Pause in Blog

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fund raising

When you go to a private school, you think everyone around you is prosperous.

Then you learn that there's an office (where your mother has worked since you moved here to go to this private school) that is all about fund raising.

The Patron's Office at the school was all about letting all the people who might be interested in supporting the school know what it was all about.  That was in the 1950s, so it didn't include anything beyond slide shows and tape recorded presentations.  (Of course there were also people giving talks to introduce the presentations.)  These were the forerunners of PowerPoint.

These people worked many hours to put together these presentations.  I may have seen one at some time or another, but I really don't remember.  I do remember being in the attic offices in the Administration Building where my mother worked. 

Which one is she?  The one working the tape recorder (reel to reel) wearing headphones.

She also spliced the tapes using some great mind-altering solutions.  I know I loved smelling them, one of my first chemical highs. At the time I also loved model glue, turpentine, and gasoline fumes, and coffee when perking.  I learned that even coffee didn't taste like it smelled, just as those other scents would eventually make me pretty sick.  But I digress.

The students came to St. Louis from all over the US, from 7th grade through college.  My tuition was reduced by my mother's dedicated working (a married mother with a full time job in the 50s...oh my!)   I received a million dollar education in 1955 dollars, well, maybe not quite that much.  And there was the hitch that you had to worship their god, it being a religious school also.

This is my Sepia Saturday post, about the attire worn by working people in the 50s.  Not much to say about it though.  Go see other's posts at Sepia Saturday blog.


Kristin said...

So everybody wasn't well to do? Your mother and co-workers do wear the office workers uniform of the 50s office worker.

Peter said...

That's easier said than done: "Go see other's posts"! You are so early with this post and there aren't any yet :)
I am sure fashion experts can tell we are looking at a 50's picture but I think it looks rather timeless (except for the tape recorder). If you would have told us your mother was a radio operator, I would have believed that as well.

Dakota Boo said...

Interesting picture. But don't they look serious. Only the lady standing at the back is even attempting a smile.

Wendy said...

Early Power Point -- very clever!

Alan Burnett said...

Work is work and overalls don't always have to be coated in oil. You are right to remind us.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Good take on the photo prompt! Your mother with her headphones looks like the most essential person in the group. Ah, those tireless fund raisers - I wonder what they'd think of today's schemes and systems for opening wallets.

Kat Mortensen said...

Pretty impressive to have a photo of your mother at work. I don't even have a photo of my father, at work.

Then again, as a Civil Servant, I don't think that sort of thing was encouraged.

Those do look like very workaday clothes.

barbara and nancy said...

That's great that you got such a good education. What a clever mother you had. Sounds like she really sacrificed for you.

Mike Brubaker said...

Do you think your mom and her colleagues could imagine dressing for "casual Friday"? Standards of office dress have really changed since the 50s.

Bob Scotney said...

I don't remember presentations at our school which was 'posh' enough to have a bursar for financial matters. I was fortunate enough to have a scholarship so money wasn't a problem.
We had tables just like that in the photo in the school library.The first tape recorders I remember were smallish hand-held machines for dicating reports - later than the 50s though. How young the two in the foreground look.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Oh my gosh, you crack me up! Awesome photo and story.

I remember being so disappointed when I had my first sip of my Mom's coffee. What a let down. I never got into the rest though, because fumes give me an instant headache, even standing beside my Grandma as she pumped gas at her little country store.

B. Rogers, Alchemy of Clay said...

Hi I love these comments from Sepia Saturday fans. Thanks so much for coming to visit me. I think the idea of casual Friday would have been hilarious in the 50s. Wonder what my mom would have worn if it had happened! The guys might have loosened their ties!

Peggy Jones said...

When you go to a prosperous private school they fill you full of a lot of crap. Yes I got a good education but when they told us that folks would know where we went to school just by looking at us, we all got the big head.Lol
My mom wore a white uniform all her working days as a med tech. Sorry I don't have photos of her,great post.

Jana Last said...

Your mom was quite high-tech for the day! Good for her.

Nancy said...

It's always interesting what thoughts come to mind as we share old photographs. It sounds like your mom was generous to give up her time so you could go to that particular school. How wonderful that you have a photo of her at work.

Tattered and Lost said...

The only smell missing from this are the copies the mimeograph machine turned out. That and the smell of tar when they were putting a new roof on the school.