Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rolled Stockings are the Devil's Work

The following is an excerpt from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In.

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Elvin A. Ames was a teacher at Fullerton Union High School during the “roaring 20s.” At this time, there were a bunch of new clothing fads. One was for women to roll the top of their stockings. Apparently the guys on the school board didn’t take too well to new fads, because of “how serious they were in their religious beliefs” (Ames 15).

Ames recalls an incident of a drama teacher getting fired for wearing rolled stockings: “This particular dramatics teacher was taking a group of students up to a play in Los Angeles and she had to step rather high when she got on the train. Her dress slipped up a little bit and showed she had rolled her stockings. One of the board members who was down there to see them off didn’t feel that a teacher should roll her stockings. He proposed that they dismiss her. The board had quite a discussion over it and the discussion continued until the end of the year. They did dismiss her and I felt right at that time that the teachers were dominated too much by the board members. It wasn’t fair to dismiss a good teacher just because of some part of her dress that one board member didn’t like” (15).

High school athletics were also different in the 20s. Ames recalls, “I don’t believe that football was any more important than track meets. I think they were all about the same; they were all considered to be just ordinary physical education. Of course, eventually football became a big money-maker."

It did indeed. When I went to high school, the football players were the “top dogs.” Crowds of people paid money on Friday nights to watch high school football games. As a track and field runner, I got no respect. Nobody gave a shit about track and field. But it comforts me to know that this wasn’t always the case.

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1 comment:

  1. A link from The Smithsonian, about flappers, led to a link to another and another - to here.

    Fullerton as in Fullerton, CA? I went to school there.

    And, in 1980, Sunny Hills High had no football field. As a result, the big men on campus were our water polo players, not the football players.

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