Monday, November 21, 2011

Uniforms aloft!



FOUND SOME OLD BINDERS in the back of a drawer -- about which more in a minute -- and among the contents of #2 were a couple of clippings from the Los Angeles Times and Santa Monica Evening Outlook. There are no dates to be seen, but it was easy enough to figure out that it's shortly before graduation in 1954.

The Times photo shows four ASB officers, left, hoisting their discarded uniform skirts up the flagpole in the center of the Circle. The Outlook picture, taken from further away, shows more skirts pinned to a "halyard" running the length of the flagpole. A big crowd is gathered around. The captions explain that the College was observing the annual "hoisting" of the skirts to celebrate the seniors' freedom from their navy-blue uniforms.

Uniforms, part of life at the Mount from the beginning, finally went away in the mid-1950s, not long after these photos would have been taken.
It's always fun to discover a long-lost tradition (did they want "hoisting the skirts" to sound a little naughty?) that I can pass along to Betty Jiminez for next year's "Did You Know?" posters for Homecoming.

These binders are fascinating. They're a mishmash of documents spanning five decades starting in the 1930s. There's everything from handwritten notes to old mimeographed questionnaires. They document some pretty significant histories, though, like a rundown of college costs in the 1930s to a typed draft seeking permanent accreditation for the secondary teaching credential in 1946. There are handwritten highlights of 1953 or 1954, as if for a speech or report.

Some of the papers may have originated with a Sister pretty high up in administration, because there is CSJ memorabilia in #3. They accumulated in folders and at some point, probably about 1975, they ended up in the binders, where they've lain forgotten for almost another 40 years. It's my turn to take the next step -- acid-free folders and Mylar sleeves -- and hope to give them another 40.

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