Our New Excursion Coach notice what they call a shade tree!

Our New Excursion Coach notice what they call a shade tree!
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Sepia Saturday 176 Our Town and the chick chick chick

I have few photos from my own school days or anyone else's in the collection here being predigital, we lacked ready use of  cameras at school and film developing was considered for special occasions.  Maybe that is all for the better, but this week's prompt recalled my obligatory high school chemistry class which I enjoyed  but no photos of our experiments. 

Louisa Lucy Leidel Wetchen
However  following my meandering mind while I was adjusting some ancestral documentation and errors this week, I found this photo of Jerry's maternal  great grandmother,  Louisa "Lucy" Leidel Wetchen taken about 1888 with a brood of chicks.  Lucy was a force in her own right, a straight arrow distinctive MN woman of farm and prairie who lived to be 86,  and as a widow for her last 18 years.  My in laws always said  "Grandma Wetchen was a stickler."   

This photo  immediately reminded me of one of my high school plays, "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder and my  role as Mrs. Gibbs and my lines, "here chick, here chick, here chick chick chick"  That  I  recall my opening lines 51 years later, is a tribute to memorization insisted upon by Mrs. Klinke, our drama teacher.  Not only that we all had to speak up and out, we had no fancy microphones nor sound systems as in  today's school auditoriums.  She drilled us, rehearsing up until opening night, again and again and again; until we could  deliver just right, according to her ear while I thought, "what is the big  deal about some woman feeding chickens?" some other lines are much more important, but not to Mrs Klinke, every line had to be projected and delivered. 

 As I recall I did quite well in my performances, Mrs Klinke signed my yearbook, "to Mrs. Gibbs."  as you can see here.   Back in that day, we all had our yearbooks signed.  I wonder if they even have year books that we had, they were quite the production for us. 
Mrs Klinke

In 2008, on this blog,  I wrote about my  Our Town experience, sans photo of Lucy. Here is the link to that post. http://patonlinenewtime.blogspot.com/2008/10/our-town.html

I suppose one could draw some mystical curious coincidental connection  that my 1962 high school play role would have been portrayed in real life years previously by my husband's great grandmother, someone I would never  know. Strong  women were not really on the radar screen back then, but I was fortunate to have many of them as teachers and my  relatives too.  There was one page of the yearbook with photos of that play.  I have scanned it here and you can enlarge it to see us in our poised glory.  I am "Patty" seated front row top photo and gazing at the bride bottom photo.  Bobby Ormesher who played  Doc Gibbs, my MR. wrote across that page.  We were so young back then, in the times of our lives.  We celebrated  our 50th class reunion in September,last year, it was a good time , and Bobby was a good dance partner.  



his is a Sepia Saturday post.  To read others,  click here to the main Sepia site.  http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.com/2013/05/sepia-saturday-176-11-may-2013.html

16 comments:

  1. Hi Patricia, I am in the retirement lane too, and like the photos you share here. I hope students still have yearbooks printed on paper, I hadn't wondered about that til you mentioned it.

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  2. Ah yes, school plays...I have many fond memories of rehearsals and the like.

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  3. I still get newsletters from my old school. by email of course. Just this week I learned of the death of the boy who became the best man at our wedding in 1958. Time is definitely catching up on us.
    School plays were big events for us, although I never took part - the nearest I got was to see Macbeth at Stratford.

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  4. This brought back memories for me - the layout of your yearbook looks so much like mine. Maybe they were all done by the same companies Or just all used the same templates. Our Town was a popular play for high school productions. I was not in drama, but remember the production in our high school when I was a sophomore.

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  5. EMAIL from TOM: I was not in drama in high school but as a young adult I participated in an adult drama class and we put on "Arsenic and Old Lace." I officially met the woman who would become my wife there. She and her sister were the two old maids, as I recall. I was the cop that took Teddy in. We all had so much fun and didn't want to let go so we organized an amateur theater group, Tracy Community Players; still active today. The first play we did was "The Great Big Doorstep." Beverlee and I were the young romantic leads in that one. We married and railroad work and responsibility ended my theatrical career, I did get involved in ballet classes and voice lessons, operatic or classical, during some layoff periods when I had other work close to home. A Greek man who owned one of the local restaurants wanted to sponsor me to study voice, opera etc. at La Scala in Italy. Again, it was responsibilities, and a little fear of the unknown in a country boy, that led to turning it down. But I was still good for a free meal If I'd sing one of his favorite arias in the restaurant. Damn, that was a long time ago.

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  6. I know that when my son graduated high school in CA in 1982 they had no yearbook; not sure what's happening today in my old PA hometown. Here in MN they do not have yearbooks either. Likely that is now a relic.

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  7. You reminded me that it is about time for my 50th reunion. I have never attended a reunion, and that will be no exception!

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    1. Well I only went home to PA for the 10th,,but after getting in touch with some classmates, we are all scattered around the country, we figured it was a good reason to reunite. It was a 2 evening fun event and I am glad I went, although hadn't missed it over the years. I was curious what had happened over the years to all. If possible you might check yours out. In our class of '62 many have already passed on and we had a memorial table with candles, that was gripping.

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  8. 50th! Wow you're all golden! That's a beautiful bride right there. I like the style of her dress and veil.

    Hazel

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  9. I cant get my mind round that photo of Lucy and the chicks being 1888....are you sure you have not skipped a generation? Or did you cheet cheet cheeet?

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    1. No Nigel, that really is 1888 by the age of other photos in the same old section of the album and her lifespan....other photos had dates 1888, 1889. :-)

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  10. Great memories. Thanks for sharing them.

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  11. Oh gee it makes me sad when I see old yearbooks, I lost my years ago, and they would be so much fun to go back and read the little bits and pieces scribbled all over them! Great post, and you sure got my attention with Chick, chick, chick!!!

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  12. That was such a fun post. I liked the irony of you playing the same part as Lucy.
    My daughter's class had a very fancy year book. And in this area the schools compete for best year books at the county fair. So I think yearbooks are still very important in most schools. But I have a feeling it won't be long before they're digital.
    Nancy

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  13. I was a high school thespian too, and though we didn't do "Our Town", we read it in drama class and it made quite an impression. It may be why I enjoy collecting antique photos of small town bands. It still remains a popular school play because it touches the deep roots of community and family, so much so that people in China and Africa could understand the themes in it.

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  14. Such photoographs from the 1880s taken outdoors are not particularly common in family collections, so you are lucky. Thanks for sharing it.

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