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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nitro High School Memories 60's WV

Dr. Robert E. Bricker passed into the arms of his Lord while at his St. Albans home on September 27, 2011. Born in Akron, Ohio on February 8, 1926, Bob moved to West Virginia at the age of 2, graduated from Nitro High School and resided and practiced dentistry in St. Albans for 56 years. After serving in World War II as a cryptographic technician, Bob attended West Virginia University, was a graduate of the University of Maryland Dental School and opened his dental practice in St. Albans. He served as past president of the West Virginia Dental Association, the West Virginia Academy of General Dentistry and the Southeastern Academy of Prosthodontics, as well as numerous dental associations and societies. Through the AGD, he was honored to participate in the development of the national guidelines used in continuing education. His career led him down many paths, seeking knowledge and lecturing, including a trip to China with his son, Robert. Involved in the community, he was active in Rotary for many years and served as past president. Bob was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of St. Albans, enjoyed his Sunday school class and was known to make it particularly interesting at times. He enjoyed ice photography. Dentistry was his passion, but he loved to cook. Over the years, many were privileged to share an elegant meal prepared after much deliberation, reading and selecting just the right recipe from among his vast collection of cookbooks. We will remember Bob as a loving husband and father and a good friend to many, always eager to share a joke with a hearty laugh or a good story with friend or stranger. He touched the lives of many and left a lasting impression on each. Those preceding him in death include his parents, Paul T. and Louise Harris Bricker; and Helen Bricker, who passed away four days after Bob's birth. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Paulette Bricker; children, Virginia Bricker of Baltimore, Md,, Linda Bricker of Dunbar, Paul (Evelyn) Bricker of Scarbro, Sarah (Rick) Perry of Cincinnati, Ohio, Robert (Catherine) Bricker of Charlottesville, Va., and Dr. Andrea Bricker (Greg) Sullivan of Boston, Mass.; 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Random memories: Gerrie Thacker with his home brewed radio station. He ad-libbed, told jokes, and played music, and offered to repeat your name for an entire minute if you paid him a quarter.

Sandy Simmons...Why didn't I ever ask her for a date? She was one of the funniest, cutest, and personable young women in our class (1968). She probably would have refused, but I should have taken the chance anyway! I did take her home from school one time though, luxuriating in my '65 Volkswagen.

I did all my dating in St. Albans and Hurricane,never asking a Nitro girl for a date. Of course, my job at the St. Albans BBF opened many liasons, and having a motorcycle helped a lot too!

Lunch hour at Nitro High was always a kick...open campus....perhaps Ben Franklin's for a 20 cent hot dog, then Nitro News Stand to hang out, buy a pop, and play pinball machines. For a walk on the wild side, perhaps try to get a look at the latest Stag, or other men's magazines. Maybe some pipe tobacco or cigarettes to complete the adolescent joybomb.

An alternative was to hang with the firemen at Nitro Fire Department, or visit Kroger's across the street from the school.

It's too bad that today's high schools have a closed campus. Young people need the freedom and opportunity at self discipline that an open campus provides.

Just saying.....

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