That is the question that McCluer Comets ask each other.   Same thing as we all do regarding our 9/11 tragedy or the day Kennedy was killed.  This question reveals the private little horror at McCluer High School.  Adolescents being well, adolescent, the day was a little confusing.


It must have happened on February 15, 1968.  I found a newspaper article from the 16th.  The thirty five year old pilot was trying to guide his small private plane to this field.  He didn’t make it, and hit the M-1 gym, just next to it.  The girls in the modern dance class had just exited.  The pilot died.

1-mccluer yearbook picture

You can see the gym in this yearbook page, complete with high school year end philosophy for me.  The track is in the foreground, the gym the tallish building next to it.

BIG school.  Five thousand kids, sophomores to seniors.  Everybody had to exit.  Where would they go?

I went to the grove of trees in the middle of this image having been in the building to the left of them.  Hundreds and hundreds of us sat on that hill and watched across the central parking lot to the gym where half of a small plane showed above the roof.   The grove of trees is where people went to smoke when they could manage it.

Never thought about it before, but we few knew what was going on.  My husband Glenn, who went to the same school (and who I never knew in high school) was in the two story building behind the grove of trees.  Second floor.  They all watched the proceedings from the classroom windows.

It never occurred to me until this day where and what the other kids were doing.  Maybe I once knew and have forgotten.  To others in similar outside groups around the huge campus, everything would be hearsay.  Maybe only the very close buildings had to evacuate.  Even in the group that knew what was going on, some kids were rowdy.  Can any Comets out there refresh me?

BTW, when Glenn and I started dating, you know what we had to ask.