Monday, August 9, 2010

Rose Alice Wills, Class of 1931

Found a tiny photo of who I think is Rose Alice in the 1931 graduation program. The 15 graduates are listed in alphabetical order and their photos appear in the same order on the next page. The original is about an inch wide.

Our Rosie was one of the most distinguished graduates of the Mount's very distinguished Music Department, chairing the Santa Monica City College music program for many years. For the 70th anniversary of the Mount in 1995, well in her 80s, she contributed this reminiscence:

I was one of the few students with a car, and the Sisters were always asking me to take them up to what they called "the site." The upholstery on the front seat was a little dilapidated, and one time a Sister got her rosary caught in the springs and we couldn't get her unhooked...

I remember driving up on a beautiful day in 1929, and we sat on some lumber and had a picnic. There was nothing up there but a big hole, and some sawdust. If my car stalled going up the hill, we'd get out and push. Going down, I'd just turn the motor off and slide, kicking up dust all the way to Sunset."
That sounds like a fun-loving Mountie of the early 1930s. Someone crazy enough to roar down the mountain on a dirt road in neutral might just be someone who'd come back to leave a "memento" and cement-crusted beer can in the basement. I'm glad to make her acquaintance!

And who knows... Picnics at the 1929 construction site -- the "big hole" -- would sure explain how milk bottles and other relics ended up buried in the basement.

Aren't archives cool?

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