Friday, July 17, 2009

Isabel DePew, who were you?

I came across this wonderful vintage high school history book, especially printed for the state of Kansas in 1922. It obviously belonged to one Isabel DePew in Howard, Kansas. It's so perfect that despite the admonition in large letters "NOTICE: PLEASE DON'T MARK IN THIS BOOK PLEASE" our dear Isabel did just that. Perhaps she started the "altered book" trend that is going strong all these years later?

The penalties for various classroom infractions are noted on the last page:

Forgetting assignment - 10
Chewing gum - 5
Turning around - 10
Whispering - 10
Speaking without hands - 15
Tardy - 5
Rudeness - 10
Disagreements - ??

Thinking back to my own high school days, I fear I would have gotten a "perfect 100" on many a day...

On page 301, Isabel and a friend had this written conversation:

Isabel: "I am out of luck know. I guess tennis will blow up now with me."

Friend: "No I don't think so there is always some one. Bill is not through yet you can't tell he may."

There are sketches of the first floor of "my future home" as well as the somewhat resigned, "I don't care a darn but...". The best is a rough sketch of "you" with an obvious black eye!

One small scrap of fragile writing paper tucked between stained pages read:

"He said he had been saving his money for several years expecting to leave my native country that I loved so long, my friend, my home and my relative all but my wife and three children. We finally got enough money to take us across the water."

You can't help but wonder who Isabel was writing about...

Anyway, I did a quick internet search and found that there was indeed an Isabel DePew Jones who graduated from Howard High School in 1930. So I emailed the local historical society, explaining how I had Isabel's old text and offered to send it to them or Isabel's descendents if they were interested. No response yet, but I'll keep everyone posted if I hear back.

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