"Con darling--All your football games!
I got a whiff of the excitement in town the other day--
a bright, cold day and the yellow leaves blowing...
men with red feathers in their derbies
hurrying girls across the street,
and a band in the distance."
This was Anne Morrow Lindbergh writing to her sister Constance. I can't remember which diary this was from but it has always expressed the way I still think of September--football games beginning again!
I'm not a big fan of pro football games, although I love seeing R.H.'s excitement for them. College games are more exciting to me, and I always, always remember the first September Friday nights of my high school football games. The excitement of sitting in the bleachers and watching our team in their orange and white uniforms, and envying the cheerleaders and majorettes with their tan legs.
That picture above, of the cheerleaders in their long skirts? That could be a replica of my high school cheerleaders, their legs showing only from the calf down in their gored skirts unless they twirled or jumped. That's the way girls' skirts were when I was in high school.
Those girls of us sitting in the bleachers wore straight wool skirts to the game, and even with a "kick pleat" in them, we still had to pull up our skirts to climb the bleachers. We were greeted with wolf-whistles from the top row where the hoods sat.
R.H. would pick me up in his '47 Chevy Coupe and take me to the game. My father would be at the game too but we would never have dreamed of letting him ride with us. After the game was over we and some friends would go back to the house where Mama had her wonderful chili waiting for us, or else we'd drive to Shoney's and circle several times around the canopy where you parked to order food just to be sure we were seen. That was cool to do. We almost always ordered fries and hot fudge cake.
Life was good.
I hanker for those days every September, but I also hanker for the college days that I never had.
[McCall's September 1937]
I see a picture like this one above and it makes me long for the days when young women went to college dressed like ladies. [And for your information, 1937 was a little bit before even my mother's time!]
I didn't go to college after high school but went to work as a receptionist and instead got married. Y'all know the story by now, after six years we had our first child. Later, when the first two kids were in elementary school, I went to a community college, taking all the fun courses--literature, creative writing, histories, social studies, and one quarter of psych--no science or math. And no degree, a big regret of mine.
And when I see clothes like this in September issues of my vintage magazines, I hanker for a campus of ivy covered Collegiate Gothic buildings and a Liberal Arts degree.
[Woman's Home Companion September 1941]
I know, today a Liberal Arts degree and $4 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and you might even end up making the coffee.
Still, I hanker after it every September, and for college football games, and most especially for college dances.
This would have been my choice of a dance frock if I'd been a sweet young college freshman in 1927. In 1961, when I would have been a freshman it would probably have been almost as demure since I had been bound for Union University before I refused to go, and they had a strict dress code then. But you know what? It wouldn't have killed me, and I still like demure frocks on young women.
[Woman's Home Companion September 1927]
If you, dear reader, were smart enough and fortunate enough to get that Liberal Arts degree or Engineering degree (like Tara!), or that PhD (like Sheri's daughter!), a round of applause from me! And all of us can do everything we can to encourage our daughters or granddaughters to continue their education. Bribe them if we have to.
My daughter went back when her kids were in school and got her degree and it has opened up career choices that she never would have had without it.
And if you got the degree and turned down the career to instead put a Mrs. in front of your name, the way that many from my generation did, that education is still a "jewel in the pocket" as poet Phyllis McGinley wrote about. You know it's there and it glows just as brightly while you raise children as if you were the CEO of a big corp.
I didn't get my degree and neither did my mother, but we did do a pretty good job of educating ourselves. How? You know the answer to that question....books, books, books, and a lot of curiosity.
What say you, dear readers? How do you feel about what I've written. There's no wrong answer. We're all women friends pulling for each other here at the Window. Here's where we celebrate each other's good fortune and send out love and kindness when one of us is down or on a blogging break due to pneumonia like my friend Tammy.
We won't look at it as one-upsmanship if you tell us you have 3 degrees, we'll pat you on the back and say "well done!" And if like me, you never got that degree and want to tell us how you feel about it, we'll nod our heads and say "I understand, and I'm glad you told us."
Could we possibly do any better than emulate Mr. Fred Rogers and say "I like you just the way you are?"
That's another hankering of mine.