Saturday, May 29, 2010

Second Grade - 1924 - Sepia Saturday

My mother was an only child and my grandmother kept wonderful scrapbooks documenting her every achievement.  I love the clothes and the rather jaunty young teacher in this first photo, taken in 1924 in Lakeland, Florida.

And just look at the rainbow fairies, ready for the May Day celebration! Mostly a glum bunch -- but my mother (front row, second from right) looks optimistic.

The scrapbook contains samples of Virginia's school work from each grade -- this was in an envelope marked first grade. I'm amazed -- and fairly sure I never learned cursive ('real writing' as we called it then) till third or maybe even fourth grade.
For other Sepia Saturday posts, go HERE.


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29 comments:

R. Burnett Baker said...

Third grade for me, Vicki. This post should encourage us all to slow down, and reflect. I have so many "scraps" of our family's lives, and my family has thousands of photos. (my aunt was a pro photographer).

How wonderful, this internet, that we're able to chronicle our lives, past and present, in ways that were never possible before!

Let's hope and pray future generations are still able to read and remember as well.

Rick

Callie said...

Thank you for posting the photos. Wonderful memories to have. I remember writing cursive sentences, but I don't remember the grade.

Subby said...

Wonderful documentation! I had to explain that to Princess Cheese, with all the photos I have. Eventually I'll get to building all the albums, heh...

lettuce said...

what a wonderful collection to have - photos, plus her grandmothers comments, plus the handwriting. Really special and great photos.

Pat in east TN said...

I love the pictures from the past and the cursive writing you show is beautiful for one so young.

It was 3rd grade for me, but by the end of 1st grade my granddaughter was being taught cursive. That simply blew my mind, but aaaah, the times they are a changin'!

Brian Miller said...

love it...i remember those tablets for writing and i hardly use cursive these days, not sure why they they still teach it...cool pictures as well...

Martin H. said...

Your grandmother certainly was a careful archivist. These are lovely photographs. The sample of handwriting is a real bonus.

I was also struck by the facial similarities you share with your mum. I'm thinking that those likenesses might be even stronger in photographs of you when you were a girl?

Vicki Lane said...

My cursive writing has become almost illegible due to lack of use. A few schools teach italic writing which is beautifully clear. When I was an English teacher in a prep school many years ago, I could always tell which of my students had attended St. John's for elementary school as their essays were a joy to read.

Alas, Martin, though there are some similarities, I look a lot more like my father.

June said...

It strikes me, as I look at those pictures, that it is SO NICE AND REFRESHING to see children looking like children instead of groomed little movie-stars-to-be. So long as they were clean enough and completely dressed, that was good enough.
Some of those facial expressions! :-P

My Carolina Kitchen said...

How fabulous that your grandmother kept that scrapbook. Your mother's handwriting is beautiful. I'm worried that cursive writing will eventually disappear with future generations.

Hope you have a fabulous Memorial day weekend.
Sam

Miss_Yves said...

Dans de vieux albums
visages pleins d'avenir
aujourd'hui fanés .

Poetikat said...

That one little rainbow second from the left in the front looks positively perturbed. Loved these photos! I would never in a million years have placed them in Florida!

Kat

Alan Burnett said...

The photographs are marvelous. I had to enlarge both of them and view each face of each child. So many expressions, so many stories, so many lives. I thoroughly enjoyed the post. Thanks

Deanna said...

I love your Sepia Saturday.

Your mother does look optimistic and just looking at the teacher, I'd bet she was a fireball.

Second grade for me with the cursive. I was so proud of myself - it is something I'll never forget!

Nana Jo said...

I love to pour over old class photographs. So many stories to speculate on. I always wonder what happened to each little life. I'm struck, too, by the class sizes in those days! Your mother was a lovely, charming little girl. I adore the rainbow fairy picture!

Meri said...

Your fairy was tall and lanky! And curious that she wrote about loving a big brother when she was an only, isn't it? Was it an assignment she copied from the chalkboard? Wishful thinking? (I think I learned cursive in third grade, too).

Star said...

A likely looking lot of faeries! You're right, your mum does look the happiest. I love your two photo choices for Sepia Saturday Vicki. They tell such wonderful stories.
Blessings, Star

Vicki Lane said...

June and Alan -- It really is fun to study those faces! And I love the clothing!

Happy weekend to you, Sam! I'll bet you're cooking something wonderful!

Miss Yves -- love the haiku!

In the old albums
Faces look toward the future --
Now all are faded.

Such a good comment on the bittersweet feeling I get looking at all the photos. (I need to work on my translation.)

Kat -- She is a little strange, indeed!

Meri, I wondered that too. I think she would have liked a brother -- but it well may have been a copy-off-the-blackboard sort of thing.

Thanks, Star -- I really enjoy going through the old albums!

Vagabonde said...

I enjoyed looking at your mum’s pictures. As you know I have been looking at many of mine. Now I don’t understand what you say about her style of writing – that is the way I write but I don’t write too many letters anymore, just birthday cards and so on – do you mean that more people write in print style? When they don’t have to? I only print when on a form it says “print your name.”

Vicki Lane said...

Hi, Vagabonde -- Italic, to some extent, combines the speed of cursive and the legibility of print. I tend to use a sort of modified italic for lists and, indeed, for letters.

I think there are some people whho prefer to print -- my father-in-law wrote a beautiful hand but he also could do a lovely style of printing, mush like architects used to use.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Feel fortunate that you have this wonderful history of your mom in both photos and words. So many family photos and written memorabilia can be found at estate sales -- as no family member has claimed them! Until -- some family member down the road -- oh, too late, gone!

Barbara and Nancy said...

One of the little boys is barefoot. I wonder if it's because it's hot in Florida. They don't look like they're poor. It looks like a very prosperous bunch of kids, judging by their clothes. And such cute outfits they are! Maybe I'm biased, but your Mom is, by far, the cutest fairy.
Barbara

Vicki Lane said...

Folkways - I am blessed in family memorabilia -- from my mother's family and my mother-in-law's family. But almost nothing from the paternal side, alas!

Banar -- My mother was, I think, an oddly beautiful child -- and she was a very beautiful woman. (I take after my father - rather ordinary Scots-Irish looks.)

The clothes in the photo puzzle me. The teacher and some of the children have on sweaters or jackets. But some of the girls have on what look like summer frocks. And then there's the barefoot boy. Hard to figure.

Barry said...

I love that she even saved some of her school work Vicki!

Of course, I'm glad my mother never saved any of mine!

John Hayes said...

Two wonderful photos--love the fairy pic--your mom is the only one who looks happy to be a fairy! Yes, I started "penmanship" (my bete noire) in 3rd grade. I am so happy to make letters with a keyboard!

L. D. Burgus said...

Only child and only grandchild, or just a special one? You have two wonderful photos here.

Nancy said...

Oh, how I love old school class photos. I almost posted one of my mother's class from about the same time period. I just think it's so interesting to look at all the faces. I think the teacher would have had her hands full!

Cursive for me began in 2nd grade, like your mom. Hers looks quite good.

Tipper said...

What wonderful photos! You know-my girls are in 8th grade-and they haven't learned cursive writing yet-I'm not sure they even teach it anymore.

Vicki Lane said...

I'll bet there were some goodies, Barry!

Me too, John -- I'm so used to keyboarding, it's a real struggle to write legibly -- as my family could tell you.

My mother was an only child and therefore my brother and I were 'only' grandchildren -- a very special arrangement, Larry!

Nancy -- I noticed that there seemed to be a wide range of ages in the class -- some pretty big boys there at the rear.

Tipper -- I'm kind of surprised to hear that!