Grover Cleveland Jr. High Memories by Sandra Geyer Miller


Sandra Geyer 1955

  My name is Sandra Geyer. I attended Grover Cleveland Junior High School from 1949-1952. When I arrived I was a transfer student from Norwich School in Norwich, Ohio. It was a two-classroom country school with four rows of desks in each room. Grades 1-4 were in one room and grades 5-8 in the other (each row was a grade). There was no indoor water or plumbing. Stoves heated it. The transition to magnificent Grover Cleveland was rough. A person was assigned to lead me around as I was constantly losing my way from class to class. My clothes were so out-of-date that kids were pointing at me. I informed my grandmother after the first day or so that I would not be going back. She took me to town and bought plaid pleated skirts, shoes, and blouses. The classes and books fascinated me. I was shocked to discover that all of the plants and animals with which I was so familiar had previously been scientifically classified and named!

I walked to school from Lake Drive through the Woodlawn Cemetery. I won’t go into the details of our antics and dalliances there. Needless to say it was later closed to students.

In order to “fit in” I began telling tall tales. They began in homeroom when the students relating the stories of their family vacations during introductions embarrassed me. My family was poor and without a car. When it was my turn to say “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” I thought up a good one. I explained that I had spent the summer employed. The teacher, Ms. Stewart, asked what it was that I did on my job. I replied that I worked picking flowers for a perfume factory (a la “Evening In Paris” or something like that). Everyone turned to stare at me in awe. I loved the attention and so continued embellishing the story for my rapt audience. That was my secret way of becoming accepted at the new school. I became famous for it. I was “in”. The roots of the tale come from the teenage craze of collecting coupons from magazines for free samples of cosmetics. I had several prized tiny blue bottles of “Evening In Paris”.



Donald Summers was Superintendent, Mr. L.D. Bone was Principal, Nancy Tracy, Mr. McCurdy, Mrs. Leppler, and Miss Barr taught then. I was an Associate Editor of the school paper, the Beacon, which was staffed as follows:
Editor In Chief............. Nancy Carter
Associate Editors........

 

Sandra Geyer
Jack Ramsey
Dorothy Levison

Business Manager......... Burdette Smythe
Reporters, Columnists...

 

 

 

 

 

Cornelia Bridges
Dixie Knowlden
Sharon Lee Gooden
Harold Smith
Dottie Dutro
Margaret Bone
Bill Daniels
Burdette Smythe
Nancy Frame
Shirley Wise

Sports Writers……………

 

 

Jim Logan
Sandra Geyer
Dottie Dutro
Burdette Smythe

Art & Lettering………… 

 

David Laudenbacher
Jim Hartlage
Marlene Wheeler

My memories of Grover Cleveland are very fond indeed. I remember that I looked forward to school each day. The teachers there were very interested in my continuing education. I would like to share my favorite things as a teen growing up at that time – 1949-1952.
 

Favorite Articles of Clothing etc.…

 

 

 

Blue jeans
Spaulding blk & wh saddle oxfords, red rubber soles
Penny loafers
Straight, tight skirts
Angora sweaters with a peter pan dickey
Class ring on a chain (going steady)
                             
Favorite colors…........................ Pink & black
Favorite Hits………………………

 

 

I Could Write a Book - Margaret Whiting
Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes - Skeets McDonald
It’s Only A Paper Moon – Nat King Cole
Favorite movies……………………

 

 

 

 

High Noon
Singin’ In the Rain
The Greatest Show on Earth
Quo Vadis
Ivanhoe
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
The African Queen
Favorite Car………………………. 1952 Ford Crestline Victoria
Favorite TV show…………………

 

I Love Lucy (CBS)
Dragnet (NBC)
Favorite Upperclassman………….. Nancy McCurdy
Favorite best friend……………….. Jack Ramsay
Favorite Movie Stars………………

 

Natalie Wood
James Dean
Favorite foods…………………….. Chocolate coke
Lot-a-malt from Lot-A-Malt Shop on Putnam
Grilled Pimento Cheese on white at Leffler’s counter
Tin Roof Sundae at Katsampes
Favorite books……  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiction

"The Silver Chalice"...Thomas B. Costain. Doubleday
"The Caine Mutiny"... Herman Wouk, Doubleday
"East of Eden"... John Steinbeck. Viking Press
“My Cousin Rachel"...Daphne du Maurier. Doubleday
"Giant"...Edna Ferber. Doubleday
"The Old Man and the Sea"...Ernest Hemingway. Scribner
 

Nonfiction
"The Sea Around Us"...Rachel L. Carson. Oxford University Press
"The Power of Positive Thinking"...Norman Vincent Peale. Prentice Hall

1952 highlights include King George VI died; Patricia McCormick made a spectacular debut as the first female professional bullfighter; Eva Peron died. Polio vaccine was invented. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Albert Schweitzer.

Sandra Geyer Miller, 2285 Country Club Drive, Altadena, CA 91001