Saturday, March 29, 2014

Old school photos arrive with Spring!

by Larry Miller

It's always a treat when an unexpected treasure falls in to your lap!  And that was our reaction this week when former Chadron resident Doug Wilson sent us a few old school pictures from Chadron Prep and East Ward Elementary.

Below is one of the photos, and it's a gem.  We're working to add the names of the youngsters who are "Unidentified" in the picture, which captured the East Ward Third Graders of 1945-46.

"The teacher was Mrs. Smith," wrote Wilson, who now lives in Lincoln.

"I thought she was a great person -- as did the majority of other students in her class."

We've posted a higher resolution version of this photo -- and others -- in our DCJ School Photo Gallery.  That version also identifies most of the dapperly-dressed youngsters in this post World War II gem.

As one afflicted -- or blessed -- with left-handedness, I was also intrigued by this classroom flashback offered by Doug Wilson.

"During third grade, we learned to write cursively rather than only print.  This involved another teacher, Miss Douglas, who taught cursive writing using the Palmer Method of penmanship.  Across the front of the room above the blackboard were a series of large cardboard strips bearing the letters of the alphabet -- both small and capital letters -- in the form we were to learn how to perform."

"Although Miss Douglas did not require "lefties" to write with their right hands, she did require that they not use the "curled" or "write from above" technique that many left-handed people use."

"While I was right-handed," Wilson reminisced, "I had my hand slapped with a ruler several times because I did not write with my wrist flat on the piece of paper.  I had, and still have, the habit of writing with the side of my hand resting on the paper.  My current handwriting is a mix of print and cursive -- a style that has served me well for almost 70 years."

Chadron High students from the early '60s may remember Wilson's wife, Lois Puckett, who taught Home Economics.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Girls basketball prohibited in Nebraska

Shown here are members of the 1927 Chadron High School girls' basketball team as they were featured in the CHS "Milestone" yearbook of 1928.  The caption noted that their final season "…was very successful, inasmuch as this was the last time a girls' basketball team would represent the C.H.S. at any contest…in January 1927 the state board of athletics made the ruling that after the close of the present season, girls' basketball would be prohibited within Nebraska."  These girls, who were not identified, made one long trip into "the wilds of Wyoming and were defeated in three out of four successive games."  Nonetheless, this team was a contender for Western Nebraska Championship, which they lost to Harrison.

Although it took more than half a century, girls basketball came back to the Cornhusker State -- with a vengeance!  And during the 2013-14 season two Dawes County girls' teams made it to Lincoln for the state tournament.  Although the Chadron High Lady Cardinals lost to the Pierce girls, they could take solace in the fact that Pierce went on to win the state championship for the second year in a row.  And the girls from Crawford High School also made the trip to Lincoln, losing to Giltner 58-39.  By all accounts, the Lady Rams may back in contention again next year, since they'll lose only one of their players.