This Guilford class photo dates to 1933. My mom is third from the left, in the first row of standing girls. She graduated from high school in 1937, so she would have been in the 8th grade here. Her high school class only had about 35 kids in it, and there are about 45 kids in this photo, so I think this must be more than one class. I'm struck at how nicely dressed the kids are, and this was in the midst of the Depression. I'm sure everyone wore their "best" clothes for the school picture, but they also look happy and healthy. Whatever was going on at home at this time, whatever economic distress their parents were feeling, must have been kept from the kids as much as possible. My mother never got over her "Depression" mindset, though. Throughout her life she never wasted money, hated seeing people flaunt their wealth, and always looked after those with less, making sure those with the least in our community had decent healthcare and food for their tables.
And a Younger Class During the Same Period
Perhaps the same year as my mother's photo at the top of this post, her younger sister, my aunt Hoohoo was in the 1st or 2nd grade, in a school across the Green from my mother's. Hoohoo is in the bottom row of seated girls, 2nd from the left, wearing a dark "flounce" in her hair, and an outfit with a decorative V collar. Again, I'm struck at how "normal" these kids look, at one of the worst economic times our country has ever seen. This was the period of time, though, when Hoohoo was drawing on brown paper bags, cut up and flattened out by her mother, instead of fancy drawing pads. Times weren't easy, but it's clear everyone tried to shield the hardships from their children.
"Paperbag Dreams," created from one of Hoohoo's Depression-era drawings done on a brown paperbag, instead of drawing paper. The photograph is a school photo of Hoohoo at the age she was when she did this charcoal drawing. My piece is on plywood and has paint, tissue paper, silver foil, and dried leaves, in addition to the original drawing. 24" x 24".