By Susie Spitler
For the Weekly Record Herald
TIPP CITY — From a 1949 Tipp Herald, we learn that A.R. Brane, known as “Pop,” was the first director of The Rec. He was followed by John Beymer, in 1951, who was followed by Bill Parish (who was also a Tipp Schools physical education teacher.)
Mike Barnhart remembers, when he was in junior high, that Mr. Parish told them they could not go to The Rec until they were freshmen. And, that they had to know how to dance, which is how he got them to participate in Friday dance lessons with the girls. Guys had PE on Monday and Wednesday and girls on Tuesday and Thursday. Friday was a combined class, where he learned to dance.
John Oda shared several school memories. When he was in third grade, kids went to The Rec on Saturday mornings for games and arts and craft activities. Which would have been 1949-50. At that time, third and fourth graders went to the Trojan Pool in Troy in Kinnison’s semi trucks for swimming lessons.
This was under Tipp Youth, Inc., which had control of The Rec when he was director from approximately 1965-72. Also while he was director, Polly’s and the Chatter Box had closed so they converted The Rec into a teenage week day and weekend hangout. It had a lounge, soda bar with booths, pool tables, ping pong tables, etc. It was controlled by TYI and had a high school youth board called the Teen Rec Council that handled activities and Rec events. Being above the Tipp Herald, the space was donated free of charge by Penny Finch.
When John left in 1972 The Rec was still in existence. At some point it, and all the activities, were placed under the Community Schools umbrella, now known as Tipp Monroe Community Services.
Does anyone know what year The Rec was closed?
The Tippecanoe Historical Society Museum is open to the public from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, 5-8 p.m. Thursday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. We welcome individuals and groups.
To make an appointment or offer information, call Gordon at 667-3051 or Susie at 698-6798.