Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Four By Four

This morning, as I started to read the new blog posts in my reader, I discovered that good old (actually not old, but young) blogger buddy and fellow Pennsylvanian Michelle -that Surly Writer - had tagged me for a meme.

I'm not keen on memes -as many of you may remember -but once in a blue moon, when it is a meme that requires very little usage of my very addled pea brain, I will break down and participate.

This just happenes to be one of those occasions.

The rules of this meme are that you go into the fourth folder on my computer that has my pictures, find the fourth photo, and write a story about it then pick four people for the meme.

Well, this involved a little bit more decision making process than I thought it would because of the way =pretty disorganized -I have my files set up. I don't have all my pictures in "My Pictures" folder. No, I have upteen other folders set up with photos in them usually grouped by family or specific topics, etc.
Then too, when I view my folders separately -by going into My Documents or my other file where my newer pictures from my digital camera are stored, it gets a little twisted when I go to a specific file and make a selection because of the way the pictures present themselves to me when I click on the photo thing on blogger to pick and chose what pictures I want to put up on my blog.

Confused? Don't worry about it. I tend to stay that way myself.

But anyway, this is the fourth picture but it is actually in my first folder -depending on which area of my computer I am looking at.

This is a really "moldy, oldie" picture too because if you click it and thus, enlarge it for a better view, you will see across the bottom there, it shows the month and year this picture was taken - May of 1961!

This is the Junior Class of West Branch Area High School from Morrisdale, PA, taken in front of the Eternal Light Peace Memorial in Gettysburg, PA. The occasion being this was our Junior Class Trip.

Now, I can identify the people in this picture that were from MY class -that being the Cooper Center -but this trip included the students from both the Cooper AND the Morris Center and back then, I really didn't know the kids from the other school, so I have no idea now who is who with respect to about half of the kids on this photo.

Considering this trip -referred to always at the "Gettysburg Trip" also included a visit to the world-famous Hershey Park, in Hershey, PA, I find it rather amusing to see how many of the girls from our class wore skirts on that trip. Look closely, you'll see only a few of the girls dressed for the adventuresome part -the visit to the Park. Who on earth would want to go on the rides at an amusement park wearing a skirt? Not me! I say that now because I can't see what I wore that day and my Mom might just have insisted that the historical aspect of this trip took precedence and that meant dressing up a bit more. Well, maybe. I'm trying to think like my Mom might have back then but that was a difficult task for me back in 1961 and it's still a difficult thing for me to try to figure what my Mom was thinking much of the time we had together over the years.

Let me explain the bit about the two centers here too. Back in 1959 -or so -five townships in this area joined forces to create one school district. The townships involved were Cooper, Graham, Karthaus, Morris and West Keating. Now, prior to this re-organization, the Graham Township kids were already attending high school at the Morris Township School in Morrisdale, PA and the Karthaus and West Keating either attended high school at the Cooper Township School for many years or for a time, were bussed to the high school in Clearfield, PA.

The last class to graduate and have on their diploma either Cooper Township High School or Morris Township High School on their diploma was the graduating class of 1959.

From 1960 on, all diplomas said West Branch Area High School but you see, those of us in the graduating classes from 1960 thru 1963 actually went to different schools together. Why? Well simply because it takes a good deal of time to build a new school large enough to allow for all the students in the district to be under one roof, ya know.

I could go through this an identify all the kids who were in my class at the Cooper Center but boy, that would take a long time for me to do that. I think I am in the second row and, if you count from the first female pictured in that row, I think I am the 6th girl -from the left going to the right. But that also depends on how you look at the rows too because as usual, in group pictures, sometimes the rows are not really clearly defined. But anyway, I think that would be me -6th girl from the left in the second row -by my calculations.

I will tell you this too -if you look at the people in the front row, you can see the girls from my lunch group that meets on the last Thursday of every month.
Starting on the left and counting across, girl #15 is Rose Little Wick; girl #16 is Linda Wertz Payne, girl #17 is Carol Folmar Nadzom and Girl #20 is Kathryn Nelson Eyerly.

I will also tell you this too -of all the people on this picture, ten from my class group at the Cooper Center are now deceased.

In the first row, #1, James Wasseen, #3, Leonard Goss, #4, Gerry Smith. #13, Catherine Legosky, and #14, Nancy Duck. In the second row, and reversing the order -go from right to left -#1, Bill Campbell; #2, Richard Patrick, #5, Edward Handzo and in the very back row, from left to right, #3, Lynn Gruendler and #4, Edward Krupa. Those are my classmates from the school I attended who are now deceased. I have no idea how many students from the Morris Township center of our class have also passed to their great reward.

Back then, in those dark ages, sometimes events that were available to the students were done jointly -with the classes from both schools together. Our Junior Class trip was one of those but in our Senior Year, only the students who attended Cooper Center had a class trip and that one was to Washington, D.C. We had no class trips for our freshman or sophomore years.

At the time this jointure of the school districts began, there was a fierce rivalry between the students at Cooper and the students at Morris Center. That proverbial backyard scrap took place every November, in the last football game of the season. (Between you and me, Morris Township usually knocked the socks off the Cooper Township Football team!)

Because of the strong rivalry that had existed prior to the jointure, in an effort to bring a little bit of closeness to both groups at the two school buildings, the administration sometimes tried to have us do things together -as in our Junior Class trip.

But, in my senior year, there were some hard feelings that surfaced -again -because the girls at the Morris Center had a Future Homemaker's Group and those girls who belonged to that group got a trip to New York City every spring. Now, at the Cooper Center, we didn't have that organization but we did have the Librarians' Club and we decided we wanted to have equal time with a trip for our group too. However, our Club was only permitted to go to State College, to Penn State University to tour Pattee Library over there. The reason we couldn't have a trip to New York City was that the distance for our group was deemed to be too great.

Hmmm. That logic still defies me even this many years after my high school graduation!

Class reunions since our graduation have only been with students from the Cooper Center as none from the Morris Center seemed interested in having a class reunion. My class has had reunions now every fifth year since our 20-year anniversary of our graduation. But the Class of 1961, which was a much smaller class than was ours, did have a 45th reunion and it was held as a joint reunion with members from both centers attending. Reports I received from several friends from that class who went to it were that they ALL had a really great time!

Who knows, maybe for my class's 50th reunion -three years from now -we can talk the Morris kids into joining forces with us and have a really big, really, really great Class Reunion then too!

That's about all the story I can think of to tellyou about this photo and my high school years. Now, I am supposed to tag four other bloggers to participate in this meme too. So, here goes:

Debo at A Blue State of Mind -Maybe she'll post another great shot of one of her cutie-pie little nieces or nephews!

Janey at Life in Westcliffe - who often posts beautiful pictures of where she lives out in Colorado.

Mary from Mary's Writing Nook - who always has some interesting stories as well as great pictures too from up in the real North -Ontario, Canada.

Gene Bach at Turning The Pages of Life - hopefully, this recently retired forest fire fighter from California will have a little time to pull himself away from his new big project -building his own private "Man Cave" -with a little bit of help right now from his brother, the always effervescent Jeff Bach of A word in Edgewise. (If you want to read some great stuff with frequent focusing on sibling rivalry, be sure to follow these two brothers blogs! Always a good read there too!)

So now, my meme is done for today!

And I think I'll sign off this morning by stealing Suldog's line - "Soon with more better stuff."

Ta Ta!


Debo Blue said...

I did indeed enlarge the picture and try to match each person you numbered.

I hope you don't mind that I snickered a bit at the hairstyles.

Mary said...


I love the photo and the story. I have always wanted to go to Gettysburg. Interesting photo with all of your old classmates and some from the other district.

I will see if I can get the meme done for my post tomorrow. Thanks for the tag.


Vic Grace said...

Interesting meme and great idea for one. Unfortunately I don't have time right now so glad you didn't tag me.
Wanted to tell you that all of a sudden your blog is coming through on my reader from Blogger (Follow this blog) and it wouldn't before.

Michelle H. said...

Very nicely done! Believe me, I had no idea I would get tagged and memed and awarded all this week. I usually try to stay away from such things unless they really interest me.

janeywan said...

I played along Jeni, now don't do it again. lololol