Memories of Bratenahl in the 1960s

Recollections of Ronald Penfield

Ronald Scott Penfield, 8th Grade Class of 1964

Memory: My sister Virginia and I had been in several schools during our travels, and we were warned that we very well might be put back a year. For some reason, when we saw the Bratenahl Village sign, we thought it was the funniest name, and we learned to spell it. In my first class in my new school, Miss Schafer showed me how to head our papers. She said, "You probably don't know how to spell Bratenahl." I said, "Oh, but I do." I then spelled it. I always felt that contributed to our good fortune in not being put back a grade.

I loved Bratenahl School, and still have many of my notebooks and diaries that I have kept. Reading some of those fifth-grade geography notebooks, I am amazed about how much we learned. We were all afraid of Miss Sandberg. Diagramming sentences on the blackboard was great fun.  I loved to memorize poems and give book reviews. Best of all, I liked the competitiveness and the ranking system.

We used to take walks down to the lake after doing the supper dishes. I remember one night as I was finishing, a man knocked on the door. He was crying and handed me a note asking me to get it to his family. I walked out to the sidewalk and watched him walk as far as I could see to the lake. I got on my bike and followed him. He was walking back and forth in the water. I rode my bike back to the police station and then got to ride in a patrol car back to the lake, where I pointed him out to the police. They climbed down the rocky slope and brought him up and commended me for my service. I was terribly proud of myself.

[Ronald Scott Penfield was born on April 2, 1949, to Ronald and Alice Penfield..   His father was a dentist.  While attending the Bratenahl School, Ronald lived at 357 East 105th Street (Bratenahl Road).   Ronald attended the Bratenahl School from kindergarten to 8th Grade, graduating with the Class of 1964.]