An envisioning . . . 2018 and an afternoon with old pictures in the basement of mother’s old school.

Oh to be there.

An afternoon to kill waiting on a daughter’s interview upstairs. Too long to go and come back. The library downstairs with foot after foot of archives and photographs galore.

Month by month going by in a flash as the rain runs down the window panes and the mug of tea grows cold. Freshman orientation and those strange beanie caps they used to wear.

Some sort of song service before Thanksgiving and one with a Christmas tree. Hoop rolling of all peculiar things.

Funny. Hard to figure it all out. Everyone going to schools with men. Things that were all right then but not now. Well pajamas to go around in, yes, but not like the ones in the pictures. No, things with cute little bunnies and bathrobes in the cafeteria. Trying to remember. Something about everyone going for weeks in pajamas everywhere except when the men came to call on weekends. Everyone dressed up then for sure. No way to tell who had a cute brother or handsome roommate.

But not always sweet. Tiny little short shorts for pool parties in June just before summer break and beer tied to a string that was tied to a tree branch and put in the pond to stay cold. Had to have fun somehow.

But one at the end .  . . .maypole dancing for the first of May . . . but a more fun-loving bunch than auntie’s maypole pictures . . .those girls all in prom dresses and high heels with a maypole that reached high as a flagpole . . .these girls all barefoot and posed with their backsides sticking out . .  . no. . . fun . . .better to make your own fun . . . lest it go away . . .

This photograph is from the archives of Simmons College where my mother and my daughter earned graduate degrees. Not sure who these women are but my mother is not among them as she didn’t start her master’s program until 1951.

May Day. 1950.
May Day. 1950. Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts. Image via

Image: fair use license.

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