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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Learning More About Mom - Part 2

Inside this box was something else that Mom had while she was attending that Normal School the summer after high school graduation. That something else is this:
 I don't know if you can make out what is written on the cover, but this is an autograph book. Can you still buy these? I had one in high school too, and even have a few autographs from stars. A young Johnnie Cash is one of them! But one of the prized ones is what my grandmother wrote to her daughter, dated Aug. 19, 1927. This is the same grandmother that wrote such a beautiful letter to me for my confirmation.

She wrote:
Daughter Elsie,
When in this world your life is ended,
and the path no more you trod,
May your name in Gold be written,
In the autograph of God.
Is the wish of your dear
There were several of her classmates at Normal School who wrote in her book, as well as a few teachers. Some wrote pages and pages - a quite long letter actually, telling of some of the stories of things they did outside of class.

Inside the front cover Mom had written her name, address and the date - July 15, 1927. At the bottom is I.S.T.C. in the left corner and E.A.P. (her initials) in the other corner. I came to realize I.S.T.C. stands for Iowa State Teacher's College. Some of the writers called it Summer School. The only thing I can figure out is that the college sent teachers out to other towns across the state to teach some of the classes needed for teaching rural schools. And that must have been all the schooling they needed since I know Mom did not go to a regular college. In trying to find more information about a Normal School in this town, I noticed an Iowa State Teacher's College was located in the opposite side of the state, too far and too expensive for Mom to attend.

One classmate mentioned that Mom was sorry it was the last evening there, so she must have liked it there. And -
" Remember all the guys we learned to know and how we knew them when we met them out of their place of business.

Well, a little advice - Love no man not even your brother,
If girls must love lots, love each other.

Don't forget the parties, picnics and our lunch places which we attended often."

Doesn't it sound like Mom had lots of fun times there? Also maybe a little boy crazy? Why not at age 18?

Here are some other quotes:
"don't forget the Government conferences in the rest room before exams."

" Remember all the friendly chats we have had together as a part of the 'quintet' and the chief interesting (topic!!!) [topic underlined]." It sounds like there were five good friends and how much do you want to bet the chief (topic) was boys?

"I should like to become better acquainted with you because all reports of you have been very favorable."  So she seems to have been well liked by the others.

"I think we shall never forget the Sundays we went to church, especially one July evening at ice cream social and following Sunday night. Those Chevrolets and what else."  Hmm. Sounds like more boys were involved??

" Don't forget the night you and Lucinda came down to the river bank to see us kids. . . Remember who hollered 'Don't go away mad.'"  The river goes through the town there. Doesn't it make you wondered what happened that night?

"When I first met you I thought shy, quiet little girl!! But since I have become better acquainted with you, how my opinion has changed."  Shy and quiet were underlined. Oh, how I wish I could have known her then!

"Don't forget when we went to Lost Island and the ride in the truck."  There is another mention of that time. Lost Island is a small lake/recreation area several miles from the town where the school was.

" I suppose you will always remember our wonderful ride on the truck out to the party at Lost Island. 'Oh Boy' I never seen so many bright lights as on the way coming back."  WHAT was going on at that party??

Several mentioned the number of times they went to church together, and to the church activities. At least she remained faithful and was a 'good girl'.

The one that wrote such a long 'letter' said quite a bit about boys they met, and they seemed to have nicknames for all of them. "Innocence" "Hamburger Boy" "Too Close" (for a guy in Rexall that always stood too close to the girls), "Pennies" for a boy that gave them pennies, "Square Meal", "Lolly Pops". She also wrote, "The Party at . . . .  is not to be forgotten by you or me, and Elsie, the idea of disappearing in the darkness is more than I can believe of you."  Mother!!

Another wrote, "Don't forget how you and I nearly broke down the light fixture with our dancing?" Mom, I didn't know you could dance! This one also mentioned the same boys' nicknames plus a few others.

I do believe my mother had lots of fun at summer school!

I think this picture is her high school graduation picture, so Mom would have looked like this while in summer school.

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