Wednesday, August 26, 2015

35. Class Schedules, Sports and the Teen Canteen

On our first day as freshmen at Gettysburg High School in 1945, Nancy and I found our homerooms with no problem, but locating our classrooms for English, Algebra, Biology, Civics and Latin were a bit more difficult. Yes, we took Latin, and we were bored.  

When it was time to consider clubs and activities, Nancy was elected to the Student Council and chose to work in the library. She was also very enthusiastic about joining the Girls’ Athletic Association, and over the next four years she was very active in basketball, volleyball and field hockey. Unfortunately, there were no interscholastic teams for girls at that time. I played JV football and basketball and won a letter in Varsity track in the spring.   

An article that fall in the Maroon and White, our school newspaper, reviewed the previous two varsity football seasons reporting that the team only won one game. During that time, they were outscored 409 to 42. We wondered what it would take that year to make the team a winner?

An article in that same paper urged students to “do your bit to give your athletic teams a new name.” Unfortunately, Nancy and I were seniors before our teams would no longer be called, “Junior Bullets” or “Little Bullets.” names borrowed from the “Bullets” of Gettysburg College.

Outside of school, Nancy and I were socially active with our friends often at the Teen Canteen on Friday and Saturday nights. Opened in 1944 in the YWCA on the square, it was later moved to a vacant building in the first block of Baltimore Street. We slow danced and jitterbugged to the music of Harry James, Les Brown, Johnny Mercer and the other bands of the Swing Era.

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