Tuesday, June 16, 2015

1931 - So that's what they looked like

The Rawlings Library, on Abriendo in Pueblo, has a section that is dedicated to the City of Pueblo, the Southwest, and local genealogy.  Part of the documents available to the public are yearbooks from a couple of the local high schools.  

My mom attended Centennial High and, thanks to some sort of gerrymandering or the other, she attended the same high school as the sons and daughters of the very, very well off. 

Here follows pictures from the Centennial yearbook, 1931; her Junior year.

June Kretchmer; my mom admired her so.
When my mom talked about June she'd spend time setting up the story.  She would talk about how full the auditorium was or what the audience was doing while they waited for the "show" to start.  
Different acts would come on stage and sing or dance and folks mostly paid attention.  She'd briefly talk about the performers and performances.  
This part of the story was always fairly short and pretty vague.  

And then...she would talk about June coming on stage.  All by herself, no accompanist, just June. The audience would become attentive and silent.  June would begin to whistle and she would command the stage.  The quiet remained because her artistry and skill brought the house to some sort of reverie.    Or at least my mom became dreamy as she relived the experience.   

My mother's voice became much more down to earth when she spoke of Miss-Grace-Cunningham.  It was never Miss Cunningham.  Always, Miss-Grace-Cuningham.  Miss-Grace-Cunnighham's favorite saying was,  " You can choose to work with your head or your feet".   I can't begin to tell how many times my mom shared this thought with me as I was growing up.  Now, I wonder if in her head she was thinking, "Come on, think about it before you do it".  Same sentiment, but Miss-Grace-Cunningham put it better.

And then there was Mr. John De Vivier.    He accused my mom of speaking in class.  She hadn't spoken.  He demanded that she apologize.  She didn't and wouldn't.  So as punishment she was sent to the back of the class and would be permitted to participate after she apologized.  
She spent the rest of the semester at the back of the room.

Her grade suffered but her sense of self remained strong.