Irene S. Reed High school news, Nov.-Dec. 1949
The following items are from October, November and December issues of the 1949 Irene S. Reed High School weekly newspaper called The Saghalie. The newspaper was a biweekly publication written and edited by the high school journalism classes, typewritten by the typing III class and financed by ads sold to local businesses by the office practices class.
A story on Oct. 21, headlined "Initiation Pranks 'Torture' Pledges," described a day of initiation rites for 19 girls who had qualified for Scarlet "S" Club by earning one or more letters in G.A.A. (Girls Athletic Association) activities. Pledges were required to spend the school day "with their night clothes showing (under skirts and sweaters), wearing slippers, hair in pin curls, and no makeup. Since a day of misery was not enough, initiation exercises continued in the evening. After a brisk warm-up of running laps around the athletic field at 7:15, a whistle was blown. That turned out to mean 50 deep knee bends. Next was a trip to the graveyard (Shelton Cemetery) where they were divided into teams of two, each pair given matches, a pencil and a piece of paper and told to write down 10 names from headstones. Back to the gym for more exercises and groans. To make amends for all that work, Scarlet "S" members served food – a plentiful supply of hot dogs, pop and potato salad."
From a column titled "Our Days," came: "And speaking of horrible things, were you out Halloween night? Ghosts and goblins riding around in cars, with time out to paint cows and tear down a few fences. It was also heard on the grapevine that some boys kept busy putting a baby Austin (that's a car, and no relative to Danny) up on the sidewalk in front of the L.M. The men in the black uniforms didn't like it too well and kept putting the car back on the street. That jolly little game went on for some time."
In November, the Irene S. Reed High School Boys and Girls clubs prepared 14 Thanksgiving baskets that were delivered to needy families on Nov. 23. The clubs worked with the local police and fire departments and the County Welfare Board. Each first-period class prepared a complete basket, often with food left over for baskets being made by combined smaller classes. The major aim of the drive was 100 percent student participation, which was achieved. About half of the student body contributed food items that cost 50 cents and the other half donated 50 cents each.
On Dec. 2, the author of a recurring column titled "Waxy Platter," wrote: "This is your old friend 'Waxy' bringing you something new in the way of a request disk jockey program. You just send in your tune and to whom you want it dedicated, and in four or five months we might get around to mentioning it in this column. Having dispensed with the introductory chit-chat, we'll now get on with the latest requests: First, we have 'Cruising Down the River' for the kids out in Skokomish Valley. Next we'll hear 'I Can Dream, Can't I?' for all the kids who hope to pass physics this next nine weeks. And now, the gala time you've been waiting for – the commercial: Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, Mr. Hermes and teachers: Stay Wither Brothers (competitors of the Lever Brothers brand) want us to tell you about that marvelously exciting new discovery that's not a soap, not a detergent, not a liquid; in fact, it's not much of anything. But how else are the sponsors going to get money? Seriously, if you'll just try our product for two weeks – it will probably take the skin right off your face. It's guaranteed to send that old boyfriend or girlfriend right back to Mama."
In a short opinion column on Dec. 19, an anonymous writer took the opportunity "to give a few boys the back of my hand. You might think it's cute to act up in the cafeteria, but it really isn't at all. Lifting your table with your knees and ramming it into the girls' table is all very amusing to complete idiots, but it doesn't go over big with the girls. There, I've said it – and I'm glad! Here's a parting thought: everyone watch the boys' table at noon and you will agree that the ones who are acting up are stupid, contemptible, thoughtless little apes."
On Dec. 19, "An Ode to Mr. Dombroski" (the high school basketball coach) was offered on the sports page:
Woe is me, the season's here, the time for court and cage.
My hair is slowly turning white, I soon will show my age.
I work my team from three to six, I teach them all I know.
I coach 'em, drill 'em, beat 'em, kill 'em, and wait for improvement to show.
The league is tough, the schedule too; may the good Lord hear my plea:
Sometime before the Hoquiam game, please send some lettermen to me.
■ Jan Parker is a researcher for the Mason County Historical Museum. She can be reached at [email protected]. Membership in the Mason County Historical Society is $25 per year. For a limited time, new members will receive a free copy of the book "Shelton, the First Century Plus Ten."