Random Thoughts

Some writings from sixty years ago

... a twelve year old writes from the past

by Ann Robbins Talbot

The Melrose Mirror may bring a few surprises. From my writings, a Stringer from Arizona, Stephen Johnson, recognized that I was a few years ahead of him at Lincoln School. He had kept the editions of the Lincoln Log, school literary magazine, for all these years. To my great joy, he sent me the reprints of several pages including covers, poems and stories by yours truly and a picture of the eighth grade staff of which I was a member. The day we had that professional picture taken, we got all dressed up and walked from Lincoln School to the photographer's shop near City Hall in the pouring rain. I mostly remember that my feet were wet, but they do not show in the picture. According to the Log I was Assistant Editor in June, 1948.

For a few moments of fun, I am sending on a few of my sage writings from seventh and eighth grade. In the Class Prophecy, perhaps you will find yourself or a friend:

Class Prophecy for 8C

I rang for the stewardess in the Crosbie and Company Airlines, and to my surprise the girl in the trim, green uniform was Claire Davis, my old school chum. She gave me an armful of the latest magazines and on the cover of the "Hollywood Gazette," the face of Warren Jones the famous movie producer, smiled out at me. Claire told me that his current production was "Forever Charlie" co-starring Ronald Lofgren and Mary Brown.

On the next page was startling news about a new atomic discovery made by Paul Brown, celebrated scientist. His picture was also advertising "Blood and Clapp's – Atomic Air Conditioning for Aristocrats."

As we stopped at the airport, I bade goodby to Claire and made my way toward a crowd of people who were apparently watching someone. As I neared, I saw that it was the world's top comedian, Donald Dewsnap. I also saw his pal, William Carter, home on leave from the Navy. He recommended a little restaurant around the corner, for good food, so I ate my evening meal there.

The food at the "Kozy Korner" was excellent so I asked my waitress who the cook was. A minute later Arthur Johnston came out of the kitchen with a tall white chef's cap balancing on his head. I was really very surprised. He told me that most celebrities ate here and he pointed out Kent Miller, the famous banker, and Dorothy Estabrook, Secretary of Treasury, discussing financial matters of the country. I also saw Shirley Chaplin, manager of the North American Baseball Association All-Star Team. Elsa Joyce whom I hadn't seen for a "dog's age" came over to join me. She told me that at the present she was engaged in painting a series of billboards for automobile tire companies. After talking with her for a while, I went out to find some entertainment.

I went to the NBC Radio Station, first, and arrived just in time to hear the finals of the International Spelling Bee. It was between Igor Moslowisky of Poland and Douglas Wright of the United States. The Polish man was stumped on a 54 letter word but Douglas came through with flying colors.

Next on the program was a detailed report of Bette Gourley's swim across the Atlantic Ocean from Boston to Liverpool. It was really quite a stunt. After the broadcast, Bette gave a party in her exclusive hotel room and I was invited. To entertain the guests, she featured Adele Nicholson, famous ballet dancer and Alfred Johnson, world famous strong man. They both gave very pleasing performances.
Soon I had to bid goodbye to all my friends and board the plane for the trip home.

When typing that gem, I had a great deal of trouble not editing the obvious mistakes. I shall treat you to a bit of eighth grade wisdom and end with a poem which will never be seen in any great collection:

What's Going On?

The children of today seem very ignorant of goings on in the politician and foreign worlds. We feel that they should all be encouraged to read the daily paper instead of comic books or listen to news instead of a mystery story. The common excuses are: they are too boring of there is not enough action in them. The latter is definitely wrong because we believe that fact is much stronger and more "action-packed" than fiction.

It would do every American girl and boy wonders to read about the hardships and suffering of war torn Europe. It would make them more thankful that they live in a wonderful country with freedom of speech and press. So everyone, every day, catch up on your international news. Once you have started, we will guarantee you will like it.

Song of the Absent-Minded Pupil

Oh where, oh where did my literature go?  I put it here "sure as shooting."
I remember it was five-fifteen ‘Cause the factory whistle was tooting.
And my science book is also gone, Oh, where on earth can it be?
This is the third time I've lost it. Oh woe, oh woe is me.
My new bottle of drawing ink Is gone – whatever shall I do?
The baby must have taken it, Along with the bottle of glue.
Why can't people leave things along? What do they take them for?
I never take things from them because They've told me "No!" o'er and o'er.
How will I dare face the teacher And her disgusted looks?
Down the stairs forlornly I trot To find on the table my books!

Thanks for traveling down memory lane with me. I would like to think that I have improved. Notice the lack of television in this 1940's world.


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