Friday, September 28, 2012

Sepia Saturday: First Love


Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.




This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt features boys with their cleats.  What would football be without cheerleaders? 

Are you ready?  Let’s go!   

1 – 2 – 3 – 4
3 – 2 – 1 – 4
WHO for?
WHAT for?
WHO ya gonna yell for?
CRADOCK!

That was one of the cheers my mother used to perform in her high school days.  She even showed me how:  Snap your fingers with every number and twist your feet and body left and right as you work your way to the floor counting 1-2-3-4, and then twist yourself back up on the 3-2-1-4, snapping all the way.  Now jump and yell for your team!  Cradock High, of course.

During her senior year 1945-46, Momma was co-captain of the Cradock High School cheerleaders. And just like in the plot of an old sentimental movie, she was dating the ultimate guy with cleats: the captain of the football team, Richard Edward “Dickie” Blanks, Jr. 

Dickie Blanks and Mary Eleanor Davis
in front of Cradock High School 1945


Dickie was sooooooooo good-looking.  And popular.  He was  elected King of the May Court, Senior class president, and president of the Hi-Y.  He starred in the school play and helped edit the yearbook.  In sports, he did it all.  He ran track, played basketball serving as captain of the team, as well as captain of both his baseball and football teams.  No wonder the class voted him “Most Athletic” and “Best All Around.”

Momma and Dickie were very popular as individuals but more so as a couple.  The Senior Class “Last Will & Testament” bequeathed Dickie and Mary Eleanor’s ability at going steady to a couple of underclassmen who apparently needed some inspiration.

After high school, Dickie packed his cleats and headed to Davidson College in North Carolina, a school known for selecting students with academic promise and good character.  While there, Dickie donned the red and black jersey and contributed to many Wildcat wins in football.  

The local paper was proud of the number of Virginia boys playing
for Davidson College.  Dickie is #20 on the back row.
I suspect Momma is the one who circled his head.

And Momma continued her cheering efforts at Shenandoah College.  



It appears the two kept in touch for awhile in their college days, but they did not live up to the Senior Class Prophecy which pictured Dickie as an All-American center for the Cleveland Rams, sitting on a mink-covered sofa with his beautiful wife Mary Eleanor. 

Nope, didn’t happen.


Put on your cleats and make tracks over to Sepia Saturday to see how others interpreted this week’s theme.




©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

54 comments:

  1. Hi Wendy! What a wonderful post of the sweethearts. Your Mom is so pretty and it looks like Dickie should have gone into acting. Dang. Thanks for sharing this with us, I loved it.

    Kathy M.

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. Yeah, Dickie was a looker!

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  2. What a fun trip down memory lane! Your mom is so very pretty. How old were you when she was teaching you her cheers?

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    1. Hey Jana. I was probably in high school, when cheers were a big deal. However, our family loves to relive a story, so Momma might have repeated that cheer complete with finger snaps throughout her life. HA~

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  3. What a great link from the football boots to cheerleaders, and the photographs of your mother and Dickie made me think of the musical "Grease"

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    1. Funny you should mention "Grease" because when I was putting this post together I was going to make that connection but decided against it.

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  4. Is he really wearing loafers with no socks? That was really big in the 60s, but I didn't know it was going on back in the mid-40s. Funny...I was born the year your mother and Dickie were seniors! Wonderful story...

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    1. No, I'm pretty sure those are just thin light-colored socks. You sound like me - I'm forever figuring my age in relation to whatever story someone is relating about their family.

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  5. Such a pity we don't have cheerleaders here :(

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    1. This is such a revelation. I never thought about cheerleaders being an American phenomenon. I'll probably puzzle about this the rest of the evening.

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    2. They have them for many types of international tem sports nowadays, viz. rugby league football in Australia and NZ, but I always had the impression that they were originally an American thing.

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    3. Thanks Brett. I thought there were some American-style football teams in Europe and assumed cheerleaders were part of the package.

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  6. HipHipHooRay for YOU...putting together this great post from the 'Cleats' prompt. Such special pictures and memories your Mom shared with you...love the Cheer and the Class Prophecy story. Yep, Dickie was sooooo goodlooking and your Mom very pretty. Neat post, Wendy!

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  7. What a nice twist (3-2-1-4) on the theme. Your mom must have been a very peppy teen to cheer for both high school and college. Did your dad know about Dickie? Is that a whole other story?
    Nancy

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    1. Momma and Daddy met while in college, but yes, Daddy knew ABOUT Dickie, but I don't know if they knew each other.

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  8. Great story, and all the photos and certificates to back it up - perfect for Sepia Saturday.

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  9. Great story and photos. So what happened to Dickie?

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    1. I don't really know. Momma was very active with her high school alumni, particularly in the 1980s-90s, and until she became too ill. I don't remember her saying whether Dickie ever attended the reunions. But I did look online for him when I was writing the SS piece and found him in a St. Petersburg, Florida city directory dated about 1993.

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    2. Dickie did come to the last reunion Momma and Daddy attended. So, I guess Daddy did meet Dickie. I remember Momma saying she had no idea what she would even talk to him about. LOL He called Momma when he learned she had Ovarian Cancer =(

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  10. Excellent post! 1-2-3-4 Who ya gonna yell for...Wendy that's who!! I enjoyed seeing the photos and reading about your mother's first love. She was so lovely and Dickie was a handsome guy.

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  11. A handsome couple Wendy. Your Mom was the epitome of cheerleader-style and beauty, and Dickie has something of the movie-star looks of that era. Just look at his stance in that third photograph! A very enjoyable post all round.

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    1. My thoughts exactly about that pose -- truly Mr. Cool.

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    2. I couldn't resist any longer, I am now 'following' you, so remember to look behind :)

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    3. Hey - that's no nice of you! Thanks ~

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  12. Good thing it didn't happen, huh, or you wouldn't be here to tell us about it? Loved the story!

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  13. Gee did you ever bring back some great - cheering - memories. What a beautiful mother and how much fun I just know she had in those good old days! Great post Wendy!

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    1. Thanks Karen! Momma did indeed have fun in high school.

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  14. A predictable love story, but without the Hollywood ending...
    A bit sad, from a romantic point of view, but people have to lead their own lives, and if it wasn't meant to be, so be it!! Me likes a Hollywood ending, you see?!?...
    ;)~
    HUGZ

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    1. There is a bit of the ol' Hollywood story here, but if this story had had a different ending, who would be telling it??

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  15. I was never a cheerleader—but I wanted to be. :)

    Great story!

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    1. Didn't everybody?? Cheerleaders ruled!

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  16. Take the theme and run with it across the goal line! Growing up in Virginia Beach, I remember Cradock High as the only regional school with a funnier name than ours - Cox High.

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    1. Cox High?!?
      You're joking, right?!?...
      ;D~
      HUGZ

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    2. Hmm, interesting. I guess since I grew up in Cradock, the name to me was just "normal." I never thought "Cox" was funny either until Ticklebear chimed in. Boys! Boys!

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  17. They sure did make a lovely couple. What a great athlete he was.

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    1. To be on so many teams is one thing but to be chosen captain of each one is pretty remarkable.

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  18. We missed out on cheerleaders when I was their age. Mixing betwen the boys' and girls' schools was not possible at matches. However we can vouch for a 'match' taking place - no cheerleader needed.
    A beautiful girl and a handsome boy, bet they had fun.

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    1. Did the schools have dances and invite the other schools?

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  19. It's always fascinating to see your parents as people in their own right, enjoying themselves before you were even a twinkle!

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  20. Just shows that all those films set in high school were true, I think these two could have starred. What fun that your mother could still do the chant and moves.

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    1. That's right -- movies are just like real life! ;-)

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  21. Oh, they must have made such a handsome couple! We don't have Class "Last Will and Testaments" in Scotland - I'm off to investigate :-) Jo

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    1. The Last Will & Testament was a way to have a little fun, make playful jokes about the teachers or other students or even oneself. When I was in school, it was published in the Senior edition of the school newspaper, typically the last one of the year.

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    2. That's an interesting tradition for the end of year celebrations! Jo

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  22. And it's just as well that they moved on to the bigger world. You for one benefited greatly I'd say.

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  23. My mother had a similar high school story except her Dickie was Gordon.....and he was my dad!!!!

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    1. Oh fun -- a different ending to that story.

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