Monday, December 3, 2012

Yearbook...Class of 1942

While doing some tidying up for a relative of the mature variety, an interesting artifact came our way.  It is a High School Yearbook from the class of 1942.  It makes an interesting time capsule.  So many things commonplace then would not be seen in a public school of the 21st century.

Here is a single "montage" page of pictures.

Zoom in for a few closer looks...

Shop class with no safety glasses!

Students fighting!

In the current political environment, something probably seen as worse than eye injuries and fisticuffs.

The year book is of course full of the usual stuff, sports teams, school plays and so forth. But it all has such a serious look to it.  You can perhaps attribute a little of it to the times, It seems that the students were lining up to have their photos taken just a few weeks before Pearl Harbor. But there was also probably an ongoing culture of seriousness that has in later generations been extinguished.  I mean, just look at the school secretary:

There were study hall monitors and library monitors...even an elite corps of library assistants called "The Dahlites", special aides to Miss Dahl the Librarian.  The various monitors were "on the alert" for students "sleeping, passing notes, whispering, or chewing gum".  Although I have to say that this bunch of study hall monitors does look a little bribeable.

But the most striking things in the book are the faces of the students, now our parents ancient or passed.  None of the current day nonsense of posing for a tarted up "glam shot", or while wearing a backwards baseball cap.  These "kids" look so much older.  I suppose they were as today, around 18.  They might be a little older or younger; there was less of the current trend to hold kids back before starting school and more of a willingness to make them repeat a grade if they needed to.

But even allowing for the formal hair styles, the pearls, the suits and ties.....they look so mature, like young men and women ready to step up and face the adult world...

It is probably well that this was true.  Because unlike the Class of 2012, these young men were heading for fox holes and submarines, instead of the lesser depths of Mom and Dad's basement.  These young women were soon to be anxiously watching for the delivery of the dreaded Telegram, rather than scanning their hand held devices for Tweets from vapid celebrities.

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