Saturday, May 1, 2010

School Days - Gymnasium Class

Ho Hum – new curriculum. Physical Education got off to an embarrassing start. The sole on my shoe had come unstitched and for whatever reason, I can’t recall, we had to walk across the gymnasium to the teacher….and I’m walking pigeon-toed so my sole doesn’t flap, flap, flap! Red face and all!

I will always remember the girl next to me on the bench.

She was the epitome of style! Had the latest short haircut, WORE MAKEUP….latest clothes and moccasins! I’d have signed over my life to her like Dorian Grey that day just to wear her moccasins across the room.

She was so utterly kind, joked with me and took my mind off the shoes and made me feel an equal. Donna was her name. So if you should ever read this Donna; I still haven’t forgotten you kindness! Crammed my feet into an old pair the balance of the week until we could afford to have oxfords stitched at shoe repairs.

We were required to wear a very funny bloomer type, short gym uniform – somewhat resembling infant ‘rompers’. Belted waist, short sleeves and elasticized at the legs….which we pulled up as far as we could. We resembled a mob of bouncing, large babies romping about the basketball and volleyball court.   Girls were not allowed to wear shorts for gym class, it was most unladylike.

Undressing in the common change room was indeed a challenge. I discovered all the girls except one other and myself did not wear a bra! Oh, for shame…many giggled and pointed and commented "you don't wear a bra" ....."oooooo"! That’s it….I am not returning to this class braless! This necessitated a stop at my grandmother’s on the way home from school….she would stick up for me and she did. The next gym class I had a bra! Now I was really a smart high school girl, ready to conquer the world! Well except for those oxfords! And no lipstick! And no after school socializing!

So brand new me with a bra and all the confidence in the world…I tried out for both the basketball and volleyball teams. And made it! I had never made a team until this point and was always last one chosen for any sports activity. But lets face it the ball was large enough I could see it without my glasses just fine. And running away from bully experience in my past gave me good sprinting speed in basketball! I couldn’t believe I actually made both teams! I’m sure my head size increased to that of a basketball!

The boys from Tech Hall would sneak around to the gymnasium back door and watch us practice … my name quickly became ‘legs’. Up to that point I didn’t know I had legs other than for walking and running. Guess they must have some other attraction!

One of my new class friends and I discovered her house skeleton key fit the hallway door from the gymnasium change room. Being firmly established on both ball teams we were bored with attending dribble classes …and discovered we could hide in the change room after attendance; change, open the hallway door and escape. So for the next two and a half years we spent our gym periods at my friend’s house – playing records and reading fashion magazines. Best gym classes of my life!

And this lead to the exploration of other ways to avoid classes which I deemed boring … such as shorthand, typing, business mathematics! Cooking and Sewing!

And should my sisters read this...don't tell mom!

Much more fun to come!

The picture with this blog is not of anyone I know, from a high school fashion magazine of the time.


  1. Oh do I remember this blue bloomer outfit! There was always one girl who looked fabulous in this outfit..the rest of us agonized over how silly we were sure we looked. Funny I had the same nickname..once I got my height..all of a sudden I was no longer pudgy and had legs made for miniskirts!Oh those were the days. If only I knew then to enjoy the great body and energy I had then..57 yrs. old and feeling everyday of it! I would wear those damn bloomers if I could have that body again!!!

  2. Ha ha too much information for a guy like me. I am sure you both looked just great. A good blog Ruby a great read and again memories. I didnt get a bra though.