Thursday, November 18, 2010

Windows, part II

Windows in the 1940's were for more than just looking through to see outside (and daydream about being out there). They were tools. For example, this school had no cafeteria. Often children went home for lunch if they lived close enough to hurry home, eat and hurry back. But the majority brought lunch with them, including a pint jar of milk. No refrigerator, no problem. Open the window, stick the jar on the outside ledge. By lunchtime in the coldest of winter, the milk had ice crystals for a special treat. By lunchtime on the warm days, the milk was a tad bit on the warm side, as if fresh from the cow.

Because there were five or six of those giant windows in each classroom, there was plenty of light and the two electric light bulbs dangling from the ceilings were rarely turned on. This presented a problem on bright sunny days since there were no shades. To solve this the teachers covered the inside of the windows with newspapers. Not the whole thing, because that would defeat the purpose of the windows. They would patchwork quit it. A pane here, a pane there.

I can imagine driving past the front of the school and taking a quick glance and then a second glance. Milk jars lined up all in a row. Blotches on the window panes. What a sight.

Catch of the day,



  1. This post opened the windows of nostalgia!

    I was born in 1940, and remember taking my lunch to school. When I visited my country cousins, I remember the wonderful hot school lunches. No fast food restaurants with greasy, salty food. It really was a good time to be a child!

    Thanks for prodding memories! I hope you're having a good day!!

  2. Tidbits. That's what you're discovering--interesting tidbits. Have you interviwed any Korean war vets? I'm going to have to find a few for my WIP and I thought maybe you have one or two up your sleeve (so to speak)