Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

March 26, 2014

Pat Smith: School songs conjure nostalgia

Greensburg Daily News

---- — No matter how many years pass there’s still some nostalgia when our school songs are remembered.

Yes, I can’t stop looking at Hilda Meek’s 1924 autograph book she when graduating from Sandusky High School. It’s on loan from Jennie Coy. Last week I spelled Rollen Brockinmire wrong. It is Brokelmier (thanks, Kathleen).

Our school songs bring back some happy or maybe a few sad memories, so here’s to a few reflective moments for all graduates of Sandusky – and while we’re at it, our own schools (Sung to the tune of That Old Gang of Mine): “Yes, we want to sing the praise, of the school for many days.

We have pondered over books galore

Trying hard to see the way

Through the problems of each day

That our minds with useful knowledge we may store.


Hip, hurrah, for old Sandusky;

Dear old school we love you so,

We will raise your banner high

As the days and weeks go by

For you are the best of all the schools we know.

We are learning things you see

That in other days shall be Useful when we find our places in the sun.

And on graduation day May we hear our teachers say

That they’re proud of us because our work well done.

A handwritten invitation written in verse form from the junior class at Sandusky High is included in the book. “On April Seventeenth Nineteen twenty four / At a reception we welcome you once more. Don’t disappoint us by not being there / At eight O’clock sharp Be in your chair.” (Auditorium)

One of the most interesting pages in yearbooks are the wills. A senior wills a certain trait or object to someone else in the school. Our curiosity about the story behind the gifts can’t be satisfied. Hilda willed several items: I do hereby will and bequeath my dear old civics book to P.J. hoping that he will have better success with it than I have. To Dorothy Hurt I will my vanity case, hoping she will find it very useful. To Miss Gilchrist my part as maid in the class play so that she may be able to wait on Mr. Johnson. To Mr. Griffith my loving disposition, to Mr. Logan my serious attitude toward life affairs.

Benton Judy willed to Al Fightmaster “my remaining ink bottles, hoping that it will be a remembrance to him of the days when he amused himself by throwing my ink bottles and books out of the window. To Lorin Root I will my black mustache, which I used in the class play, for fear that he will never have a real one.”

Irene Sefton willed “My knowledge of face powder to John Thrine (Thrine was in the senior play). To Mr. Logan the address of a “good dry cleaning establishment.” Louise Sefton presented to John Thrine “my admiration for ditties in which the verses and choruses are alike.” Lena Seright willed her favorite expressions ‘Oh Crimeny’ and ‘For Crab’s Sake” to Miss Eddleman.”

Hilda put pictures of her friends in the book but seldom included the name of the person pictured. Of course, she never thought that 90 years later somebody would write about her book and she knew she’d never forget those she pictured. She pressed a flower, “from my commencement April 21, 1924,” but the flower has become dust over the years. In excellent shape though was the rose pressed “from a bouquet from Aunt Mae and Uncle Charlie” that had been sent to her mother when she was in the hospital Nov. 9, 1926.

Hilda had a dinner party around the time of graduation. She wrote, Miss Hilda Meek entertained at her home north of town Tuesday evening with a chicken dinner. The guests were Misses Louise Davis and Ruby Kitchen of Milroy and Justine Stotsenburg, Messrs John Meek, Robert Kennitt of Milroy and Ralph Hite. After dinner we went to see the show at Greensburg, “One Year to Live.” I was with John. I sure had a fine time.”

There are newspaper pictures of other sports players including Leonard Neinaber, Alden Westhafer, Paul Barringer and William (Billie) Magee. There is a news clipping, “Local Boy Goes to West Point.” The story is about Justin Wickens, son of Judge Hugh Wickens, who had received the appointment from Congressman Canfield.

After high school Hilda studied at Central Business College in Indianapolis and married William Sefton. This autograph book has been fascinating to me and again I thank Jeanie Coy for allowing me to share it with you.