Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt shows some festive revelers dancing around a May Pole. Had you been in Dayton, Virginia, in 1948, you might have been among the throngs eagerly anticipating the 14th annual May Day festivities at Shenandoah College & Conservatory. You would also have seen my mother Mary Eleanor Davis (Slade) serving as the Maid of Honor.
Judging by the amount of press, May Day was a big deal in Dayton. An article appeared in the local newspaper:
· Queen of the May – Hilda Maulden of Kannapolis, NC
· Maid of Honor – Mary Eleanor Davis of Portsmouth, VA
· Members of the court: Betty Kyle, Conservatory senior; Jane Keiter, College senior; Rebecca Grimes, Conservatory junior; Julia Ring, Conservatory sophomore; Sue Buchanan, Conservatory freshman; Undine Bridgers, College freshman
· Lou Salmons and Nancy Caskey to bear gifts to Queen Shenandoah from the College and Conservatory
· Pageant “Festival of Flowers” to follow coronation; music by Conservatory orchestra
· May Day and Homecoming were combined
(Click on the images if you want to enlarge them.)
The school newspaper, The Arrowhead, ran both a front page article and editorial.
The article includes many of the same facts as reported in the local newspaper. But here are a couple interesting tidbits:
· May Day festivities were traditional in colleges and universities throughout the United States.
· The representatives of the court were to wear pale orchid gowns.
· The maid of honor (my mother) would be wearing delicate green.
· The Queen would wear a beautiful white gown.
|The sun must have been in |
Momma's eyes. There's also a lot
of glare on that delicate green dress.
The editorial amuses me with its grandiloquence. One would think Miss Hilda Maulden was going to reign over the world, not just the May Day festivities.
|from The Arrowhead (XI.7) April 1948|
On the head of a petite brunette here on our campus next month will be placed the crown of Queen Shenandoah XIV.
Our queen will be taking over her throne not by force, nor bloodshed, but by the democratic vote of her fellow-students here on the campus.
Queen Shenandoah, we of the college feel that we could not have improved upon the selection of a queen to reign at our May Day festivities and we selected you in knowing that you will carry out your tasks before the public in an excellent manner. [ I wonder what she had to do besides smile and wave.]
You will take over the throne from Queen Shenandoah XIII who reigned here last year and to both of you who we have marked down as “tops” in our college life we want to wish a joyous day on May Day with many more of same to follow.
To we here on the campus Queen Shenandoah XIV you truly represent the typical picture of American happiness. [Don’t get me started on THAT grammar error!]
We have watched you in your college life giving out with a cheery “hello” to your many friends.
We have watched you help out others who needed help.
We watched you with your late little dog who has passed on and knowing you had the kindness you always displayed toward that pet we truly could think of nothing but these lines to say when we learned that our student body had selected you as Queen Shenandoah XIV:
“Queen Shenandoah XIV, may your reign be a long and happy one, we look forward with great eagerness to your coronation. Hail Queen Shenandoah XIV!”
Here is the program from the May Day Festival at Shenandoah College, 1948.
|Program cover |
featuring Hilda Maulden
Mary Eleanor Davis is in the middle
It’s too bad that I have no picture of the May Pole dance that preceded the recessional. It probably was quite similar to the one at Madison College, Harrisonburg, Virginia, 1950.
|Scanned from the 1950 Madison College yearbook|
The School Ma'am
For more merriment, grab a ribbon and wind your way over to Sepia Saturday.