Looking back: Full circle

Alderwood Manor grade school. (Photo courtesy Betty Lou Gaeng)

The two words “full circle” very appropriately describe my life. In the year 2003, I went back to my roots and moved into Lynnwood’s new Alderwood Court apartments—westward and up the hill from the Alderwood mall. With that move, I arrived full circle.

When I was a young child, the road in front of Alderwood Court was the road I traveled each morning and afternoon—September into June. Along the way, we passed the Hunter family’s home, the large white house on the hill right where Alderwood Court sits today. Now, the road is a paved street and it is called 36th Avenue West, Lynnwood. During my childhood it was a narrow graveled road named North Trunk North in the village of Alderwood Manor.

Beginning in September of 1933—almost 84 years ago, my mode of transport was a school bus and the morning trip was to Alderwood Manor Grade School, just a short distance south of the Hunter’s farm; about two miles from my own home.

The old school house is gone now. It closed in 1962 and for a few years the building was used as the district’s administrative office. No longer needed, the red-brick school house was razed in March of 1992. Through the years the land remained empty; a forlorn reminder of the past. Now a large apartment house is under construction on the old school property—right across 196th Street from the Lynnwood Convention Center. No matter, in my mind I will always hear the voices of my schoolmates at play during recess time. I still can hear the bell calling us back to our classrooms—playtime was over.

The years have flown by, and most of my classmates are gone now—but, the memories linger. That is the way of life. I may be a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother, but inside I am still that excited little 6-year-old girl, clutching her tin lunch box, and waiting with her two older brothers for the school bus to arrive for her first day of school.

Betty Lou Gaeng

— By Betty Lou Gaeng

Betty Gaeng is a long-time resident of Lynnwood and Edmonds, coming to the area in 1933. She researches and writes about the history and the people of South Snohomish County.

  1. Betty Lou Gaeng—-Enjoyed reading your story, every time I drive on 196th and 36th, I’ll think of you and the School House that used to be there.
    Reminds me of the one room School House I went to as a child.
    Thank you

    1. Rosemary — I don’t think that many of us ever forget our first school days — no matter how many years ago. It is our first venture into the world on our own.

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