Blog 123 The Girl with Green Hair–and other Recollections
The Senior brain…They say our senior’s brain is crammed to capacity, which is why we tend to forget current things such as why we walked into another room (bathroom excluded.) People ask me how I remember so many things about our days long past.
True confession is that I do not. If I want some ideas for these blogs, I can get out the yearbook, look at the pictures, read the captions and inscriptions from classmates, and that breaks loose something long locked away memories from the nooks or crannies of my overcrowded brain. Wish I could then delete it to make room for something else.
I also have a collection of stuff people have sent me over the years. At this stage, I am sorting through things to declutter. Some I toss and some I put in a box labelled DOD. That means Ditch on Death. No need to sort through for hidden treasure or valuable documents after my demise.
I have thought back to the teachers under whom I labored. Some were exceptional, some not so much.
Ida Mae Murray
for algebra. Here was an excitable woman, but not necessarily about teaching. In algebra 3 or 4, Susan Crawford sat in front of me. One day, she turned around and whispered, “I have tried to divide zero into a number and I don’t know how.” I had no clue and raised my hand and asked. Miss Murray begin dancing around and all she could say was something like “Don’t ever do that. Don’t try. It can’t be done. You get infinity.” No explanation as to why. In a trigonometry or some other class, the subject arose and Mr. McDaniel
explained the reason why you cannot divide by zero. ‘Tis a pity that Miss. Murray would not explain, assuming she knew the reason. Anybody out there who can explain, post a reply. Otherwise, I will reveal the reason next time.
The best story about Miss Murray, however, has been told many times and might be considered an urban legend, if it is just a tale. Here is the story: Her classroom was on the second floor above the east entrance with all the carved stonework. There as a fairly wide ledge just below the windows, which had no screens, if you remember. One day, David Frazier
jumped up and shouted out “I don’t get algebra, and can’t take it anymore.” He ran over and climbed out the window and knelt on the ledge below eye level. So the tale goes, Miss Murray ran out of the room and down to the office. While she was out, David climbed back into the classroom and took his seat. When Miss Murray returned with Mr. Rogers in tow, everyone was calmly seated and David was in his chair. If not true, it makes for a great tall tale.
Miss Grace Huey, chairman of the English department…I was not in any of her classes, so I don’t know much about her, except her demise. One summer a while after our graduation, she was at home moving a chest of drawers. Reports are that the chest fell over on her and she could not extricate herself. Her body was found sometime later under the chest.
Miss Olga Vogel
in history. Miss Vogel is another teacher I did not experience. She was the only faculty member with a PhD and looked like one of the oldest on the faculty.
Mr. McDaniel, Mr. Daniel, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Talliaferro, Miss Brewer—snippets of memories have come back for all of these, from our days in the classroom to crossing paths with them later on. Watch for those next time. To post memories you readers may have, just click on the button to post a comment.
I could have proposed to almost any girl in our class!
I could have purchased an engagement ring because I knew her ring size. I never did, however, because I lacked the funds for a diamond.
One day in our junior year Mrs. McIntyre, who was our class sponsor, summoned me to her classroom and advised that I had been selected to take orders for senior class rings. Mrs. McIntyre moved to Jeff from Mark Twain the same time as I had, and I suppose she remembered me from a class at Twain. I accepted the job, which meant that I would sit in the ticket booth outside the auditorium over both lunch periods for several months to take orders, measure ring sizes, and take a deposit. When the rings arrived in May, I would again sit in the booth for delivery. My commission was fifty cents per ring. Total earned $187.50. Of the 420 in our graduating class, 375 ordered senior class rings.
The Girls with Green Hair:
Today, we see hair of all colors. Way back then, everyone was blond, brunette, red, auburn, black, or some shade in between, except Bill Crocker, of course. Bill already had a lot of grey hairs showing.
But one day, Dorothy Crawford
showed up with her hair definitely on the green side. Dorothy was a blond, you may remember, but this is not a blond joke. News spread rapidly around the campus. If I recall Dorothy’s explanation, she was on the swim team and the chlorine in the swimming pool water had turned her hair green. Dorothy, please comment on this recollection and how you changed back to natural blond. Also, I believe Joy Robertson, Carolyn Taylor, and Diane Landers
were also on the team. Did they go green as well?
More next time. Here are some old photos in the meantime.
Pat Hileman Sparks
Ruth Hernandez Stewart
Peggy Frazier Jones
Susan Crawford LaVieux