(None of these are my grandmother -- photo stolen from
this guy; originally printed in the Chicago Tribune,
Feb. 24, 1926)
It's been a very long time since we've had a Mormor story. I have exhausted all of her childhood stories, but I found one last story from high school. (If you are reading here for the first time, I need to explain that Mormor was my maternal grandmother who was born in 1905, and she wrote out all of her life stories for her family before she died. I am sharing these stories one at a time on this blog, and the first one is here.) The following story would have taken place around 1921.
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(This IS my grandmother, Esther, in high school)
When I was going to Fortuna High School one of the spring events was girl's track. I did quite well in the sprints if I may say so, which may have led to one of my most embarrassing moments. It came about this way -- a junior named Delma C. ran the distance races. Now Delma was a rangy, long-legged person so she was quite successful in the quarter mile, etc.It seems the boys were talking one noon about Delma's ability and they guessed she would beat the runners in the others high schools since she could beat all the girls in our school. One guy disputed this, saying he knew a runner who could beat Delma all hollow, and would take bets to that effect. Anyway, he did a big business in money wagers though he wouldn't tell them who the person was.
Then Sid Myers (for it was he who did all the talking) came to me to ask me to run against Delma the next noon, saying it was all arranged. I turned him down flat saying he ought to know I wouldn't go out there and make a fool of myself. So he tried another tack by asking me if I was afraid she'd beat me so badly that I'd look silly. I answered that I knew I could outrun Delma if the race was long enough, which I guess was a mistake because Sid took off. Later I guessed he told Delma what I'd said for she answered that she could beat me in her race any day.
Sid finally told half the school that we were racing the next noon, and you wouldn't believe the peer pressure that tried to get me to say I'd run. Finally something Delma said made me say, "O.K. Sid, but never again. Do you understand?" By this time I was plenty annoyed with him.
So the next noon Delma and I were at the track in our running outfits. After Sid duly started us on the quarter mile race I found keeping even with Delma fairly easy. When we got to the last straightaway I guess I got my second wind so decided to really run. I came to the finish line way ahead of my opponent and Sid was about the only guy who was happy because he'd be collecting on his wagers.
Needless to say he didn't share with me and I went back to my sprints saying, "Never again."
(This isn't her, either -- photo stolen from this guy; originally printed in the Chicago Tribune, Jan. 31, 1928)