Thursday, October 14, 2010

Looking Back

libby flag

In my last post I mentioned how much I love paging through my collection of vintage yearbooks. I have several-from both college and high school. This year, one yearbook in particular is especially interesting-a copy of “The Edelian” from Edward Drummond Libbey High School in Toledo Ohio.

My own daughter just started high school, and I can’t help but ponder the differences between high school now, and then-1943-the year of the Edelian.

Bob Brown

Bob Brown was the original owner of my yearbook. His name is printed in block letters on the front cover. That year, like the year before, and the year that was to come-the world would be at war. In addition to the usual concerns of high school students-good grades, dances, football games-students that year worried and wondered about classmates and teachers who had left school to join the armed forces. Their after school activities included not only homework, clubs, and athletic practice, but also pursuits that helped the war effort. (The girls below sew stars onto a flag-blue for those in the service, and gold for those who have given their lives to their country. This picture gets to me every time I look at it.)

libbey stars

I would also guess that in private thoughts the shadow of the war hung over almost every man and boy at Libbey High. When to join up--what it would be like to go off to fight. (Some of those boys look so young! Well, I guess they WERE young!)

soldiers and sailors

This is where the story of Bob Brown has a twist. The previous summer he had broken his arm when he crashed on his bicycle. I wonder, did Bob Brown consider this to be a lucky break, or a heart break?

Edelian two

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