Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Elementary Teachers

Who would know where they are today?

Kindergarten - for me it was Helen Coyle at the Country School
1st Grade - Miss Stover
2nd Grade - don't recall, but I believe it included the word Rose either in the first or last name.
3rd Grade - Olive Rasmussen
4th Grade - Shirley Mitchell (see photo at left - Chuck Hendrickson and I were Candle Lighters at her wedding)
5th Grade - Andrena Hanson (for some of us)
6th Grade - Andrena Hanson Opheim (for some of us)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Mad Men" - the Era of Real Men

My favorite TV show today is "Mad Men", the AMC-TV original series set around a Madison Avenue ad agency. It is so retro including orange and lime pillows, siamese cat silhouette wall hangings, constant smoking, 3-martini lunches, suave men, and women who are there only as objects.

If you haven't watched it, I encourage you to do so. Currently the series is set in 1965 so it's moving past us a little but the cultural take is so accurate. The lead character, Don Draper, said it all regarding the relative place of men and women when he said, "I won't let a woman talk to me this way!" And that is so Don Draper.

When I read that quote in a recent Newsweek I could only think of the superintendent of schools in the small town where I worked after college. One of the bus drivers, surprisingly for that era a woman, had apparently done something wrong, and the superintendent was reaming her out for it. She was a strong woman and was holding up well, but finally gave it up, and burst through the adjoining principal's office in tears, obviously now seeing the true path. (Kidding, ladies!!)

The superintendent sauntered into the principal's office behind her, stood with his hands on his penguin-shaped hips, rocking slightly, and said, "I never met a woman yet I couldn't make cry!"

To read this very interesting article in Newsweek, just click on this link and it will take you there.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dumb as Your Father

Reading a recent email from Richard Holstad, I am reminded of one of our teachers who apparently did not have eyelashes. At least that's the story I was told by female classmates who often would flutter their eyes or stroke their lashes in front of her to tease, I suppose. She would have qualified as a spinster in that day and age, a term not often used today.

In my first teaching job out of college there was a spinster teaching at the junior high level who was well known for her straightforward nature. She had been in the school system for years, and it surprised no one when one day she called out a student in front of the class for being "Dumb, just as dumb as your father and his father before him!"

They don't make 'em like they used to. I suppose that's good.

Friday, August 6, 2010

World's Classiest Letter Jackets

Somewhere in this blog is a picture of Mike Lien posing in his letter jacket. I always thought they were the neatest letter jackets around, and as I grew older, believed that even moreso.

Whenever I planned to go somewhere with Phil Johnson, the last clarifying question from one or the other of us was, "Wearing your letter jacket?" It was the question that never needed to be asked because of course we'd be wearing the letter jacket. With pride.

As seniors, several letter-winners used the several hooks right outside the old study hall as a gathering point, so there would be perhaps 15 or 20 jackets hanging in a row, a sign of pride and ownership.

Several of us attended MCJC and during our sophomore year the NK Letter Jacket became the article of clothing du jour, for some reason, for other students who had NOT attended NKHS.

For reasons I don't fully understand, I had taken the letter off my jacket and it became a lesser piece of clothing; a couple years after getting out of college, I needed a jacket to wear while out painting on a chilly day, and that led to the demise (think of the definition of the word when used in conjunction with the death of royalty) of that jacket, unfortunately. And that was really too bad, because getting the jacket in the first place was a stressful situation, once again at the hands of Buddy Mounts.

At the end of the football season in our junior year, and fully anticipating I would be rewarded with a letter, I ordered the jacket at Gildner's. When it came in, I was proudly wearing it, sans letter, when I was accosted by Coach Mounts. Long story short, I was advised that ONLY LETTER WINNERS were allowed to wear the jacket and how the heck did I know that I was going to be getting a letter?

Well, gees. I had played most of every game and started seven of them. The one game I did not start I was forced to sit out because of a stupid drill that Mounts had put us through that week that resulted in a deep bone bruise in my right thigh, so I could barely run by Friday night. Was it much of a stretch to think a letter might be coming?

By the time the awards assembly was held, Mounts had changed his mind about my deserving a letter, or had decided he had done enough intimidating and I indeed got the letter. And going forward I did indeed wear it with pride. Who knows if it's as difficult to get a letter jacket today as it was back then, but whoever earns one needs to know it remains the World's Classiest.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Today's Viking Logo

Thanks to the magic of computers and today's marketing concepts, today's Vikings have a little different logo than the ones we had. This logo is posted on the school's website.