My Brooklyn: PS 206. Looking Good and Still Doing Good

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (14)

Marilyn Whiteley on February 4, 2008

Dare I admit, Hank, that while the photo is very good, for me the really eye-catching thing is the map that goes with it? What an extraordinarily orderly place your Brooklyn is!

Do you have a rough idea of when the school was built?


Hank Waxman on February 4, 2008

I was wondering the same thing, Marilyn. My folks moved into the neighborhood in 1947, and it wasn't new then. I would guess it was built in the 1920's, but I don't really know.

Hank Waxman on January 6, 2010

In 1976 this school was renamed in honor of Joseph F. Lamb. I thought a mention of the man and his accomplishments is a worthy addition to the conversation here.

Joseph Francis Lamb (December 6, 1887 – September 3, 1960) was a noted American Composer of ragtime music. Lamb, of Irish descent, was the only non-African American of the "Big Three" composers of classical ragtime, the other two being Scott Joplin and James Scott..

Lamb was born in Montclair, New Jersey. The youngest of four children, he taught himself to play the piano, and was very taken with the early ragtime publications of Scott Joplin. He dropped out of St. Jerome's College in 1904 to work for a dry goods company. In 1907 Lamb was purchasing the latest Joplin and James Scott sheet music in the New York City offices of John Stark & Son when he met his idol Joplin. Joplin was favorably impressed with Lamb's compositions, and recommended him to classical ragtime publisher John Stark. Stark published Lamb's music for the next decade, starting with "Sensation".

In 1911, Lamb married Henrietta Schultz and moved to Brooklyn, New York. He worked as an arranger for the J. Fred Helf Music Publishing Company and later, starting in April 1914, as an accountant for L. F. Dommerich & Company.

Henrietta died of influenza in 1920, about the same time that popular music interest shifted from ragtime to jazz. Lamb stopped publishing his music, playing and composing only as a hobby. "Bohemia Rag" was the last Lamb rag published before his death in 1960. That same year, his album, Joseph Lamb: A Study in Classic Ragtime, was released by Folkways Records.[1] With the revival of interest in ragtime in the 1950s, Lamb shared his memories of Joplin and other early ragtime figures with music historians. (Many were surprised to find that not only was he still living, but that he was white.) He also composed some new rags, brought out some of his old compositions that had never been published, and made some recordings.

Lamb died in Brooklyn of a heart attack at age 72 in 1960. According to the history books "A Brooklyn School Board renames P.S. 206 in honour of Joseph F. Lamb" (Mar-Apr. 1976) The Ragtimer.

Marilyn Whiteley on January 6, 2010

Fascinating, Hank! Thanks for the added information.


Hank Waxman on January 7, 2010

You're welcome, Marilyn. It was a pleasure to round out the story.


shmolitz on June 26, 2010

Hi Hank, alma matter. I went there back in the 50's. The school was covered in ivy! What a pity it was when the ripped it all off exposing that Chicago common brick. Oh well. Thanks for the memories. I just registered for the site having seen your photo, now, off I go to explore the rest of my old neighborhood. Thanks, Mark (aka) Shmolitz

shmolitz on June 26, 2010

Oh, and b.t.w., THANKS for the "lowdown" on Lamb! Any known reason they chose 206 for the distinction?

Hank Waxman on June 27, 2010

Hi Mark, I'm so glad you enjoyed my Brooklyn series. You're the reason I did it...the other reason is me. I loved doing it, and you're now adding to the flavor I tried to create.

So we must have overlapped at 206. I also attended in the 50's, in fact I believe I was enrolled in my first year of Kindergarten in 1949. I spent two years there because I was born in May and I missed the cutoff, but they had an extra seat so my mother said "Take him."

"But Mrs. Waxman, he'll have to spend two years in Kindergarten if he goes in now." "Fine!" she said. It was before the days of Nursery school.

Everything I know about Lamb is posted above.

Favorite teacher? Mr. Roessler, 6th Grade.


shmolitz on July 6, 2010

I was enrolled in '55. I can remember lots of THAT part of my childhood. Best teacher I ever had was Miss Buckey in 3rd grade. She was the antithesis of my 4th grade teacher Mrs Lowe who was an absolute witch! I am sure you remember Miss Keyes...everyone that went to 206 remembers her (and her perfume that masked the smell of booze). Speaking of teachers...are you related to Rosalind Waxman who taught Social Studies in Cunningham? m

Hank Waxman on July 6, 2010

Mrs Keyes...YES! I remembered the perfume, we all knew that, but I didn't realize it was a mask for alcohol. I guess we were more innocent then.

My favorite teacher of all time was Mr. Roessler, 6th grade. I'm afraid I can't remember all their names, but I remember him. Mrs. Downton (2nd), Mrs. Radler (3rd), Mrs. Schwartzman was in the 5th Grade, and I remember thinking she didn't like me very much...I'm sure she remembers it differently.

I'm not familiar with a Rosalind Waxman, but she might be related. My father used to tell me that when he was a kid (circa 1920) they were the only Waxman's in the Brooklyn phone book. We had almost a column by the 50's so they must have come from somewhere.

shmolitz on October 23, 2010

Hi Hank, it turns out PS206 has a facebook page! (Hmm..things have changed huh?) Along the way I found the name of the current principal. Are you ready for this??? Last name of the woman...KEYES! Imagine!

Hank Waxman on October 26, 2010

Can't be related to the Miss Keyes of the 50's do you think?


Leonard Waks on August 13, 2012

I attended PS 206 from 1947 through 1954 (k-6). My teachers included the above mentioned Ms. Buckey in 3rd grade ( what a dear), Ida Zuckerman in fourth grade, Ann Boxer in Fifth grade and Lillian Grumet in sixth grade. More than anything, I remember the school yard, and the wall which we had to hit a punchball over to show we had the real stuff.

Carole King went to 206, then Madison, and finally Queens College where she partnered with Paul Simon for some of the great early rock songs. In the 206 days she was Carole Klein. I think she must have been a grade ahead of me, because she is about 8 months older than me and I do not remember her either in school or college.

Hank Waxman on August 13, 2012

Welcome home Leonard. I attended PS 206 from 1949 to around 1956 or 1957 so we overlapped. I didn't know Carole King was an alumnus too. That's neat. My older brother, Bill, overlapped you on the other side. He must have attended from '45 to '52, but he also went to Madison after Shellbank JHS. I went to newly built Sheepshead Bay HS. Where are you living now? Hank

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