NOTE: I attended Sequoyah
from the fall of 1949 as a 7 year old second grader living
in Home One until graduating in 1960 as a 17 year old living in Unit A.
| The games
we played like: Simon Says, Kick the Can, Red light - Green light, hopscotch,
Jacks, marbles in Home One basement corners, Hula Hoops, playing crack
the whip, Red Rover, Annie Over, dodge the ball, tag, make-up baseball
and touch football on the lawn.
Card games like Whist and Old Maid, Battle, Slap Jacks and Crazy Eights. The gambling games of Hully Gully, Put and Take with a thumb top and playing marbles for keeps.
Climbing trees, making forts and tunnels in the hay barn, Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, sittin' on the steps staring at clouds to see imaginary figures, Catching lightening bugs in a jar, squatting on one roller skate and going down the sidewalk from Unit B and wiping out in front of the Home Economics building, when the sidewalk iced over in winter doing the same thing in army surplus combat boots, sliding down the bannisters and the steps in Home One, going hunting with a bean-flip.
At bedtime in Home One: short sheeting, jumping on the beds, chasing each other through and over the bunk beds, pillow fights, sliding down the fire escape on a wool blanket (dangerous) and after making so much noise that the matron couldn't ignore it any longer, jumping into bed when someone said "Here comes Ms. Brady !" and pretending to be asleep.
Someone getting "company" and everyone else checking them out and being a little envious, wishing it was their folks who had come for a visit.
How about going to the store in Cherokee Hall with a nickel and having to choose between penny candies like: "Now and Later" taffy, Jaw-Breakers, Double-Bubble gum, wax lips and wax bottles with a sweet syrup, BB-batts, Sugar Daddys, those little envelopes of sour Kool-Ade, or a big Snickers or Baby Ruth candy bar. What was better than a Popsicle . . . someone willing to share theirs.
Buying the necessities like toothpowder, Blue Waltz, "Evening in Paris", Lucky Tiger hair oil, Butch wax for your flattop or pomade for your "ducktail".
How about the quarter dates: two 10 cent Cokes and a nickle bag of peanuts with your best girl. (My girl had the quarter!)
The Sock-Hops, doing the stroll, playing the Juke box in the basement of Cherokee Hall. Hearing Little Richard, Elvis and Chuck Berry when they were new.
Remember the first TV (black & white) on campus was in Cherokee Hall and could only be viewed during the social hours of 4 to 5 O'clock and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. We watched Howdy Doody, the Mickey Mouse Club and the birth of Rock'n Roll on American Bandstand when Dick Clark was really as young as he looked.
Remember Christmas was a sack of multicolored ribbon candy, nuts and a piece of fruit handed out by a Santa in a not very convincing Santa suit. The Christmas Cantata in the gym with the chorus singing Christmas Hymns and visitors from town coming out to see the show. Paper chains at Christmas, angel hair on the Christmas tree, popcorn balls, walking to the gym for church in your Sunday best.
No steppin' on a crack or you'll break your mother's back . . silhouettes of Lincoln and Washington . . . the smell of paste in school and singing the current holiday songs in Portia Vaughn's class.
Walking to the gym to see a movie, or riding to town with a date, in that big green bus, to see a movie at the Thompson theater,
When teachers wore nylons that came in two pieces and made noise when they walked. When male teachers wore neckties and female teachers had their hair done everyday and wore high heels.
When they threatened to keep kids back a grade if they failed . . . and did!
When the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the rest rooms, flunk a test or chew gum. When the "Board of Education" was a real deterrent to misbehaving.
When the prom was in the gymnasium and we danced to a live band. The girls wore pastel gowns and the boys wore suits, some for the first time, and we danced until midnight, then walked slowly back to Cherokee Hall and stopped at the flagpole to sneak a kiss or two.
When a '57 Chevy was everyone's dream car . . . to cruise, peel out, lay rubber seemed like an impossible dream.
When couples went steady and the girl wore his class ring on a chain around her neck.
When Tulsa and Muskogee seemed far away, and New York and Hollywood were like foreign countries; when going to town seemed like going somewhere.
How about these........
The excitement at the beginning of the school year, new students, new teachers and the return of my best friend.
Learning to read Dick and Jane in first grade . . "Look Jane look." "Run Spot run."
Little kids crying as we stood in line to get our shots for polio, small pox and measles.
Everyone having a sore arm after the smallpox inoculations.
Staying in the school hospital when the mumps and chicken pox epidemics came through the campus.
As 1st and 2nd graders in Mrs Hunt's classroom, lining up for a big spoonful of cod liver oil.
Singing the Ballad of Davy Crockett and wishing for a coonskin cap.
The restrooms for Home One and Home Three dorms were attached to the back of the buildings.
Hunting squirrels and rabbits with rocks and bean flips.
Raising a pet squirrel in your room until someone got bit.
When parched corn was a treat.
When all the little boys and girls wore coveralls.
At mealtime, marching from Home One to the Dining Hall , smallest in front.
The sound of the steam whistle at 6 O'clock in the morning.
Roaming the fields and woods all day on weekends.
Picking wild onions and Ms. Meigs cooking them with scrambled eggs.
In the spring, moles would tunnel all across the yards.
As each holiday approached, singing the holiday songs in music class
Army surplus combat boots with buckle cuffs.
Sliding down the frozen sidewalks in front of Unit B while wearing surplus army combat boots.
Building forts, tunnels and caves with bales of hay in the barn.
Sneaking up to the barn at night to ride the calves.
Trying to ride a pig.
The sound of Mrs. Cooper ringing the dinner bell at supper time.
Making bracelets and key chains with plastic lace when Mr. Zink came to do his missionary work.
Lying in the grass with friends, saying things like, "That cloud looks like a . . ."
Watching cowboy movies in the gym.
Swimming in the stock tanks at night.
Playing marbles for keeps.
The new fire escapes installed in Home One.
Climbing out on the fire escape after dark, to sneak a smoke.
As grade schoolers in Home One, taking group showers and having Mrs. Trent or Ms. Brady inspecting, then sending you back for more washing.
The miracle that no one was hurt when just before the 6:00a.m. wake-up whistle, the plaster ceiling fell on the beds of the 1st & 2nd graders just as the last kid escaped the room. Thank God that a couple of kids woke up early and sounded the alarm.
Making kites with newspaper and ragweed sticks; flying them nearly out of sight with string from the shoe shop.
Boots, the only dog allowed to stay at Sequoyah in the fifties.
Falling out of bed when you had the top bunk.
Stacking bunks 3 high.
Going for walks with the big boys.
Picking pecans and selling them at Stratton's for enough to buy cigarettes and some bologna and cheese.
Swimming naked at First Corner; "Here come the girls!" and scrambling for your underwear.
Taking feed corn from the hog pen and parching it over an open fire.
Making bean flips with a forked stick and strips of rubber (red rubber inner tubes made the best) and a shoe tongue for the pocket.
Playing ball in the basement of Home One with a rag ball.
Playing touch football on the lawn until it got too dark to see.
Lining up for haircuts given by one of the big boys.
Walking on home-made stilts up to almost 6 feet high.
When Bald Hill was really bald.
When "Going for a walk", meant roaming the countryside up to 2 miles away.
Boots the dog was our best friend when snakes were around.
Raiding the neighboring farms apple and peach trees and sometimes their vegetable gardens.
Spending all day Saturday in the woods hunting squirrels and rabbits with a beanflip.
Coming back to the dorm smelling of smoke and everyone wanting some of your parched corn.
The smell of fresh baked bread on baking day.
On hot summer nights, lying on the cool copper of the Units porch roof.
While on kitchen duty, sneaking into the coolers with a spoon for a quick bite of ice cream.
Finding a wild plum tree before the fruit was ripe and having green plum fights.
Climbing the old red water tower but not feeling brave enough to climb the big silver one.
Silly nicknames, some of them being almost cruel.
Hiding a hickey, but really wanting someone to notice.
Riding the bus to town for a movie date at the Thompson theater.
When male teachers wore neckties and female teachers wore make-up, had their hair done and wore high heels.
When some used peroxide to bleach their hair blonde, but it came out bright red.
How some would spend hours getting their ducktails just right, others trimmed their flat-tops until perfectly flat, slanted forward.
Girls with skirts that had so many petticoats that they swished as they walked and when they sat down, you could almost see . . .
The smell of Blue Waltz & Evening in Paris.
Mrs. Pugh pulling the plug on the Jukebox whenever Little Richard's records were played.
Exploring the steam tunnels that ran between all the buildings.
Girls wore penny loafers with white socks and tight skirts; guys wore jeans, white tee shirts and Levi jackets.
A date to see a movie in the gym . . . later, stopping at the flagpole to sneak a kiss.
Sunday afternoons on the lawn with someone special.
Sliding down the fire escapes on a wool blanket and trying not to crash at the bottom.
Penny ante dice games in the closet under the basement stairs.
Spending all night at the chicken house watching over the baby chicks.
Lemon extract smelled so good but tasted so bad.
Freshman initiation week: When you met a Senior, bowing and addressing them as "O'Mighty Senior" . . . then polishing their shoes with a shoe-shine rag.
When milking the dairy herd of over 100 holsteins, required 3 shifts each morning and evening.
Listening to stories about ghosts in the Home 3 attic, then lying awake listening for noises . . . and sometimes hearing them.
Learning to drive on the farm tractors, then hoping to get picked to drive the garbage wagon.
When eating in the dining room, you held up your hand for a waitress to bring seconds on milk or bread.
While on kitchen duty, meeting your "Sweetie" in the broom closet.
Someone sneaking gallon cans of peanut butter and syrup and loaves of bread from the kitchen; eating all you wanted and passing it on to the next room in the dorm.
No afternoon classes on the day of home football games. (No lights until Thompson Field in 1961)
Stacking as many bales as we could on the hay truck, then bailing off the top when the load shifted on the way to the barn.
When "Fake on your bullfrog legs.", was the latest catch phrase.
Learning to curse in several Indian languages.
Talk of these things with your children; write them down ; don't let these memories fade away completely. Sharing memories with your children, friends, and loved ones is a joy.