Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sadie Hawkins Day and All Male Weddings

On the list of books I'll never write is one about two strange role reversal customs that spread through the country in the fifties and sixties. Alas, I remember them well!

Sadie Hawkins Day was a much anticipated activity each year at my high school. Originally a part of Al Capp's Lil Abner comic strip, this yearly event was based on a character who was so homely, no man would ever select her to be his wife. Realizing the dismal prospects, her father rounded up all the eligible bachelors in Dogpatch and under threat of a shotgun, forced them into a race. The slowest runner would be caught by his Sadie and she would marry her prize.

From the time it was originated in 1937 to the years when I was in school it had evolved into a major social event. Girls invited boys to be their beaus for the one day, unheard of in a society where (proper) girls could NOT ever call boys on the telephone. Ever. Except the week leading up to this momentous day, that is. The inviting came after much discussion between saddle-shoed, poodle skirted girls whispering and giggling in the cafeteria line. Pity the poor boy who was picked by a less than adorable girl. More than that, pity the poor boy who was never picked. Talk about role reversals!

On Sadie Hawkins Day morning, the girls labeled their selections with signs or hats or matching costumes, and made them off limits for all others. The day ended with a dance. Fun for all, right? Looking back, I'm sure the boys dreaded the day. (That thought never occurred to me until now, by the way!)

So the Sadie Hawkins Day boys grew into men and faced yet another dreaded custom. The All Male Wedding Fund Raiser.

Here's a lovely "bride" waiting to walk down the aisle at the school auditorium. What personality type was able to do this all in the name of charity? The former class clown, that's who! Maybe even the one who wore the crown at the Sadie Hawkins Day dance.

Of course the production took a gaggle of class clowns. Who would pay to watch such foolishness? An auditorium full did. 

In this politically corrected society, these customs have faded into a blip on yesterday's radar. Life was simple once upon a time back when no one thought to take issue with either custom. I'm wondering what customs we do now will be looked on with dismay by our future generations!

Catch of the day,


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day 
from me to you, borrowed from a penny postcard from the early 1900's:

Muse bid the morn awake
Sad winter now declines

I'm needing a muse about now, so if Valentine's Day awakens it, all the better since there's nothing like starting with Valentine inspired love. 

This winter has found me busy at most everything except writing for myself. That will come I have no doubt. Sad winter now declines, according to this year's Groundhog Day prediction, and I'm hoping for an early spring to start my forays into the western North Carolina mountains. Spring comes late there in the deep hidden coves where the ice covered back roads between me and my interview destinations make driving (for this foothill girl) impossible.

Perhaps Valentine's Day has been lost in the mix this year. February has been full of minor celebrations starting with Groundhog Day, through the much anticipated fiftieth Superbowl, then Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, President's Day, and the always anticipated Snow Days when the world comes to a halt and we breathe. And then we get tired of snow and wonder if spring will ever come. We all need a penny post card like this one to remind us, as Shelley posed in Ode to the West Wind, "O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind."

We celebrate well. This February we've looked for inspiration, and for distraction, and it's only half over. We need the happiness of red hearts and chocolate and candy and the penny post cards that are now four dollars to lift our spirits in the dreary winter. Valentine's Day can't be forgotten.

Catch of the day,


Monday, February 8, 2016

Super Bowl Lessons Learned



Those are the two bold faced, inch and a half tall headlines in sections of this morning's Charlotte Observer after the Panther's loss to the Broncos in yesterday's Super Bowl.

Since I left the field of teaching, there have been few times when I really, really miss it. Today is one of those days. I will miss being a part of the lessons learned from this blow to our Carolina ego.

I taught Head Start preschoolers long enough to realize I was too tall to constantly bend over, but if I were with children that young today, I would not ignore the chance for some Super learning. Oh, yes, these children knew on their own level how important the game was. These are the temper tantrum years when crying is the response. I'd wipe the tears and hug them. I might even proudly wear a panther shirt just to show them I still care. It's the visual of the day after that will mean something to them. Well, maybe not that visual!

I taught the middle grades, third, fourth and fifth graders. Those are the children that are on the cusp of understanding the significance of a loss. They are the physical learners, the ones who I'd bet punched the wall (along with their daddies) every time the other team scored. With them I would talk about sportsmanship and losing with grace. We'd do the dab, which now looks more like hiding the face in shame. And we'd pound our desks with a "keep pounding" attitude and learn that being heartbroken over losing also means becoming stronger. And then we'd get back to the business of school because that's what this age group needs. Normalcy. 

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers with a score of 24 to 10 to win Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
I taught eighth grade one year and loved it. These are the students who want so much to be grown, but still have childlike moments (if they are caught off guard). With them I would do all the above and then I would pull out the Casey at the Bat poem and read it to them. We'd discuss Mudville and the people's reaction to Casey striking out and compare it to Cam Newton and his post-game shenanigans at the press conference. We'd talk about emotions and losing and how to deal with adversity. And then we'd get back to normal, because like the younger set, that's what these early teens need.

I also taught freshmen at Appalachian State University and at Caldwell Community College. This is the age group I would most like to discuss the game and learn lessons right alongside. I love teaching adults because we meet on level ground and talk things out. We'd do all of the above and then we'd add the element of youth and razzle-dazzle versus experience and serenity. Adults need lessons, too, after all.

How Carolinians react now will reveal the true makeup of our state and I'm talking both fans and everyone associated with the team. We have much to be proud of. Keep pounding everyone. Defeat is not an option because there's always next year. 

Teachers, don't miss your opportunity! There are here lessons to learn.

Catch of the day,


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Super Bowl

Not that I ever attended a Super Bowl or anything, but if I ever had any desire to do that, it would be this year.

I've been to only a few professional football games. Cleveland. Denver. Carolinas. Each was entertaining, but I can't even remember who played beyond the home team, or if that home team won. I was more the marching band football supporter growing up. What happened off the field was entertainment enough for me.

Until now. Maybe it's the fact that the television stations I tune to originate from Charlotte, the home of the Carolina Panthers. Maybe it's the fact that I read the Charlotte Observer every morning, including the Panther inserts that have been included for over a week. Maybe it's the constant facebook posts about the game. Maybe it's because I know some people who were lucky enough to win the lottery for tickets and able to plunk down a mini fortune. But more than likely it's the fact that I live in the Carolinas and can't avoid the hype. (We're not North or South for now. We're one Carolina, in case you haven't heard.)

For a word oriented person like me, I've had fun watching how people use words and images to show support. Like dab, and thank you to the several people who posted these pictures on facebook:

Cam Newton dabbing
Dabbing at a workplace
Eighth Grade dabbing
Residents at a rest home dabbing

And a play on words for those of us who remember Little Debbie:

My favorite is the road sign driving north from Charlotte where there's a small town named Denver and another named Newton...Cam Newton...Quarterback for the Panthers...

Of course a driver on the north side of those cities would see completely different road sign, but no one has dared to post a photograph of that. I'll follow up this post next Monday when we see if the sign was an omen. Or not.

Yes, it's been fun watching from the sidelines. I can't seem to shake that marching-band-member-turned-author syndrome.

Catch of the day,