Monday, September 7, 2009

High school girls

I work at an old private school. A very old private school. And its halls are lined with photos of the girls who have graduated from this school in its 130+ years. So one day, armed with a camera and inspired by my dear new friend Amy, I took a few pictures of these girls.

In the main entryway, there are photos of some of the earliest classes.

Here is the Class of 1899, all done up in their finest dresses. Party like it's.. oh wait. Yeah, that was probably a much tamer party. But oh, to be 18 in 1899!

Kate and Ethel from the class of 1900. They got a little crazy with the hair accessories that year.

There's a ghost story associated with the class of 1920. One of their dearest, favorite nuns died that year. Everyone had gathered outside for the class photo, including the nuns, but when the picture was developed, there is a nun spotted in the window. If everyone was outside, then who was in the window? It was all agreed - the nun who died.

Can you see her now? Spooky. Or sweet - depends on which way you look at it.

Oh Miss Nellie Kirby, class of 1924. How I love her so. The other girls in her class had fluffed out their hair or worn lace collars or fancy necklaces, but not Nellie. She's like, "Go on vain girls. I'm just me." I suspect she was much beloved, always quick with a joke, a true dry wit.

Oh my goodness, what is going on with Rose? She looks a bit cross. Do you think she was upset that she was 3rd Essayist rather than 2nd or 1st of the class of 1927? Perhaps she was jealous of the valedictorian..

Doryoalace is my favorite girl in the whole hallway of pictures. She was class of 1932. These days, in one visit to Northpark Mall, she'd be spotted by someone and sent off to Paris to walk the runways as a model. Before long, she'd sign a contract to be the face of Estee Lauder. She'd attend fancy parties in New York and hang out with fabulous people.

With such a unique name, I was able to google Miss Watson and found she passed away in 1995 at age 81, still Miss Doryoalace Watson. She was not a fabulous model, but a clerk for the Texas & Pacific Railroad and an art teacher. The only survivor listed is a sister, so I think perhaps she never married. Can you imagine? And such a beauty. I wish I knew more about her.

Oh Winnie. Winnie McBean. Somehow, you get the sense that she was just not amused by her name. Perhaps it was more common in 1934. At any rate, it should be more common now I think. Gone are the days of the Winnies, and we are worse off for it.

There are pictures of a few more girls on my Flickr, and about a bajillion more lining the halls of the school, watching over the class of 2013 (!) as they come rumbling in. Perhaps I'll do a round two someday.

Okay Amy, there's your present. Hope you liked it!


Tara said...

I love this! The historian in me is just eating it all up and the teacher is wondering what became of all of the students.

Are you teaching at Ursuline Academy? The Catholic school I taught at in GA was founded by (in 1960) and run (until 1997) Sisters from the Ursuline Order (from County Cork, Ireland). I wonder if these Ursuline Sisters are of the same order?

I love the ghost story. I could see the nun in the window.

Doryoalace's photo was stunning. She really was such a looker.

I'm off to go look at your Flickr pics to see the rest!

Tara said...

PS. LOVE Amy's blog! Thanks for linking her!

Emerson Merrick said...

I love you i love you i love you!

And question of the century- how did that girl c.1900 get her bow to stand upside down?

brandi said...

oh man, i love this so much. thank you!

Elizabeth A. said...

Yay, the Ursuline girls are a hit! Dory was a beauty, such penetrating eyes. Not all beauties marry. :)
Your mom and dad were fishing together? I recognize that boat... :) Yay spring break 2001(?)...or was it earlier...2000?

penelope said...

winnie mcbean! fantastic! this is one of my favorite posts! thanks so much....

staceyvee said...

okay, I cannot wait to look at your flickr page... thanks so much for sharing these, they're great.

Rose may not have been happy being a Rose, and longed to be a Roy.

The nun in the window is so cool and I don't think Winnie was amused buy much.

I love those old names MIL is an Edna.

Yummy Lavender said...

Spooky story!
I too work in an old girls' school over in the UK, and in the oldest part of the building it is said that a ghost makes himself known from time to time if you stay too late, as if the original student / mistresses were reclaiming their space after the final bell has rung.

tierd said...

This was a fascinating post! I spent about 15 minutes soaking in the pictures! When I see old pictures of people, I always like to imagine the moments AFTER the shot was done. I picture them moving, smiling, frowning, loosening up from whatever pose they were in, and wish I could have been there so to see how it really was.

Doryoalace is a mystery indeed - and I'd love to know more about her too.