Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Hebron Grade School where Jimmy and Billy attend/will graduate from
This is the town Grade School. Perhaps Jim has some stories to insert here.

42-43 Hebron High School
We were introduced to things like a Pep Rally on a Friday afternoon before a Basketball game whether home or away. I suppose we had cheer leaders though I do not remember them so they were not important to me. I liked the students all coming together to back their team.                  "Hebron Loyalty"
                                                 Sung to "Univ of Illinois
                                                                Loyalty Song"                                                                    

                                    We're loyal to you Hebron High.
                                                We're ever true blue Hebron High,
                                                We'll best you to stand
                                                Against the best in the land,
                                                For we know you will stand Hebron High,

                                                Go crashing ahead Hebron
                                                Go thru that defense Hebron High,
                                                Our name is a fame protector
                                                On boys for we expect a
                                                Victory from you Hebron High!
Howie Judson

Of course, there were always the stars of the school. These would be members of the famed Green Giant Basketball team. Howie Judson went on to play at the University of Illinois; also the Chicago White Sox; Cincinnati Reds. He is the older brother of the Judson twins, Rob and Paul, who would lead Hebron to the State championship in 1952, when my brother Jim was on the team. Howie was older than me, 2 or 3 years older. More on Green Giants in a later blog.

Seems like at least once a year we could work it out so that we had permission to take the Dodge into town to attend a home basketball game. It might begin snowing early in the day and I’d pray it would cease. On these days it did not. Snow fell all day and with the wind blowing snow was piled in drifts always beneath the hill our side of the neighboring Swanson farm. [Aging and finally retiring a young family bought the Swanson farm  and  a sad story of a young boy playing with fire in the barn and losing his life and the building.]
Pray the snow plow comes through

We would have chains on the tires and shovels in hand. We would try our best. Snow plows wouldn’t be down our road for a while, maybe until morning. But we could hope and pray.Eventually, we must give up and sadly return home. Dad would be helping us rather begrudgingly for he was sure there were better ways to use our time and energy. Always the worry if we did get through how would we get home. 

Perhaps there were other ways to enjoy the blizzard

Perhaps there were other ways to enjoy the blizzard

I discovered very gradually in Geometry Class something was wrong with my eyes. I noticed other students could read and give directions for what was on the blackboard. I had my eyes tested, discovered I was nearsighted and prescribed a pair of glasses for seeing afar. Our dad encouraged us to keep our eyes strong and not wear them constantly. So the degree of myopia wasn't severe. I needed prescription glasses until a few years ago I discovered I could read far, no problem driving a car, seeing a movie screen. However, now I was increasingly requiring reading glasses. Reversal is happening. There were times in Geometry when Bruce figured out a theorem even when Mr. Tigard puzzled. I witnessed how quick, attentive, bright he was. 
We discovered a room on the first floor much like a pantry or closet. Foods from the Surplus Foods Program for the community were stored in this closet. Students could help themselves and take stuff to their homes. I recall peanut butter being a hot item. And I think there were dried dates as well. Potatoes. There was a lot of intimacy in so small a school with something like 58 total enrollment. Other years I had always had that many in one classroom. About once monthly when we were arriving for our English Class one or another would suggest a class party. We would quickly take a yes vote and decide what we would do that very night. We had 2 choices a movie or the Delevan Roller Rink. The theater of choice was in Lake Geneva and if the film was unacceptable we would all go skating. Now we needed a ride. ”Bruce, call your mother”, would unanimously follow. He’d call. She would agree to be our driver, arrange a time to meet and off we’d go for a fun evening. I preferred the roller rink with the great organ music playing as we circled round and round and round on our rented shoes skates.I do believe the roller rink is still operating.  Was the ticket only $.25?
Coin operated music machine

If the choice were a movie there would be sodas after the show sitting on counter stools or in a booth in the small adjacent shop. Places like this always had jukeboxes to add some music. Afterwards we’d have a parent meet us back in Hebron. One time I stayed overnight with Dorothy Bakkom, the implement dealer’s daughter. She loved horses and would live on a ranch in Wyoming for many years following graduation.

Stewart chevy was gray- later painted a deep blue

We were too young to drive. On my first date Bruce and his mother arranged for an outing with a foursome, his mom and my mom and me and him. Beth Stewart would chaperone as Bruce drove the Chevy to the theater in Walworth, WI. They had chosen the movie ‘Stormy Weather’ w/Lena Horne. 
My mother got along quite well with Beth. As we arrived at the ticket booth Bruce was moving up so slowly, dwadling, to purchase the tickets that my mother felt  awkward  and ended up buying our theater tickets. This did not leave a good impression with my mother. Manners were important and this a first impression. Bruce, first time, reached for and held my hand through the movie, bravely put his arm around me for a while. When we arrived at my house both moms remained talking in the car  while Bruce walked me to the front door. We stepped inside and being clearly seen through our window we kissed. For a few days following I worried some,  though not too much, that might be how girls got pregnant. [My mother had shared information with me one afternoon when we walked to and sat alongside the Spring about ‘birds and bees’. I didn’t think kissing was brought up.] I never, ever, ever felt such a thrill before in my whole life. I was smitten.
Many rules on how to behave properly

He claims today that I never let him know I felt so ‘smitten’. You have no idea how many Emily Post manners we must comply with in the forties. Couldn't telephone a boyfriend. Be coy. Good girl play hard to get. No elbows on table. Don't reach, please pass. Girls who did not behave properly, conform,  were hussies or easy. One's behavior reflected on the family.

Come Springtime [was it Junior year] the school held a Spring Dance. Whenever anything is held at this high school the entire town is welcome not just students. Bruce invited me as a date for the dance. All day long that Saturday I was so excited. I wore a white, pleated sharkskin skirt, absolutely the stylish thing, and my yellow sweater buttoned down the back, also height of fashion and my saddle shoes, bobby socks.

My date arrived with a carnation corsage and pinned it to my sweater. I was in heaven. At the dance I met his sisters, Elsie and Charlotte and his brothers-in-law Maurie and Art.  I saw so clearly those defining Stewart eyes. The aroma of carnations has always been special to me.

One of those Class Trips we took as a class was into Chicago as a group. I cannot recall what for. I do recall it was an overnight trip. I recently discovered the hotel itself was special.
 Morrison Hotel was the first building outside of New York City to have more than 40 floors
In 1927, the hotel's signature forty-six story tower was completed, giving the Morrison a total of 2,500 guest rooms and the right to claim itself the "World's Tallest Hotel." The tower and its flagpole reached 637 feet into the air and offered guests not only cool breezes but also incomparable views of the lake and skyline. When the hotel's tower opened, it ranked as one of the tallest buildings in Chicago. The hotel was demolished in 1965 to make room for  Chase Tower.
We had reservations at the Morrison Hotel. Miss Herlon and the Tigard family chaperoned for us. I don’t think I had ever stayed in a hotel. So imagine how exciting and to be with my age group. I recall an elaborate, great  mezzanine surrounding and overlooking the lobby and the broad and long carpeted hallways to the rooms, the sound the doors made when we opened and closed them and us girls sneaking to the boys room and the boys sneaking to ours. Little did I know or recall. Ah! the beauty of the view, of course!

I maintained my ‘puppy love’ but Bruce seemed to look all around and elsewhere. Even Miss Tupper knew and labeled my love struck self 'puppy love. Occasionally we would meet in study hall perhaps. Now what does that mean? We met most every class and every day unless one or the other absent. Our senior year, last period we had study hall with just Bruce, Leon, Ruth [Bruce' cousin] and me. I sure enjoyed those moments together. Study then-- nah not at all. 
When Elayne turned 16 she would drive us to school, relieving mother of this chore. There was a freshman girl, Ruthie Marzahl, just a little girl living up the road from us. Arrangements were made to drive her to school along with us. I had nothing against Ruthie. 
Came time for the Junior Prom though and Bruce asked Ruthie Marzahl as his date. She was a Freshman and we Seniors. I was truly insulted. I wanted to attend the dance so I came up with a plan. I rode in on the Northwestern that Saturday  morning using my daddy's ticket. I called the Collin’s home and asked my cousin Tom if he would come home with me. Next step I went to their home on Lexington Ave. and afterwards we together met the commuter train back out that evening. He would be my date for the dance. Tom, being my age, almost, and good looking, I thought to give these townsfolk something to think about. Tom and all family agreed. He dressed up nice.

Gown I made for Marquette Academy Prom - Dick Russell  not cousin Tom
   Picture taken at Russell bungalow home in Milwaukee- Akin to son Robb and Nancy Stewart Craftsman home

Returning home I donned a formal I had made for another prom I attended in Milwaukee with Dick Russell. Dick is my age, son of my mothers’ friend, Dorothy. We had attended the Marquette Academy’s prom with a group of his friends. I had not told anyone, not a soul  at school about this night's arrangement. They didn’t and Bruce didn’t know Tom was my cousin. I think we pulled off the ‘date with this guy from Chicago’ quite well. 

Tom looked Bruce over throughout the evening and assured me I wasn’t missing out on a thing.  


  1. Sure are pretty, Mom! Look like a film star!

  2. Ha ha! I can just hear your cousin Tom saying that!


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