A Note from Phyllis Heith Randall

Were you tested by a psychologist before you were admitted to CLS? I was quite scared but passed.

I was enrolled at Cherry Lawn in the fall of 1945 at 10 years old. All the girls slept out on an unheated porch in Stein House. There was still a farm on the property and I watched the cows being milked and even the cats being fed directly from the cow. There was one afternoon where they were staggering around the apple trees and I was told they were drunk! I remember how silly they looked. In Lower School I only remember my 5th grade and Mrs. Spindler who taught it. We played Hangman during recess and once spatter painted curtains for the classroom. I was only there for two years and then went elsewhere. I took industrial arts and have my picture in the yearbook with a silly grin on my face.

I returned in 1950 to finish high school. Things hadn't changed much by then except I was in Manor House with Mrs. Lande as housemother. The outdoor assemblies were still held no matter what the weather but when it got too bad we sat farther under the overhang. We took turns reading a small poem, speech or essay with Mr. Zuber as head. I had French with Mme deCarville and when we didn't want to work we convinced her to talk about her son, Johnny. English with Mr. Lally. I had business math with Mrs. Elly Freund. Bazz for drama. I also babysat for his son Chips (Christopher Becket Burwell) Sometimes we'd walk across the dam at the pond, cross over others property and get ice cream at Howard Johnson's. When the Project was being built I didn't do anything but watch. One great remembrance of Dr. Stael was during the winter when our history classes were held outdoors and it was pretty cold and she'd go around and give Swedish massages to different students (I wasn't one of them, unfortunately) One Saturday morning she was late to history class so to entertain us Dave Siff gave his usual great imitation of her. Dr. Stael came in during it and instead of cutting him short she let him finish. It was great.

One year in high school I stayed in Stein House helping with the younger girls. I roomed right near the fire door and across from the stage . One night after we came back from a holiday and I had a goodie package of lox, cream cheese and bagels. There was noise from the auditorium and going in I found Richie Bonime and someone else and shared my goodies with them on the stage.

It was good to read your letter, Steph and to comment on it, No one could forget Dr. Stael's full name: Dr. Christina Stael von Holstein Bogoslavsky. I can't imagine her house gone: we had our Senior party there at her invitation.

It was a wonderful place to learn. The study halls in Manor House at which I sometimes fell asleep and Mr. Zuber would send me up to bed. The times I walked into Darien. The fun I had helping make the costumes for the Christmas Pageant. I've told my children about being there and they were appalled at having to learn outdoors and sleep on an unheated porch. There were never more than 15 in any class (there were only 31 in my graduating class) which gave us all the teacher-time we needed. I can't believe even now that it's closed.

Phyllis Heith Randall, Class of 1953

Submitted 20-February-2001