured their old stomping grounds one last time. The baby, Chris, recalls his memory of being in school with all of his brothers.

“I was just trying to make sure I went into the right classroom. So today what we did we walked around and located which classrooms that we were in,” says Chris.

All four brothers have things that stuck out in their minds. Dana says he can remember practicing what to do in case of severe weather.

“We all have memories of tornado drills. All the kids going into the hallway, sitting down along the wall covering your head. These two have memories of the bugle being played,” Dana says looking over to his big brothers Gene and Don.

“The first year I was here that’s what they did, and then we recited the pledge and said the Lords’ prayer,” Gene explains.

A few things look different since they were there, like an addition to the back of a building and upgraded playground equipment.

Dana’s report card from 1957

They admit, they’ve changed a little bit as well.

Between travel and some moving across the country, they’ve gained grandchildren, and lost some hair.

They spent the afternoon laughing at some of their greatest reflections, and those are the memories that will stay with them forever.

Demolition of Delaware Elementary will start in the next couple of weeks, and the Randall brothers say that when the school is completed, they look forward to coming back and checking it out.

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