They call it the now, but some of us will always call it "THE High School."
It was the 1960 and '70s when Plainview was bigger than it is now (35,000 people then; 27,600 now.) It was younger and less affluent. People wanted to move here, to exchange the turmoil of the cities for the perceived peace and stability of the suburbs.
Even then, Plainview's schools were considered among the best around. We needed two high schools to accommodate the population boom. The first one opened in February, 1960 at Central Park Road and Southern Parkway. POBHS was for the kids from the blue-collar leaning western side of town. The new high school was needed just six years later. opened in 1966, named for the slain U.S. president. It drew students from the more affluent eastern side that was then expanding up and around Manetto Hill.
POBHS boasted a great music wing and staged elaborate annual musicals -- "Fiddler on the Roof," (1972) "Carousel," (1974) and "South Pacific," ('75.) The theatre is so good Plainview-JFK still uses it for their big productions. The greasers hung out by the shop wing, the side that faced Central Park Road. The jocks owned the gym hall.
Having those two schools made for great rivalries, particularly in basketball and football. When Plainview played Kennedy the stands were full and the crowds were loud. The school district often hired security guards to keep things from getting ugly. Rarely was there trouble; after all, we're all from Plainview.
You can still see it if you look for it.
Take a walk around the track at Norman E. Merry Field, named for a POBHS assistant principal who died in the early '70s. Sit in the stands and take it all in. Listen to the wind for echos of marching bands and whispers of once lusty cheers.
And remember those autumn Saturday afternoons when some of us were still young.