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.