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Days Gone By: Mrs. MacLeod's Creative English 1969

Part of the Junior High School fifth hour English class who created the moving, talking robot, Jabberwack. Back row, left to right: Randy Clay, Doyle Haley, Darrell Dunn, Mrs. MacLeod. Next row: Howard Langland, Jabberwack, Michele Smith, Diane Fisher, Marguerite Williams. Front row: Randy Johnson, David Peterson, Patty Gwilt, Larry Larson. (1969 River Falls Journal file photo)

June 1969

In news from the public schools the following was printed in the River Falls Journal for the week of June 5, 1969 — English Fifth Hour Creates: “Creative thinking is achieved in many ways, as Mrs. MacLeod has demonstrated in her fifth hour class. To meet the end-of-the-year doldrums, the members of the fifth hour freshman English class decided on a radical departure from the routine. They built a robot, wrote and taped a dialog for him, and then made him the subject of their written work for the end of the year.

“In order to have a personality on which to work, he was given the name of Jabberwack. All students of the class worked on him — each committee having a specific part for which it was responsible, but all working wherever they were needed as the construction progressed.

“Jabberwack was designed by Michele Smith and Bill Thomas. His personality is largely the results of their efforts. “Darrell Dunn and Barry Danielson produced the functional parts, Darrell Dunn, Barry Danielson, Alvin VanBeek, Oscar Lee, Randy Clay, Doyle Haley built the frame. Michele Smith, Debbie Anderson, Joan Larson, Marguerite Williams, Diane Fisher and Chris Bauer turned tailors and sewed and fitted a wardrobe for him — coat, shirt, tie — even gloves on his wiry hands. They, too, created his hair, a combination of a string and a fall — a real hair piece, in fact.

“Susan Duven and Patty Gwilt taped the dialog, which became his voice when he made personal appearances — notably to the first grade.

“Gregg Elliott, David Peterson, Larry Larson, and Howard Langland painted Jabberwack, while Randy Johnson and Mark Hammer worked on suitable music.

“Written records have been kept on each step in the project, photos have recorded the progress, and all members have written their reactions to the project, as well as making the robot the subject of their creative writing.

“The class would like to acknowledge the gift of lumber from Arrow Lumber, and the motor from Lund’s.”