By Billy Bevard
In the late 1950s several regional schools had made the headlines by launching balloons that had traveled several hundred miles. A number of Bixby senior students decided that if those schools could be successful at such activities, there was no reason the students at Bixby could not have the same sucess.
The Bixby senior students obtained some large balloons. After some experimenting, they determined they could launch a balloon from the windows of the chemistry lab which was located on the southwest corner of the second floor of the school building. The balloon was filled with gas from the gas system in the lab.
A note was attached to the bottom of the balloon. The note read, “If found, please return to the chemistry lab at Bixby High School, Bixby, OK.” With the note in place, the balloon was inflated and passed through one of the lab windows.
As the balloon was released, t quickly moved over the roof of the building. Needless to say, the seniors were somewhat satisfied with themselves. Now, all they had to do was wait to hear from whoever found their note. Their response came quicker than any of them expected.
There was a knock on the lab door. To their surprise, the teacher from the study hall carried their balloon back to the lab. It seems the balloon had traveled over the roof of the school, down to the windows and entered the study hall.
Needless to say, this was the last attempt made by this group of Bixby seniors to launch any long distance balloons. It has been many years, but I believe the seniors involved were Keith Berry, Arthur Christian and Bobby Dowler. I hope I haven’t forgotten others who were involved in that little project.© 2008 · Billy Bevard · Bixby OK · All Rights Reserved. Published at Bixby Historical Society Online with permission.