Thursday, June 28, 2012

Those Places Thursday: The School Song


Those Places is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that invites family historians to post photos and stories about places their ancestors lived. 


This is the fifth in a series based on my great-aunt Velma Davis Woodring’s scrapbook that she kept during her freshman year at Harrisonburg Teachers College (now James Madison University). 


Scattered throughout Velma’s scrapbook are funny little poems and songs.  The “School Song” perfectly captures college freshman angst.


        School Song
17 days of starvation
Then we go to the station
Back to civilization.
The train will carry us there.
Seventeen days of vacation
Then we go to the station
Back to ____ and ____
The train will carry us there.

(I wonder how the girls of HTC filled in the blanks.)





This unidentified friend of Velma might be longing for a ride to Richmond, but I’m longing to know whose fingers are hanging onto the sign and feet are dangling below. 

















Velma’s friend Bill Porter (yeah, she’s a girl - the one on the right) and an unidentified friend wait at the train station on campus.  They probably did not really travel home dressed like this.  They might have been going to Massanutten Mountain for a hike.  Still, that must have been where Velma stood to catch the train to Shenandoah for 17 days of vacation in civilization.












Between train trips home, college freshmen probably wrote a lot of letters about the terrible food, the difficult tests, and unreasonable professors.

This March 26, 1925 picture is captioned "Tommy."  I don't know what's up with all these girls with boys' names.  I do not see any girl in Velma's yearbook with this name.  Maybe it's a nickname for her last name -- maybe she's Somebody Thomas or Thompson.  


The train and mailbox provided an important lifeline to those college freshmen longing for home.









10 comments:

  1. I didn't see the fingers hanging on and the feet dangling until you pointed them out then it made me laugh.

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    1. I didn't notice them either until I scanned the photo. The scan came up bigger than the original.

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  2. the journey to Richmond looks an interesting one!

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  3. Like Sally, I didn't notice the fingers and feet until you pointed them out. :)

    Maybe they filled in the blanks with boys' names. ;)

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    1. You're nicer than I am -- I was trying to think of bad words because I assumed the student wasn't happy to return.

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  4. Those fingers and feet dangling are a crack up! I didn't notice them until you pointed them out. Silly kids! I wonder why they did that...didn't want their picture taken or what?

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    1. If only the picture-taker hadn't cut their heads off!

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  5. Velma's album is a real treasure is so many ways. The photographer had a good eye and great timing for the shutter.

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    1. I love the girl on her tiptoes to reach the mailbox.

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