Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wistful Wednesday : 1958-1959

Recently one of my husbands classmates shared this old photo.  It was the third grade class in 1958-1959 at the Osage School.  Mrs. Stearns was the teacher.  She was also my third grade teacher.  ( I was in second grade when this photo was taken.)

3rd grade class 1958 and 1959 Mrs Stearns Third Grade Osage MN

We have identified all but two or three of the students.  I dated Bobby ( loud plaid shirt) in the back row, he died in 1972 from injuries sustained in a snowmobile accident. Ken died in 2005 he is next to Bobby.   Rhonda is in the front row, third from the left with the scarf, she died in 2009 from MRSA and complications from MS, gosh I miss her.  Johnnie fourth from the right in the front row died in 2005 from sleep apnea.  In the middle row is Diane (white blouse) who died of cancer in 1995.

Several of us…including Bill in the back row second from the right commented on Gary the ladies man (plaid shirt front row) being between Rhonda and Gloria.   Far Guys cousin Alaska Guy is on the left end of the front row.

A few days after seeing this photo Gary with the plaid shirt in the front row died.  He was awaiting a lung transplant.  He had some kind of hereditary lung disease.   We  visited with Barb (Gary’s wife) just two days before his death, she was getting her ducks in a row to head to Mayo, she said Gary was sick and had been up all night coughing…the next day she took him into the ER.  

Gary and Barb got married right after Gary turned 18 in February 1967.  They were both Juniors in High School at the time.  They were madly in love and got married in the church across from the High School.  They were married 47 years. 

Back in 1967 you could not be married and be in High School.  You could be pregnant and a tutor was assigned to you but if you were married and not pregnant you were not allowed to attend.  ( Perhaps being married and having sex would rub off on other students…)

I remember when it was announced that the school officials found out about the marriage and kicked them out of school. (I believe we were in Biology class when they came and got Barb and she came back crying saying she was kicked out of school.)   None of us thought it was fair.  After that there were a few more marriages…but secret ones…announced right after the graduation ceremony…the school officials couldn’t do a thing about it then.

Students should have the right to learn and attend a high school …married or not.  I think it was a form of discrimination which is probably no longer acceptable. 

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23 comments:

  1. It is a shame that so many of your class mates passed too early in life. Has to be some lovely memories though. Of course, when I was in school, I hated it. I was not a very popular kid and got teased quite a bit, I don't think I miss one of my class mates, not a nice way to have to go through school but it wasn't a pleasant experience for me.

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  2. It is bittersweet to look back and see how many have passed away. I know Gary's wife appreciated you two visiting with her.

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  3. I have all my school photos to . I look back on them and often wonder what and how all the others are doing . I had one class mate I grew up with from kindergarten to grade 9 and then one day he was missing and he has been missing for over 35 years . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  4. You are lucky to have all those old photos. I have only my 4 high school yearbooks. You know you're getting old when you look back and realize how many old friends have passed away.

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  5. It does make for a wistful Wednesday, but how good to be able to track so many people from so early in your life.
    So harsh back then to make it so difficult for young people (who want to!) to continue their education. Marrying young is difficult enough.

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  6. Yes, I love your new header, too. I laughed at your first sentence when I read "one of my husbands" and wondered who else other than Far Guy you were talking about. But then I read the next word and it made sense. Sorry to hear so many of these young people are now gone. Married 47 years, I guess it took, didn't it? Barb must be having a very hard time; I send her my condolences.

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  7. Some schools still have some pretty stupid rules, not necessarily on marriage, but other VERY dumb rules.

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  8. I hope times have changed to allow student marriages. I honestly can't remember having any married students in my classrooms over the years - pregnant but not married. . .I wonder if there was a school policy.

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  9. It was the same way when I was in high school What an archaic rule.

    Love the old photo!

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  10. Morning, such a treat to receive an old photo like that, Blessings Francine.

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  11. So fun to look back at the old photos and the memories they bring. But sad that so many have died.
    A friend of mine was pregnant her senior year and got married right after graduation. Her husband was a year young but was allowed to finish his senior year.

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  12. I agree. I was shocked to learn that when my son student taught at a progressive public school in the Chicago area, girls who were pregnant were offered another path for their education. They did not have to take it , but he said many did because it was easier academically. I have no issues with women/girls going to school pregnant.
    Part of life. Time to stop harsh judgements….That;s my two cents

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  13. I am happy most off the people in the photo are named (and remembered)!

    It seems so sad that any of them are dead already - Each day is blessing, if we make it one.

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  14. The photo you posted is super. My class will celebrate our 50th reunion this Fall. Our class was 90 + or- students. To date, 19 have died that's 20%. As to the "married" students.....wow things have sure changed. Apparently, at that time, marriage and school weren't compatible. I certainly grew up under strict standards both in school, church and home. Don't think it hurt but sure did show me hypocrisy!

    One of the "things" I truly admire about your blog is you and Far Guy and Chance keep in touch with friends, neighbors and family. Speaking as one who moved away.....those ties are very precious. The crowd that remembers us as we were are very different from those who know us as we are.

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  15. It is always surprising the high percentage of people we lose along the way from our classes.

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  16. It wasn't right then and it still isn't. My wife used to tutor the pregnant ones back in the day. I wish I had some pictures of my elementary classes, though I'm sure I could name some of the boys in 3rd grade and most of the girls. Now wait a minute there......:)

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  17. That practice was so unfair. We had a friend who was kicked out of Parochial school when he was a senior, because his girlfriend was pregnant. That single practice deprived him and his family a life time of more earning power. Glad things have changed since then.

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  18. It's neat that you know what happened to so many of your classmates or where they are now. I went to school with the same kids from 1st grade through high school and I've completely lost track of most of them.

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  19. I've lost track of all the classmates I was with from first grade through eighth grade. After eighth grade we went to a variety of high schools because our township didn't have a high school. I live far enough away from my home area that I've never come across the kids I went to school with. Guess they really aren't "Kids" anymore.

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  20. How wonderful that you not only remember all those young classmates but details of their lives after that point. Right now, though, it sounds like it brings on a melancholy journey down memory lane for you. How sad that Gary didn't quite make it to get his lung transplant. Difficult. I wish the best for Barb. She must have appreciated the time you spent with her...but the time ahead of her won't be easy. I've found that, sometimes, about six months down the road--after all the well wishers who mean well feel that "she'll be okay now" and stop checking on their friend--that a second wave of the worst loneliness kicks in. She'll sure be needing that sense of connection with friends then, too.

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  21. It is an amazing history of people as they leave school and go their different ways. I was from a very small class and one girl left our class our sophomore year and we didn't really know why. One other girl a close friend, left her senior year, being tutored but not allowed in school. It was a month after she left before I really found out why she was gone. Even the girl classmates did not want to explain to me why she was gone and didn't talk about it. I did know she had a boyfriend a year older than her. Times have changed.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie