Sunday, June 8, 2008

Picture Day

(Our host for this week's Fun Monday is Molly at Return of the White Robin . She asks us to share a happy memory from childhood. I went all Woody Allen at first. When I read Molly's assignment, my first thought was that I have many more happy memories as an adult than child. However, after reading through some of the sign up comments I realized that I'm not the ONLY one who had, shall we say, a complicated childhood. One thing that was a constant happy memory for me was getting to go to school. In particular, here's my memory of Picture Day at Green Fly School.)

In the late '40s and early '50s my older sister and two brothers attended a one room school much like the one in this photo. There were probably about 30-40 students total in Grades 1-8 in the one room. Our desks had the same black iron fancy work sides and were bolted to the floor on wooden runners. A potbellied stove sat in the center of the room. The older boys came to school early each day in the winter to help the teacher build a fire and fill the stove with coal for the day. They also filled a big ceramic jug full of water from the well in the schoolyard. Each child had a collapsible tin cup to drink from. We hung our coats on pegs in back of the room. On Fridays the wooden floors were oiled and then sprinkled with sawdust and left over the weekend. On Monday morning some of the older boys and girls came to school early to sweep the floor.

In 1949 I was four years old and very much wanting to go to school with my sister and brothers. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to start school until I turned seven because my birthday was in November and you had to be six in October in order to enroll. Confusing? I do remember that Cousin Margie was only a month older than I, but she got to start school a year earlier because of her October birthday. Talk about unhappy memories--and jealousy--because we were great pals. Not only were we separated, but she also was learning to read and write before me!

The one day I did get to go to school was on Picture Day. Not many families had cameras in those days, so the older children were allowed to bring the little ones to school to get their pictures taken. This was a big deal and involved a lot of preparation the night before. I was four years old in this picture taken in '49. My dress was green print trimmed with rickrack. My mother made the dress for me out of a flour or feed sack using her Singer treadle sewing machine. Flour and animal feed was purchased in these cotton sacks, saved and made into clothing, usually dresses for girls. My hair was stick straight so my sister probably rolled my hair on pink rubber latch rollers or pincurls the night before. My picture day hairstyle was finished off with matching green hairbows.

This is my five year old picture in 1950. STILL not allowed to go to school except on Picture Day. . .Notice the change in hairstyle. By this time my no nonsense mother had declared her long running battle over my having hair in my eyes. This was a challenge because my hair falls from the crown like a dark curtain. Bonnie's solution was to part my hair in the middle and twig it up in pincurls on either side. This little dress was my first store bought clothing. It was red and white polka dot with a lace trimmed collar. I was allowed to wear it only for very special occasions.

So, Picture Days were definitely happy childhood memories. There were even more when I finally got to go to school and learn to read and write. Now head over to Molly's place and see how other Fun Monday childhoods turned out.

26 comments:

Kaycie said...

You were adorable.

I have a picture of me aged about four or five years old in a yellow dress trimmed in brown rick rack. My grandmother made that dress for me. Thanks for triggering that memory.

Molly said...

Faye,thank you for this post. When you mentioned in your comment that not all was happy in your childhood, I realized that for some of us even thinking about the happy times might generate other memories as well. I love your pictures, especially the one when you were four with the rick-rack and green ribbons. As reading this, I remembered my mother pulling me in a wagon to my sisters' school to have my picture taken. My hair was definitely a pincurl do.

IamwhoIam said...

You look so cute. We too had a one room school house, but my brother at 4 would go daily for the milk, our comunity was so small that they saw nothing wrong with the tike going to school at four. But saddly I don't think the older boys and girls got much of an education.

Peter said...

Unlike you Faye I started school at 4.5 to keep the tiny school open, minimum student numbers needed one more so off I went.
BTW yes I think both my sister and I were quite tall children... (shrunk a bit now!!)

karisma said...

Very cute pictures! How funny that you could not wait to go to school! I started at 5 but was already reading. I only went for a few weeks and then we moved countries. i was still the youngest in my year though!

Hootin' Anni said...

I remember a one room school house we had in our county when I was little too....but by the time I was old enough to attend school we had relocated to Denver. How I wish I could have gone to the school and be like Laura Ingles. LOL

Love your school photos! Such a sweet girl. I think we all have 'bad memories' too, but the good hopefully outweighs the bad one.



My Fun Monday is shared too, I hope you can stop by and read it, if you haven't already --since I'm just now going through the Mr. Linky's at Mollys before I get to my own comments to read who has visited!! Take care, have a great day. [PS --you have to scroll below my 'walk in the park' photos to reach my F M entry!!]

My Husband Calls Me Weird said...

Oh my gosh, I love the pictures! Thank you for sharing your memories!

nikki

Swampwitch said...

WOW! Does this post bring back memories for me. I went to a two-room country school where my mom was the teacher. I went to Picture Day every year for 4 years before I was actually in school.
Cute picture.

Jan said...

You are lucky to still have these photos from "picture day". Great memories.

Beckie said...

Those are wonderful pictures and memories. I recently made a quilt out of some of that older fabric (my MIL had it stashed away).

Great post!

ellen b. said...

THese are great memories. I remember what a big deal picture day was at school. My deceased mil taught in a one room school house in Kansas just after she got her teaching liscense. Have a wonderful week...

Melanie said...

I love your pictures- both are soooo cute!

My best friend and next door neighbor was older than me and got to go off to school first. I remember waiting all day for her to get home from school.

Our Happy Happenings

ChrisB said...

Seeing that picture reminded me of one of the classrooms in my first school because we had a similar stove. I went to school at 4 in 1948.
Your early photos are very cute.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

How wonderful to have your Picture Day memories!

Grand Life said...

Great post and great memories. I remember one of the two school pictures that we bought (we didn't have alot of money). My undershirt (remember those) was showing bigtime in the neck of my dress. Oh well.
Have a great week.
Judy

Jo Beaufoix said...

You were so cute and it was really interesting to hear what your school experience was. I bet you were soooo ready for school when you finally got there.

daddy d said...

Now, I recall my two room school house days in Michigan. The building did not have that stove as yours did. The grades also were 1-8. But that education was great fun. My spelling grade was "F" in the 4th grade and I thought that was OK, until my father explained other wise.

the planet of janet said...

oh that is the cutest ever!!!

i love the thought of you being taught in a one-room schoolhouse. that's so cool!

Alison said...

you were so cute Faye..what a wonderful memory...did you finally attend that school until 8th grade??

Pamela said...

You never fail my expectations.
The description of the school was exactly what I expected. Except about the oil and sawdust. I wouldn't have guessed that.

I went to a four rooom school when I was in 2nd grade. It had the same kind of seats that were bolted to the floor. I mentioned the old steam radiators in my post. The old boiler would crank up and the rooms would shake, and then the clanking and creakin'

hulagirlatheart said...

What absolutely wonderful memories. I have always loved hearing my dad and his older brother and sisters talk about their old school building, flour sack dresses etc... This is a beautiful post. I loved it.

lisa marie said...

It's hard for me to fathom that there were one room schoolhouses that recently. Boy hasn't the world changed a lot in a few short years!

I love your little four year old self. :) Don't get me wrong I like your other one too but that younger version is adorable and you look so lively. :)

Debs said...

I'm sure I would have enjoyed school far more if my classroom had as much character as the one in the photo.

You look adorable but so much more grown up in the second photo, it's hard to believe that it's taken only a year later. I noticed that sort of thing happening through my childrens photos.

I love the way you describe your childhood, I can picture it.

Cazzie!!! said...

You are so gorgeous in those images, your eyes are beautiful. What color are they? I loe the pot belly stove in teh centre of the class room too... so warm in Winter time!

Lane said...

I love these little pieces of your history Faye and as a little girl you were the cutest of the cute!
Five year old Faye has such a grown up expression!:-)

KAREN said...

Such GORGEOUS photos! In all my school pictures I have teeth missing and a wonky fringe. I must admit I didn't like school very much and couldn't wait to leave but, looking back, there were some happy times :o)