Blog 13 March 30, 2014

Visit to Jeff: Yesterday, the Thomas Jefferson Historical Preservation Society held an open house at Jeff. I went, along with Bob Blake, and found Sam and Mary Helen Bell, Dorothy (Tas) Crawford McGraw, and Dixie Burd also having a look. Memories from the way it was flooded back as we see the way it is today. Much was the same, with the original tiles polished to perfection, but there were noticeable differences.

There is a definite emphasis on going to college after graduation. The halls on the main floor are lined with school banners from across the country—Big 12, SEC, Ivy, and other conferences. One teacher is a U CAL at Berkley, with her classroom door covered.

There is foundation work under the wing with the school offices, and that hallway is shutoff for now with school offices moved to the main wing.

Mustang in the Student Council patio: I never thought of the mustang being black, but rather blue. What is missing in the photo is a slot for inserting a quarter for a ride. In other words, in my humble opinion, it was a bit tacky.  image

There is a new fine arts wing, but if it was open, I could not find it. Someone who has seen it said it is a beautiful addition, possibly where the old armory and ROTC took place. By the way, the little theater is now a dance studio.

Check the photos at the end of the blog.

Hilarious memory: Walking the halls brought back a hilarious memory of how one of the annual shows at Jeff was banned. First though, does anyone remember the Dean of Girls when we first arrived there? She was a gnome-like little woman, about 5 feet or less tall . She had rosy cheeks and a red nose and a short hair style that my wife described as dutch boy cut. The 1951 Monticello spoke of her in glowing terms.

Back to the memory. Every year through our sophomore year, the Senate Club put on a show where all the members appeared in drag. Our sophomore year, there was a ballet of sorts, with the ballerinas known as Madame Sophie’s Blue Butterflies.  Prima ballerina was Ed Schleyer, dressed in a blue top, voluminous blue pants (no tutu for Ed) and gauzy things that flowed from the waist and attached to the wrists.

Well, Ed decided just before the show that he needed some enhancement up top. The found a supply of paper hand towels and proceeded to mold them into mounds shaped roughly like traffic cones and shoved them down his blue top; his prominent display made the rest of the ballerinas look pretty flat.

Then Ed went into his dance. Of course, he had no bra handy, and he did not think about the consequences of his pirouettes and leaps and pas de deux. Over the course of his routine, he realized that he had become lop-sided, as one of his enhancements started heading south (sort of like what happens when you get older, you know?) Totally undaunted, Ed stopped his routine, reached inside his blue top and yanked his wad of towels back up to proper position and continued his dance.

Dean of Girls Frances Smith was outraged and infuriated and went on the war path. It was a day or so later that the Senate was informed that they had produced their last show ever. Not banned in Boston, but banned in San Antonio. Miss Smith retired at the end of the school year, no doubt hastened by Ed’s embarrassing spectacle. Probably she was the only one embarrassed.

If any of you “girls” out there have memories of Miss Smith, please comment.

By the way—everyone always bought tickets to these shows, because you got to miss a couple of periods of class.

Below are the photos. By the way, hardly anyone uses the lockers, as most were empty. The built in combination locks have been removed and a few lockers had locks attached.

IMG_4425IMG_4430  IMG_4431 IMG_4432


Note that the MJR appears to be alive and well from the banner. The blue door belongs to a biology teacher. And tutoring is offered daily. There are probably some more memories from the tour yesterday to add in the coming days, and some more photos.

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