Archive for Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jim Hartman, former LHS custodian

May 14, 2009

It is the 10th of May, and today was our day to volunteer at the Lansing Museum. It seems that every time I am there someone from my past comes in and we have great conversations.

Today a gentleman named Richard Nash walked in to look around and told me that his grandfather was Jim Hartman. He was surprised that I knew his grandfather, and we had a lot to talk about. Mr. Hartman was the custodian at Lansing High School during my four years there, and I could tell Richard things that he would not remember or know about.

What I remember most about Mr. Hartman was how well he kept up the building and lawn. He had a long-handled dandelion digger that he carried with him all the time he was outdoors. He was either cutting the grass with the old-fashioned reel lawnmower or pushing a wide mop to keep the inside floors clean.

And oh how he could dance! Every time we kids spotted him when other teachers or the principal were not looking, we would beg him to dance for us. This would be in front of the pot-bellied stove in the Manual Training Building. He loved that. He always wore bib overalls and was liked by students and teachers alike.

Richard Nash now lives in Prairie Village and had worked at the Lansing Correctional Facility a few years back. He was a student in Lansing for a short time in the first or second grade and lived in a house right north of the Seven Mile Creek. He had an older brother named Jim, and I did remember him and found him in one of my old class pictures. This had to have been about 1939.

Part of the fun of volunteering at the museum is meeting people that come in with questions or have memories of the days they or family members lived here.

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