Jay Cole Simser

image courtesy of Dennis Wendell

Nick Nolte is pictured in the dark sweater, back row left.
Jay Simser is in the third row, looking directly at the camera.
Dennis Wendell is in the front row, far right.

The school I attended was Beardshear Elementary School.  It was a giant of a building (to me) and you either went upstairs or downstairs when you first came in.  A classmate at the time was a lad named Nick Nolte.

One of the things I learned from Nick was how to get around parents.  I would tell my mother that I was going to Dennis Wendell’s (another classmate) house to play.  Dennis told his mother he was going to my house.  I don’t think Nick had to tell anyone where he was going.  We had a grand time in the pine forest on 13th Street building a fort.  That is until I looked across the way and saw my grandfather’s car parked on the street and my grandfather striding across the field coming to take me home.

I don’t remember any punishment for this episode, but I also don’t remember ever doing it again.  Nick went on to a career in the movies and is a terrific actor.  I am a fan.  I was also a fan of his mother, Helen, and remember her as a really glamorous lady, tall, pretty, if not beautiful, who wore floor length quilted satin robes.  Since my mother preferred short duster type robes, Mrs. Nolte seemed exotic indeed.  She moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and I used to call her and visit when I went through on a trip.  I followed Nick’s career before he hit it big through her updates.  She predicted "He is going to be a star someday."  That prediction proved all too true.

Mr. Simser is a retired elementary school teacher who still resides in Ames.
Nick Nolte, Hollywood movie actor, lived in Ames as a youngster from 1945-1950 at 823 Douglas Avenue