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Fort Worth, Texas, United States
A retired art teacher who has found a new life in fiber arts!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Memory Monday # 69

     Graduation!  May, 1958....we are the third class to graduate from the "new" high school, Pittsfield High School....now called Pike County High School or something like that.  At that time, when the school was built, one of the small towns near us in the same county had to close their high school and become a part of the one in Pittsfield.
      Graduation took place in the high school gymnasium...chairs were placed on the floor for the graduates and the audience sat on chairs to the side of the graduates and in the bleachers.  There were exactly 100 hundred in my class; we marched in in pairs to the tune of "Pomp and Circumstance"!
Marching in for graduation

Crossing the stage to receive diploma

Graduation Day/ Dress under gown.
    After graduation, I continued with the tradition my sister had set and hosted the class to a party at my parents' house.  Of course, not everyone came...and many did who were not in our class!  And all my parents' friends who had kids graduating with me helped with the food.  And the guy I was dating at the time had a "garage band"...in the style of Elvis Presley...so they played at the party!  I am sure my parents had to make a lot of good deeds to our neighbors!  But most were very understanding as this was not an every day occasion! 
      The last summer before going to college!  I was in love, of course, and although I wanted to go to college, I didn't want to leave the nest!  But it was a magical summer...that feeling of being on the threshold of something big!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Memory Monday # 68

       Senior Year!  Best year ever!  The fun of being a Senior...the excitement of the future...the apprehension of leaving home!  Neither of my parents had attended college...growing up in the Depression and having to work early in their adulthood did not make it possible.  We, my sister and I, were always brought up to the thinking of "Not IF you were going to college, but WHERE you were going to go".  So this was the year of SAT tests (or the equivelant) and checking out college campuses.
      My sister, graduating two years before me, had the  disadvantage/advantage of having gone through the process before me.  She was always the better student; I was the   "good enough to get by" student!  It was always a shock to our teachers (being from a small town, we had the same teachers all the time!) when I followed in Judy's footsteps and was so different...in all ways! She was painfully shy; I was a talker...she was concentious; I was a goof off! But I did manage to do well enough to get accepted in a few colleges!
      At the time in the 1950's only about 10% of a graduating class would attend college. Of my close friends (a gang of eight girls) only three of us were going to  go on to "higher education". Both of the other two were going to go "out of state"...that was a status symbol at that time...to not go to a "State" School!  My best buddy, Barbee was going to a small private school in Florida; and Peggy was going to the University of Arizona...so I too wanted to go out of state, but I didn't want to go too far from home!  Out of state tuitition was not nearly as expensive then as it is now.
    My home town in Illinois was near the Mississippi River on the West and the Illinois River on the East...rich farm land!  And across the Mississippi River, only 20 miles away, was the state of Missouri....and only 150 miles away into Missouri was Columbia, home of the University of Missouri...Mizzou!! So after visiting the beautiful campus, there was where I was to spend three of the four following years...with some fabulous memories I can bore you with for many weeks to come!
Seal of the University of Missouri

Monday, August 4, 2014

Memory Monday # 67

      One of the final memories I have of NYC was the opportunity to see a live television show!  Television in the 1950's was just coming into its own.  Color television was yet to become a household item...if even invented yet!  Many shows, game shows, some dramas were televised live....and viewed live!
     On the last day before we were to board the train and return to Illinois, we had the option of going to Coney Island or a live television show.  Coney Island at that time was something we landlocked Illinoisans had only heard about...no sand beaches and giant roller coasters in our Midwest world!
And the beaches and waves!
The largest roller coaster in the world!!! (at least that is what they said!)
This was where all of NYC went for pleasure...rides and waves!  Well, being the cowardly lion that I was....and hating any kind of rides...I opt for the television show!  There was only one other person who did not go to Coney Island...my friend, Peggy!  I really never knew whether she gave up Coney Island because she wanted to go to the television studio, or whether she knew I was terrified of the whole idea of Coney Island...but whatever her reason...we had a memorable visit to the live production of an early Johnny Carson show!!
"Do You Trust Your Wife?"
   The show we saw was when Carson hosted a game show in the afternoons called "Do You Trust Your Wife?" I found a 1958 copy of one of the shows on YouTube...and I have created a link for you if you would like to see a very young, skinny looking Johnny Carson!!  I couldn't say if this is the one we saw, but it sure is very much like it!  This taping is in two parts...I have linked to part I.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Art Quilters Around the World

    Every other month,  a blog that I have joined, Art Quilters Around the World, has a challenge given by various members.  The latest Challenge, which was due to be posted on July 31, is titled "Reuse, Recycle, Reduce".  One stipulation was to use only materials which we already had....no purchasing of anything new!! So one day when my daughter who is also a member of the AQATW was over, we were talking about what we were going to do. We went through a bunch of stuff I had leftover from other projects. And with her encouragement, I decided what I wanted to do.
      I used a block made for an exercise on color my studioQ group did a few years back, where we created a paper sketch then made a block of fabric from our sketch.  Then I had this big pile of fabric flowers I made for something else and had a whole bunch left over....combining the two I made my challenge quilt for the 3 R's!  For more great quilts made by my fellow art quilters around the world...click on the above link!
Paper sketch 
Block made from sketch
A pile of fabric flowers 
Start of my block for the 3 R's Challenge 
My final quilt for the Challenge- 3R's

Monday, July 28, 2014

Memory Monday #66

    Another really big highlight for the NYC trip was going to Radio City Music Hall! The whole group of us went to that!  How exciting was that!!  The premiere for "Marjorie Morningstar" was being held there....not the star-attended premiere, but Radio City was the only place in the world it was being shown for a short period...and WE got to be the first to see it...along with a few hundred others!
Poster from "Marjorie Morningstar"

From the 1950s
And the Rockettes...not exactly the costumes we saw because I'm pretty sure they had on hats of some kind
   Was that a thrill for all of us!!  And the perfect movie for a bunch of star-struck teenage girls. Natalie Wood at that time was one of our all time favorites! And many of us had read the book which made the whole experience even more meaningful!
Written in 1955

Monday, July 21, 2014

Memory Monday # 65

    Senior Trip to New York City...The Big Apple!! Other than the train trip to NYC, I really don't remember where we stayed, how we got from Grand Central Station to our hotel, etc. But I do remember a few isolated incidents...for example...Times Square!  we had heard about Times Square all our young lives but we thought it should be a "SQUARE".  We knew about squares...we had a square at home with our county court house in the middle!
    So to our surprise Times Square is a commercial location!!  It is kind of amazing that through the day, we had some free time to kind of do what we wanted within reason.  So shopping was a biggy for the girls. We were amazed by the racks of clothes being wheeled down the street...and the crowds...and the noise!  Thrilling for some...not so much for others...ME!  It was exciting, but still, being the shy country chick, it was not my favorite thing!!
Times Square...1050s
     I remember buying a pair of high heels...they were three inches high! And were beautiful...were fabric...flowers!  And I think I may have worn them once when I got back home! (I was 5'9" in high school so 3" heels were a bit extreme!)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Memory Monday # 64

    Senior Year...graduation!!  And now "adulthood" is upon us!  What a great time we all had that year!  In the 1950's only about 10% of a graduating class would go on to college.  Most would get jobs, join the military, or get married!
    But first...a few final flings! Each Senior class would have worked for four years, making money to help pay for the Senior Trip.  Our class of  exactly 100 students had made enough money (with a little fee for each from our parents) to go to NEW YORK CITY!  We were traveling from Springfield, Illinois to Grand Central Station, NY by train.  This was a pretty common school trip to make...and the trains had travel plans for these occasions!  We had two cars on the train...one for girls and one for boys!!  And for the probably  80 of us who went we would have had probably eight adult couples (16 total) to go as chaperones!  Most of these couples were our teachers and their spouses.
     We drove the 70 miles to Springfield on school buses...our parents seeing us off at the high school meeting place.  Now, this has been over 50 years ago so my memories of the entire trip are in bits and pieces!  This was the first train trip for most of us...we had packed lots of snacks to take...and we did eat in a diner car, but it seems like it catered to our age group, not the white table cloth/china and silver diners that come to mind of the era.
     And of course there was a lot of laughter and games and very little sleep!  When it was time to sleep...according to the chaperones...the girls were to stay in their car and the boys in theirs! Of course, sleep did not come but we did quiet down...because of the admonishment of the chaperones!  Previous plans had been made...how to get past them...and sometime in the night... a couple of we girls sneaked up to the boys' car...only because there was a heated game of poker going on...(no money involved)...before we had to split and we wanted to continue it!  That seemed to work pretty well...until we got caught!  One of my favorite teachers found us playing cards and really yelled at me!!!  I had never heard him raise his voice before....but in retrospect, I can see why he did!!!
A Passenger train from the '50s!
    Next week, I'll share a bit more of teenagers from rural America in New York City!