Hanging on to the Memories
Knox County — My Rockland High School class of 1959 meets every month at the Brown Bag in Rockland. Whoever is home at the time tries to go and catch up with everyone’s lives. I have shown pictures of this lunch in the past. I always try to catch it when I’m home if it falls into the time period when I am there.
We met at the Brown Bag originally because two of our classmates worked within walking distance to it. We are all retired now, but we still meet at the same place. I can’t remember how many years we have done this to date, but it has been a while and it is always a fun time with everyone talking at once and lots of laughter. We share pictures of our grandchildren and other pictures of what is going on in our lives at the time.
This month the gang gathered again at the Brown Bag. Our classmate Jean Rowling Monroe, always takes pictures of the monthly event and posts them on Facebook. I really enjoy seeing everyone that way every month because I can’t be there in person.
This time she shot this picture of my good friend Sandra Sleeper Zimmerman in a Rockland High School jacket. It has 59 on the sleeve. I don’t know if that is a number for a team member or it represents our class. In any event, Jean tells me that Sandra found it at a garage sale. I am so jealous.
Seeing this jacket inspired me to write this “memory” blog for you. How many articles of memory can you put your hands on right now? The jacket Sandra has on was the typical snap up jacket of the times. Oftentimes, if you had a boyfriend on a team you could persuade him to let you wear it. It was always two sizes too big, but who cared?
Similarly, you could sometimes persuade your boyfriend to let you wear their class ring if he had one. We didn’t get our rings till senior year so it would have to be from a senior. Girls would either put layers of tape on it so it would fit on her finger or put it on a chain and wear it around her neck. If you were a freshman, wearing one of these rings was way cool.
How many other things did you have or still have that hold a lot of memories for you? I had many, but most have been lost either in the flood; or the time years ago here in Georgia, when my jewelry box was stolen from my apartment.
Did you have some of the things I had? Like my stuffed tiger that sat on the back of my bookcase bed for many years. It was almost like the tiger they retired at the old high school. (See the archives, “Rockland Tiger Memorial,” June, 2011.)
I also had a necklace with the numbers 59 in a circle. My class ring was in the stolen jewelry box. My yearbook with everyone’s autograph and comments in it was lost in the flood. Jean has promised to copy hers for me which I look forward to. The only way I can remember all my classmates now is to look at the newspaper clipping of our high school graduation pictures as they appeared in the Courier.
We all kept scrapbooks. I have many clippings from the paper in mine, which I still have. I did a blog on that scrapbook which is in the archives for June 2011 also.
Did you have one of those felt long triangular banners on your bedroom wall? It could be a team like the Red Socks or a high school banner. My mother would never let me thumbtack one on my wall. However, I have two in my scrapbook. One is of the Naval Academy in Annapolis and the other is one for the state of Virginia. I got both of them when our class took our senior trip to Washington, D.C.
Who remembers autograph books? It was a big fad for a while. We all had to have one. I had a few famous autographs, but they were on little scraps of paper. They were from actors in Peyton Place. See my separate memories of that movie in a separate blog on the regular blog space, "On Being a Southender." For now I say, in the way of Bob Hope, a 50s favorite, “Thanks for the memories.”
And thanks for listening.
NOTE: If you are into collecting memorabilia from the 1950s, check out these sites:
ebay and amazon, also try craig’s list
www.ehow.com which has a great article called, “How to Collect 1950s memorabilia.”