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When Dr. Ristow took over Soesterberg American High School, he inherited a failing school.  The school had discipline problems, as kids made out in the hall, and the bathrooms had been so badly maintained, he found a ham and cheese, a few days old, clogging a flushing urinal.   There were a few other problems, but one of the most major and most pressing remained “The Forbidden Wing.”  Basically, a whole part of the school had fallen into disrepair.  Basically, the classrooms were crumbling around the students.  The walls rotted from within, even to the point where, when Dr. Ristow hosted some of his superiors in DODDS, he actually put his fist through the wall, as a demonstration.  He got the funds, in the end, and the wing was demolished.  Before that happened, however, the wing got dubbed “The Forbidden Zone.”  Unneeded garbage and broken desks were stored there.  The wing also developed a rodent problem, and, most of all, some students saw it as a place for mischief — a place to smoke or make out.  As a result, Dr. Ristow periodically had to walk through and monitor the hall as a deterrent.



  1. This looks like the wing that was original to the school. I wonder were is the school located on the base. In the sixties the school was at the entrance of the base to the right down a short road.
    Isit still there. I was in the first group to enter that school in 1963. The built it with manure base substance. The smell is still remembered by me. This was a special place for me. I was a teenager and loved the stay in the Netherlands.

  2. It probably was the original wing. Further additions to the school went up around the orignal parts. So, the school even when I was there was still right by the main gate.

  3. Paula,

    I attended SAHS from 82-90 and the school was still located to the right of the main gate. I was also lucky enough to go back after the base had closed and look around and the school was still there.

  4. And for the record, calling my dad Dr. Ristow is kind-of loony and strange. At least, that’s the way this post reads, to me.

  5. Thanks for the info. I had great memories their. Sometimes I wish I could go back.

  6. Worked as a K9 handler at Soesterberg and I’m the webmaster of Slobberin’ Wolfhounds ( )a website about the 32nd Wolfhounds. Would be great if you want to contribute your High School photos to my website. Please contact me.


  7. This is the same hall i started school at Soesterberg in 1982. 6th grade…the last part of. I also had computer sciences with Mr. Mills here my 9th grade and last year there. If anyone remembers me and would like to talk about our great times there…please get ahold of me. I have so many fond memories of the friends, sports, the bowling aley, and the rec center, and of course Julie. Best time f my life!

  8. I went to Soesterberg between 84-87. I remember this hall. it was not used very often, but there were some computers (apple IIc) in the end class room. The overflow from the business room would go down there. I also remember computers with Mr. Mills. I also had him for world regions.

  9. Hi Becky. I had Mr. Mills for biology, I think, and Mr. T for social studies. I was there 1990-1992

  10. I was there. I attended both buildings of the school. I was there from 1977 until graduation in 1985. I left in Oct of 1986.

    i still remember that hallway like it was yesterday.

  11. Hi there, i was in the Dutch army as a corporal,i worked at the maingate in Soesterberg with an American guy named Troy,he was a white guy with short hair.
    I want to contact him,he said that he would go (after his army career) to the Highway patrol.
    If u Know some one named Troy,ask him if ever lost his 38 bullets on X-mas eve, with 5 inches snow on the floor, i helped him to find them,i guess he could never forget this story tell him Clarck want to speak with him.Iwant to know what he’s doing at the moment.Thnx

  12. I remember this hallway well… I spent 6 years (81-87) there. I graduated in 87 with a large class of 14. Ah the good old days. My greatest memory was when we won our first homecoming game in 86.

  13. Man, I remember this hall. I’m bummed that the school was falling apart so badly. I went here from 86-88 (7th through 9th grade). Me and friend were joking around and I bumped him into the window that was beside the door (that should be where you entered). We both had in-school suspensions since we had now previous problems. If I remember correctly, the vice-principle and the nurse’s station was at the end of the hall just before the business classrooms.

  14. wow! i can’t believe i stumbled upon this site. i attended school there from 79-82. this photo looks like the old wing where my 6th grade class was (only 2 homerooms). the new wing was built in 1981 during my 8th grade year. and i agree with so many of you–those years of growing up were my fondest memories. i’ve loved reading your posts!

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] New Amsterdam’s main gate.  (That main entrance was also next to the typing classroom.)  The hallway picture I posted a few weeks ago — I believe that wing was totally abandoned and unused one, as that’s […]

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