The Roberts School

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These are a few miscellaneous photos from my years at Roberts School. They were taken in 1966, 1967 and 1968. I've decided to post them here for those who may have been in Maracaibo during those same years. They bring great memories back to me, and perhaps they'll do the same for someone else.

This photo is a shot of the lovely Roberts dining room in their own apartment located on the top floor above the school in La Estrella shortly after the school was built and it was still new.

At the time, the new school was a dream-come-true for the Roberts family as well as for all the students who attended the school. I spent my last two high school years at the new building and really had the opportunity to enjoy all the new facilities that the new school offered. They were truly wonderful years.

This photo was taken by my father.

The photos in this section came from the Roberts 1966 Yearbook. They appear here through the dedicated efforts of Roberts alumni Joelle Le Reste. Joelle is currently residing in Paris, France, and all of us are grateful to for her making the effort to scan these photos so that they could be shared here.


What's particularly interesting about them is that they show the school when it was still located in the old house on the hill overlooking the Lake, prior to the move out to its new building located in “Urbanización La Estrella” (where it is now the Clínica Paraíso) - a move that was completed, I believe, in 1967. So these are some of the last photos of the old school.

These "cap & gown" shots were taken during a photo shoot for the 1968 yearbook. We had a great deal of fun that day, particularly since we got to "legally" cut class for the shoot. The last three shots were taken during two Senior Class Trips in 1967 & 1968. The Class of 1967 was extremely unusual because there was only one boy in the class. So I had the great fortune of being asked to go on their class trip as well to "even up the score", even though I was still a junior! What more could any healthy, red-blooded guy ask for?

I remember an amusing incident that happened during one of those trips. One day, as we walked around the small Andean town of La Mesa, we purchased several bottles of Ron Añejo Pampero, which we then smuggled back to our hotel rooms.

Cheryl Yowell and I with one of the
 smuggled bottles of Pampero!

That night, we were all sitting around a nice bonfire that had been built in a special area on the hotel grounds, drinking strong "Cuba Libres" and having a great time. We had the smuggled bottles of rum around us, hidden under jackets, sweaters, etc., so that they weren't visible, but they were readily accesible. It was chilly up in the mountains at night, so we figured we had the perfect hiding places for the rum. Of course, all of us were in on it.

Suddenly, Mrs. Roberts came down the path and approached us, checking in to see how we were doing. Although we had thought that we were so clever at hiding the rum because we had mixed the rum with our Cokes and the bottles were hidden, it suddenly dawned on us that there was no way we could hide the strong smell of the booze in the cups. So without really thinking about it, several of us quickly tossed the contents of our cups into the bonfire to avoid getting caught with the rum. Of course, instead of "disappearing" into the fire, the rum caused the fire to suddenly flare up brightly! It didn't take Mrs. Roberts but a moment to figure out what we had been doing, and she subsequently proceeded to confiscate all the booze! Rightly so, of course, but I remember that we were all bummed out about it because it was a small town and it was far too late in the evening to try to go out and find more!

Fortunately, Mrs. Roberts was always a fair, wise, and reasonable principal & teacher, and she didn't make a big deal out of it the next day. She had every right to do so, as she had caught us all red-handed. But she didn't, and this allowed us to thoroughly enjoy the rest of the trip. Bless her! In the end, her wisdom & judgement were justified as we never again tried to smuggle any more booze during the rest of trip.

Those were indeed fun days!

  Roberts School Senior Graduating Class of 1968, standing in front of the school, with Mrs. Riggs (l) & Mrs. Roberts (r), taken in March, 1968. Roberts School Senior Graduating Class of 1968, taken at Dorothy Abbo's house in March, 1968. 1968 Senior Class taken at the PAN AM ticket counter in the old Grano de Oro airport - March 1968. 1968 Senior Class taken in one of the old restaurants at the Hotel del Lago - March 1968.  
  I'm on the high dive & Rae Voisin is on the low dive, taken poolside by the old rectangular pool at the Hotel del Lago, March 1968. 1968 Senior Class taken in the "Snake Pit" bar at the Hotel del Lago - March 1968. 1968 Senior Class taken on the antique "tranvia" at the Hotel del Lago - March 1968. Part of the 1967 Senior Graduating Class during their Senior Class Trip to Boconó in the Andes Mountains in early 1967, with Joe Roberts. Note the short 4-digit phone number written on the background wall.  
    Zina Pololecki (Fellows) and Vicki Bryan (Perez) clowning around in Boconó during the class trip in early 1967. Standing, left to right: Luís Truneanu, Sherry King, Zina Pololecki, Steve Sestanovich, Kathleen Yowell, Corky, Cheryl Yowell. Sitting: Alton "Bubba" Wiggins & myself - taken at La Mesa (de Esnujaque), in the Andes Mountains, during the 1968 Senior Class Trip.    


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