"Beauty Contest" Photos Surface
Last month's program that Ginny kept all these years for the 9th grade girls' play, "The Beauty Contest," prompted Betty (Harr) Baxter to dig out three old photos of the event. They were taken by others (now unknown) and given to her; if you took one of them, please let me know what you recall. I think three different cameras (and photographers?) were involved because each print has a different format.
Here are the three original prints from 1954. They are only 2" or 3" wide, common sizes for the little cameras so many of us had in those days.
To make the larger prints shown below, I scanned them using a very high resolution (4800 lines per inch instead of the usual 300) so I could then expand their sizes in the computer while maintaining a useful clarity.
Identifying everyone faces some difficulties. Besides clarity issues many are dressed as men. We have the names of the cast from Ginny's old program so we know all the answers -- it's a matter of assigning the proper name to each person. That list of cast members is reproduced here below the third photo. The singers in the chorus just below the stage are not named in the program, so there is even more of a challenge to name them. I hope some of you identify yourself and let me know.
I'm showing the photos here in rather large sizes to show the faces better. If you slide a computer's mouse over a photo, you bring up the numbers I assigned to each girl. The numbers go away when you move the mouse off the photo. (With my mouse-less tablet, numbers on one photo appear when I tap the photo and then go away when I tap another photo. To remove the numbers from all the photos I have to leave the page and come back to it. If there's a slicker way, please let me know.)
I speculate that the entire cast is shown in the first photo except for three girls on the far right that mirror the three girls on the far left. These "missing" three appear only in the far right of the curtain call (last photo).
Each girl is given an identifying number which you can see by rolling the mouse over a photo. The same number is given the same girl in all the photos (I hope).
Below is my attempt at identifying the actors and chorus singers. There are 22 names in the program; 21 girls are shown in the third photo with the missing girl presumably cut off the far left. The 3 names I can't even guess at assigning are for girls who didn't stick around to graduate with us.
Send in your corrections and additions because someone's new stage career may depend on this bit of recognition.
1. Patricia Davis
2. Mary Ann Weddle
3. Leota Burks
4. Nancy Simmons
5. Mary Gay Dillingham
6. Patsy Welsh
7. Marcia Chrisbens
8. Carol Sue Johnson
9. Mary Anschutz
10. Marlene Pinkham
11. Sandra Hoffman
14. Bette Harr
15. Charlene Hite
16. Janice Watts
17. Janet Turner
18. Sharon Fox
(#12, 13, &19 may be
Fern, Cruce, & Holcom)
25. Liz Felton (?)
31. Annie Heatwole
32. Marilyn Giersch
33. Jolene Walters
(32 & 33 appear to be in Japanese costumes and Giersch & Walters' characters have Japanese-looking names.
61. Mrs. Marjorie Wendell
I show the entire third photo because I like seeing the proscenium arch. I bet they don't make them like that in junior highs (oops! middle schools) anymore.
If you want to help identify girls, here's the entire cast as shown on the program that Ginny kept in her scrapbook. I assume names of those in the photos must match those in this list. Let me know what you think.
There are 22 names in the program but only 21 girls are shown on stage in the curtain call photo. The camera cut off a girl on the far left that you can see for sure in the first photo. So there is indeed one name in the program for each cast member in the photos. Is this far-left trio the "Hotel Guests" at the bottom of the program? The far-right duo seems to be wearing oriental outfits, so do they include the Fujiama and San characters?
Just for Fun
You never can predict the consequences of some simple action.* Ginny's 9th grade scrapbook had a simple reminder of an all-girls assembly program that I had no memory of (how many others do?). Yet now this month I can present three photographs of the program in action. This is because some others in 1954 thought to take simple box-camera photos and put some of them in the right place to survive for 61 years. And then someone remember their existence after reading the program Ginny had kept and I could reproduce here. It's just one thing and then another -- just right to make those old photos reappear on this page for July...before slipping back into obscurity.
Maybe it's best not to ponder such a sequence for very long. Just lean back and let it all unfold.
* In Stalin's Russia the history of the Revolution was always being improved in Stalin's favor. Russian joked that "The future is difficult to predict, but the past is impossible!"