National History Day – California – Tulare County a Huge Success

This was my first year in the past twelve years NOT to coordinate Tulare County’s History Day event.  The job now falls on my dear friend, Joy Soares, who took my place as the History Consultant at the County Office.  She has enough energy and ideas for three people, and indeed more than three people kept very busy bringing this exciting day to fruition.

Joy Soares dressed in 1940s style including a black line drawn up her leg.  Styling, Joy!
Joy Soares dressed in 1940s style including a black line drawn up her leg. Styling, Joy!

My job in all of this was to represent two volunteer organizations, San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies (SJVCSS), and Tulare County Historical Society (TCHS).  Both organizations had booths, and both gave scholarships to students.  This was the first year we named any of the donations from these organizations.

Three tables for three organizations.  Tulare Treasures, TCHS, and SJVCSS
Three tables for three organizations. Tulare Treasures, TCHS, and SJVCSS  See me manning the tables?  OK I’m a little ghostly, but there’s my coat.    800 ISO picture – much better!

Two individuals from TCHS were especially instrumental in bringing TCHS and History Day together, Stan Barnes and Madeline Franz.  When I first started coordinating History Day, the Fresno County Historical Society actively supported the Fresno County event, and I didn’t even know who the Tulare County Historical Society was or how to find them.  Then Sharon Doughty created a website, and I made a phone call.  That next year Madeline Franz judged for our event.  The next year she brought friends, Don MacMillian, Terry Ommen, and Stan Barnes.

Madeline is a kick.  You'd love her.  Her daughter is sitting next to her.
Madeline is a kick. You’d love her. Her daughter is sitting next to her.  You can see Terry Ommen behind her with his arm up like he is taking a picture.  He was. 

Stan was particularly taken with the project, and insisted that the Society donate money as long as it didn’t get swallowed in a “black hole.”  The society also contributed a large amount to a group of students from Kingsburg, CA who were going to National History Day in Washington, D.C.  What an opportunity for students who had never been out of Tulare County!  TCHS bought tee shirts one year so that when our students went to state they all dressed alike one night and really stood out in the crowd of thousands of students.  This year was the first year that the Society specified scholarship amounts, and named the scholarships.  Unfortunately, Stan Barnes passed away just a few weeks ago, so did not see what the scholarship named for him will do for students.  His daughter attended the awards ceremony.

Stan Barnes' daughter is at the ceremony to present the scholarship with President, Jill Brown.
Stan Barnes’ daughter is at the ceremony to present the scholarship with President, Jill Brown.  Stan’s daughter is the smiling blond woman looking towards me.  The blond in the background was my boss at TCOE when I retired.  Jill Brown is not wearing brown, but yellow.

Madeline also participated in the awards ceremony, bringing her family with her.  TCHS President, Jill Brown presented both awards.

Seating was tight, so I had a hard time getting in to get the right angle on the picture.  I still need a lot of work as a professional photographer!
Seating was tight, so I had a hard time getting in to get the right angle on the picture. I still need a lot of work as a professional photographer!  Someone was not extremely excited to be there for the presentation part.  This is Madeline’s family.

SJVCSS is the local affiliate council of the California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) It is a professional organization for social studies teachers, administrators, and professors, and really is NON-profit.  Each year since I started as coordinator the organization gave $50 to History Day, and I used it to purchase things we needed for the event.  This year we upped it to $100 and created an Exhibit Scholarship in the name of Marvin Awbrey, Father of History Day.  Marvin is from Fresno County, just north of us.  He IS the Father of History Day in California, the man who brought it to Fresno County, then the state.  He also served as the judge captain of the Exhibits Category for many years.  At the awards ceremony yesterday, I made a presentation speech, and Marvin gave the scholarship to a deserving exhibit designer, Mr. Wilson.

By this time, I had learned to bring folks where I want them, not take a snapshot!  I learn SO slowly!  :)
By this time, I had learned to bring folks where I want them, not take a snapshot! I learn SO slowly! 🙂

I will write a more professional article that has student names and a little less silliness for the Los Tulares, the TCHS quarterly magazine available to members.   My blogging friends have to put up with all my foibles, bad photography, and antics.  It is SO fun to be retired and be able to be silly.  There is something to be said for that second childhood!

Here are some other photos if you are a parent or an interested bystander that just loves HD.

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A Little Foothill High School History

Sally Pace asked me to do a column of Foothill History for the Kiwanis magazine which is published quarterly.  Our larger community consists of several small foothill towns ranging from populations of about 3,000-8,000.   From north to south the communities are:  Woodlake, Lemon Cove, Three Rivers, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and Exeter.  Then a little farther south,  still in the foothills, but not considered in our neighborhood are: Lindsay, Porterville (about 45,000 pop.), and Springville (very tiny and very high into the mountains).

Just so that you understand the history here in Tulare County, I will give you a little background.  There were NO white, Mexican, Asian, or any outside people here before 1852.  NONE – not even explorers.  Well maybe one or two Spanish explorers.  But let me tell you, they didn’t stay.  Heck no, they went back to the Central California Coast.  So when the world rushed in to find gold in “Californey”, a few of the folks headed south of gold country to Tulare County. Native Americans from the Yokuts tribes lived here peacefully before the OTHERS arrived.

Terry Ommen, Tulare County Historical Society, conducts a tour of Tulare County.  This stop, near the original site of the Election Tree.
Terry Ommen, Tulare County Historical Society, conducts a tour of Tulare County. This stop, near the original site of the Election Tree, near Road 182.  Tulare County was the size of West Virginia.

Standing around an old Oak Tree,  (there were no yellow ribbons tied around it), named The Election Tree for the occasion, a group of white men founded what we now know as  Tulare County.  In that time the county was HUGE.  Now it is the size of Connecticut, but then it included Fresno County and Kings County and part of Inyo county.  It didn’t take long before folks back then decided that was WAY too much land for any one county, and they split it up,

April 1852
April 1852

For Historical Society purposes, I found out that you really need to count three generations here before you are considered blue – blooded, that is.  I’m purple back in Indiana, or even further back to North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, but I’m clear-colored here. (I’m distantly related on both sides of my family to Robert Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence, my one and only claim to fame.)  I’ve lived in Tulare County for 28 years, and if I’d had kids, and they’d had kids – they would be royal blue by this time, but …

"In 1964 the last remaining part of the original Woodlake High School buildings were razed to make way for new construction.  Courtney McCracken donated $250 for the construction of a new library named for the Exeter benefactor."
“In 1964 the last remaining part of the original Woodlake High School buildings were razed to make way for new construction. Courtney McCracken donated $250 for the construction of a new library named for the Exeter benefactor.” 1

Yesterday I was blessed to have interviews with 4 people who have lived in the area longer than I have.  My friend, Sally, of Running P Ranch, was one of the impromptu interviews.  Sally and another neighbor, Frank Ainley, discussed the good old days of teaching high school in Woodlake.  One story they swapped started with the words that the principal said to Frank one day at school, “I need to see you.”  (That sounds familiar, but read on…)

“I can’t come right NOW!  I’m right in the middle of class,” Frank answered the intercom voice that the entire high school could hear.

“That’s ok, if you’re a good teacher, your kids will keep doing what they are supposed to do while you’re gone,” the principal responded

Add they did for about 25 minutes.  That was back in the late 1960s (when I attended junior high and high school in Indiana.)  Weren’t we the Perfect Generation, or something like that?

Both Frank and Sally talked about the kids doing projects.  The high school kids kept the teachers organized so that the projects ran smoothly.  Students could drive in those days – if they had a license.  So if the students needed something for the project, the teacher would just ask one of them to go get it at the store, and come back to class with it.  If they had to travel for sports or field trips, the kids just drove there – if they were over 16, and had parents written permission, of course.  There were SOME laws back in the 1960s.

The principal, Bud Loverin, said to Sally, the JUST hired home economics teacher, “We have an opening inservice for all the teachers the first day back to school. There will be about 60 people for breakfast and lunch.”  You got the implication of that statement, didn’t you?  The administrators made the assignments, then trusted the teachers to somehow accomplish them.  and somehow they did (or they didn’t, I’m guessing).  These two teachers remembered going into the Loverin’s office upset about some issue, and coming out apologizing for taking up his time, and thanking him for the new assignment he just gave them.  Yet they both said teacher morale was at a high.

Evaluations?  Frank asked his principal, “When are you coming in to do an evaluation of me?”

Bud Loverin answered, “If I didn’t think you couldn’t do the job, I wouldn’t have hired you.”  He didn’t have an evaluation that year.  He didn’t have very many evaluations.  To be fair, I never had too many evaluations that ever seemed like evaluations, and I taught from the late 80s on.  But my experience is unusual because I left the classroom and didn’t become a principal, but a consultant.

Woodlake High School 2013

Are we missing something today?  Bud Loverin sounds like what current experts (and laws) might consider to be a horrible principal.  He was the type of sales person that motivated his staff.  Sally repeated an oft-said comment about Loverin, “He could have sold icicles  to Eskimos and made a profit. ” The teachers loved him.  He took care of them.

Frank and Sally both said the kids loved the principal and the vice-principal, Herman Ziegler, and most got good jobs after they graduated.  I know both of these teachers, so I know that they both understated their effect on kids.  Both teachers are very well-respected and loved by students and teachers alike.  Frank quit teaching in his 70s, and is still active in the community.  Sally became a counselor in the high school and brought national recognition to Woodlake High School a few years ago because she raised so much money for scholarships, and enabled students to attend college.  She has also retired in her 60s – sort of, and keeps busy in the community.

Frank talked about discipline in the school, when they still used a stick.  Discipline was done by the vice principal – a BIG guy, Herman Ziegler.  Both the principal and the VP were BIG.  I remember our principal in 5th grade.  He would come in to get a naughty boy, and I would quake.  He was BIG.  What was it in those days?  Was that a requirement for being a principal?  BE BIG, and you’re hired?  Apparently they got the job done in Woodlake according to Frank and Sally.

When I was getting my teaching credential in 1986, I interviewed a retired elementary principal, Mr. Crawford, in Woodlake for an assignment.  He told this story.  In the 1940s, as a teacher, he had a 19-year-old 8th grade student with an attitude.  (duh! I’d have an attitude if I were still in 8th grade at age 19.)  This student was about 6 feet tall, and didn’t like the assignment Mr. Crawford had made.  The student challenged his 6 foot tall 40s something teacher, “If you didn’t wear glasses, I’d beat you up.”  Crawford promptly removed his glasses, and the two settled their dispute.  The teacher won, and the student behaved the rest of the year.  By the time the principal, Francis J. White, arrived on the scene, the student was doing his assignment.

I have to say that at the time, I sat in this man and his wife’s living room with my mouth hanging open during most of the interview.  It was one of those unforgettable experiences.  At the time I knew Mrs. Crawford because she and I often substituted in all the classes in Woodlake.  She was tiny, about five feet tall, and probably never weighed 100 pounds, but she knew every student in school, and they all liked and respected her.  She had a no-nonsense way of managing a class that worked.  She never had to raise her voice – or her hand to a student.

Kids today are faced with a far different world than any of us grew up in – even if you are 20.  That’s another amazing conversation Sally and I had.  Kids who are 17 are like adults to the 10 year olds of today.  In the eyes of my fourth graders my high school-aged assistants were no different than their 40 year old teacher.   So if you just graduated, and are 17 or 18, watch out – YOU ARE OLD! (to someone – not me, BTW)

So how have times changed since you were in school wherever you are from?  What was school like when you started teaching?  What was it like when you were a kid?  What worked?  What didn’t work?

Footnotes

1.  Elliott, John F.  A History of Woodlake Union High School The Woodlake 11 Class of 1924.  Three Rivers Historical Society

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Fire

cees-fun-foto1

As I pushed the publish button the notice came up that this is my 300th post!  Thanks everyone for sticking with me for that long!!!!  🙂

 

This challenge is a bit of a stretch for me.  When I was about 4 or 5 I got into quite a bit of trouble when I set my doll bed on fire, then started to carry the flaming blanket to the bathroom to douse the flame in the sink because I knew that water put out fire.  I don’t know HOW my mom found out about it, but she ran in, saw me starting towards the bathroom, and threw everything out the window.  I think I also started a fire outside once, too.

But neither of those events could hold a candle to the time we came home from my friend, Wyla’s, wedding to find fire trucks at the end of our street.  We lived at the end of our street.  My friend Gary, a volunteer fireman, decided to pay us a visit that day, even though we were not home.  He climbed through a window to get in.  He was calmly sitting playing the piano when he smelled smoke.  It took him three misdials to finally reach the Portland Fire Department, but he saved our home.  I was finishing up the last of Wyla’s trousseau and we were almost late for the wedding.  In my haste to get to the wedding on time, I had left the iron plugged in my attic sewing room, and the faulty old wiring in either the iron or the house, sparked and caught the tons of patterns I had stored in the attic on fire.

With all that fascination with fire in my younger years, you would think that I could find ONE fire picture.  And I did.  ONE.  And it’s blurry.  I tried to sharpen it up, and it’s sort of pixellated.  Sorry!!!  This was a great place, though.  The owners of this place are members of the Tulare County Historical Society, and they had their own museum specializing in old cars and old slot machines, and clocks.  Of course old cars needed old gas.

Flames

Here’s one of his flaming hot cars!!!

Bill #6

I thought about getting V’s ghost flames on his Nova, but do you think they would show up for a picture?  No – they were ghost flames.  They didn’t even show up!!

I decided to display some HOT outfits that I found in Old Sacramento.  Would that count???

Sacramento HOT Costume shop

Or maybe this outfit?

Hot Outfit

So I know that’s pushing it to come up with fire, but honestly it was the best I could do!!!

Here is a link to see other hot shots!

John Muir Visits the Tulare County Historical Society During the 2013 Annual Meeting

Yesterday at the Tulare County Historical Society Annual Meeting Frank Helling, a 30-year veteran as John Muir, with his hand carved cane in his Scottish accent told the crowd  “Everywhere we step is holy land.”  Of course he never hiked around the world,  he “san-tared” (sauntered) about because hiking is too much like work.

Frank Helling as John Muir
Frank Helling as John Muir

At one point Muir had to find employment.  Although he wasn’t a shepherd, he was hired to keep tabs on Shepherd Billy, a lazy bloke.   Billy rarely never bathed so  his clothes became a natural walking history museum, growing thicker by the day with new additions such as pine needles, tree sap, or whatever else he wiped on them.  Another employer wanted him to run a saw mill, but Muir had vowed never to cut a living tree again, but didn’t mind taking the already fallen trees to the saw mill.

Muir recounted the many famous people his path had crossed except for Louise Jackson’s mother who was 13 when she met him.  Sixty-eight year old Ralph Waldo Emerson came to see him in 1871 and remarked about the Sequoia Redwoods, “These trees have a talent for being tall.”  Muir quipped back,   “You’re a Sequoia yourself, get acquainted with the brethren.”

Muir, the Big Tree Advocate, upon returning to  Yosemite after one of his many travels,  found the trees being cut down, and cried out “Repent the Kingdom of Sequoia is at hand!”  He got lost in the “artificial canyons” (hallways) of a San Francisco hotel when he met with his editor, Johnson.  His friend changed his writing , and removed many repetitions of the word, glorious, telling Muir, “That’s called editing.”

Muir kept his audience humorously spell-bound for probably close to an hour.  I don’t know I lost track of time.

We will soon have a new TCHS website.  We meet with the designer, Louise Jackson’s daughter, Laile on Wednesday.  I’ve been honored to serve on that committee for the past year, so I can’t wait to see what she has to show us.  🙂  Websites, websites, websites!!!  🙂

To Do List, My Lazy Blogging Excuse

Like all of us, I actually do have a life.  And often it gets in the way of my blogging.  I started blogging in April, and by August I had to quit my day job so I could blog full-time.  Such a sad excuse to retire, but V says I go after blogging like I did my job, and according to V – not my boss –  I was a workaholic.

We're really working.   Proofing the Conference Program.
We’re really working. Proofing the Conference Program.

 

 

The Conference is March 8-10.  So much to do.
The Conference is March 8-10. So much to do!!!  

As you may know, I am still heavily invested in the social studies teaching community through California Council for the Social Studies, San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies and National Council for the Social Studies as well as the Tulare County Historical Society, and I am just about to join our local Kiwanis Club thanks to Running P Ranch Co-Captain, Sally Pace.  This week three of them have had meetings.  The funny thing about meetings is that there is always work attached.  On top of that V’s son is having a birthday soon, and we are celebrating with him.  Paula’s son just had a birthday, and we will celebrate with them on Sunday.

Meet V's son, J.  Isn't he handsome?  Can you guess his age?
Meet V’s son, J. Isn’t he handsome? Can you guess his age?

 

Edward1

How old is this handsome “grandson” of mine?

 

I say all this to apologize if my posts for the rest of this month may be sketchy or nil.  I’m not sure if I can stop blogging altogether.  I am super addicted, as you can tell.  But if I do neglect to get up a post or two, please feel free to rummage around in my past posts.  I have tons.  I can’t stop myself.  Some of them are better than others, but my WordPress friends are probably glad to let you know in the sidebars which are the most popular.  They are all pretty random.  They are streaming thoughts, after all.

This also means that I have been and will continue to neglect my visiting of your blogs somewhat.  Again, I don’t mean to.  I am reading my reader as I travel – if I’m not driving!!!  unfortunately it sends me tons of blogs I hardly even know, and who never write me back.  I am prejudiced and I really prefer to visit people who actually visit me, and write back to me when I scribble out a few comments on their blogs as well.  My reader tries to expand my repertoire, but it often misses my valued closest friends.

My email notifier is good, but I find when I click from there many of your blogs make me sign in three or four times before I can even like what you said.  I have to admit that when I am on my iPhone, I have no patience with those sign ins.  I hit the wrong keys, and end up having to enter tchistorygal@gmail.com at least 6 or 7 times before I get it right!   I’m bouncing around in a car, so I get mad and go back to playing Farkle.  I’m sorry – did I just tell you that?  So mindless of me.

All that to say, if you don’t hear much from me this week, it’s not because I don’t love and think about you.   🙂  ML

So that you can keep  me in line, here’s my list.  Feel free to comment.  Marsha, did you call… or did you …  And if you think of anything else I missed, be sure to comment that, too.  Except you, Ralph.  You’ll have a complete additional to do list for me that I’ll never be able to finish!!! JK  haha

Marsha’s REAL TO DO LIST

Home

  • Call Scott with model number  3712
  • Call John  and arrange for him to drive the trailer to Scotts.  (Yes, we’re selling our Layton 39 foot trailer – anyone interested.  You can see it on Ebay or on my FB page.)  We’ll deliver if you live in Spain or England!!  JK  🙂  We can’t tow it  –  it’s LONG, but spotless and comfy.  We store it mostly.
  • process pictures
  • input hilton honors information

CCSS

  • Proofread the conference program
  • Look over the BOD packet (haha that’s Board of Directors, Ralph!!  Don’t get all worked up!!!)
  • Avi needs to have someone write up the motion for the board packet.  
  • I need to write a motion to accept the changes in the bylaws.  
  • I will highlight sessions and workshops.   Three or four compelling topics in each subject area.  http://ccss.org/Resources/Documents/conf2013/2013_Program.pdf
  • I need to write up motion for reverse brokering.
  • Work on the membership brochure at least the text.  See if Paula or V will help me with the graphics.
  • Mary is drafting a letter that will go to people who will be new members.  As one of the benefits you receive a complimentary membership to CCSS. 
  • I need to pass the brochure on to Mary.    
  • I need to follow up with Mary to make sure she has written the letter.

TCHS

  • email Laile with the results of our conversation tonight

Isn’t this fascinating?  Am I desperate for something to write or what??  Can you guess which ones are done????

What have I missed Avi?  Brent?  Terry?  Sharon? V?