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Arlington High grads return to grab memorabilia from their alma mater
By Eileen O. Daday | Daily Herald Correspondent

Jennifer Schmidt stakes her claim to some lockers from the former Arlington High School. Her husband, Tom, attended Arlington until 1984 when it closed, and graduated from Prospect High School.


Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

Tom Sanatrelli of Cary, Class of 1957, is interested in blueprints of the old Arlington High School for sale.


Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

Catherine Olson of Arlington Heights, left, and Gail Walker (nee Egan) of Palatine, Class of 1983, look at desks from Walker's alma mater.


Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

Former Arlington High School alumni enter the building for the start of the rummage sale.


Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

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Published: 8/12/2010 2:53 PM

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Nearly 50 people waited in line for doors to open Thursday at a rummage sale featuring memorabilia from the old Arlington High School.

The sale took place in the school's former cafeteria, now used by Christian Liberty Academy, at 502 Euclid Ave. in Arlington Heights. The auction will continue from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Most of the early patrons, it turns out, wanted to claim some of school's old lockers. More than 70 red and orange lockers were ordered in the first 30 minutes, and 300 were ordered by lunchtime.

The demand was so strong, that by Thursday afternoon, they had to stop taking locker orders.

"This caught us by surprise, that so many people want these lockers," said Tammy Lack, a sale coordinator. "A lot of them want them as memorabilia, but I guess they're part of a retro look that's popular now."

Roy Klehm of Barrington and Ralph Ibbotson of Arlington Heights, both members of the class of 1960, looked over some of the old desks, teacher mailboxes and even lettermen shirts on hand.

"We're negotiating to get one of the lockers for our 50th reunion," Klehm said. "We thought that would be a big attraction."

Nearby, sisters Carol Cronin Alimento of Hanover Park and Cathy Cronin Kniskern of Elmhurst, members of the classes of 1961 and 1965 respectively, took pictures besides the vintage lockers, but ended up purchasing some of the wood shelves once used in the offices.

"I don't have any place to put the lockers, but it's fun to see them again," Kniskern said.

Officials with Christian Liberty said they had made the old lockers available after removing them from a hallway near the art room, where they needed more space to display students' work.

However, they didn't anticipate the kind of demand they faced on Thursday, when they had reached their limit by midday. While they started taking orders for lockers that would be taken from another wing, they cut off even those on Thursday afternoon.

"We have another hallway that we want to expand," said Andy Bennett, maintenance supervisor, "but even then I'm not sure how we can come up with 300."

Laurie Waldin Leeds of Hoffman Estates, a member of the class of 1975, was one of those to place an order for a set of lockers. In the meantime, she came away with a blueprint from the school's remodeling project in 1967.

"I always loved the school," Leeds said. "Walking through it now, and seeing all of this, it's as if time stood still."

Officials said they besides the old Cardinal memorabilia, patrons also found nearly 90 tables filled with more traditional rummage sale items, including books, toys and clothes. All proceeds from the sale, school officials said, will benefit its financial assistance program.