Were Grandpa and Grandma Both at the Class Supper?

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, April 17, 1913:  Our class was invited out to supper this evening. It broke up rather early. My first presents arrived today. A gold hat pin and a handkerchief.

Lillie. Raymond (standing), and Michael Swartz (1913)

Lillie. Raymond (standing), and Michael Swartz (1913)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandpa must have been at the supper—but Grandma doesn’t mention him and it sounds like the dinner was boring since the party broke up rather early.

According to the Commencement Program there were only six people who graduated from McEwensville High School in 1913, and two of them were my grandparents–Helena Muffly and Raymond Swartz.

commencement.program.1

 In such a tiny class they had to have known each other—yet Grandma never mentioned him in the diary. Why?

Raymond was much younger than Grandma—perhaps he wasn’t on her radar screen at the time.  He was only 14 1/2 years old when he graduated; she was 18. He must have skipped several grades.

Maybe Raymond was really quiet and Grandma barely noticed him. His mother had died several years previously. He lived on a farm with his father. He only had one sibling—a sister, Lillie, who was 12 years older than him.

Or maybe he was smart and annoying. . . .

One place in the diary where I want to think that Grandma referred her future husband was on February 6, 1911:

. . . Got too close to the stove pipe at school today and burned my hand. Didn’t feel very good. Put some black on a kid’s face, and then he put some on mine. I tried to prevent him. Got my arm scratched and tore my waist.  . .

It  almost  seems like the two students were trying to get each others attention, and that maybe they  liked each other just a little. Grandpa would have seemed like a kid at the time. . .could it have been him?

I’m probably imagining things. . .

37 Responses

  1. I do like the title of your Grandpa’s speech. If he could only see how we use video in education today.

  2. Such a small class. Yes, I wonder what she did think of him then? So the graduation rate was 100%?

    • At least one (and probably more) students dropped out of school. On February 28, 1911 she wrote, “One of the boys stopped school today. . . “

  3. imagining them back then is kind of fun – but at that age she probably had no interest in him–funny how as we get older we get closer in age

  4. I would like to think your grandparents liked each other back then, but I suppose we’ll never know, unless there is another hidden clue in future entries. Your grandfather looks older than 14 in the photo, he must have been very mature for his age, and your great aunt looks lovely. Is it my imaginations, or do you resemble her Sheryl?

    • Someone wrote 1913 on the picture. Assuming the date is right, Raymond would have been 14–though I also thought that he looked like he could have been older.

      I can see some resemblance between myself and both of my grandmothers. I never thought about having any resemblance to my great aunt–but maybe.

  5. How interesting that the two of them were in the same tiny class and married! And I agree with Joanne: Maybe there will be a clue in an upcoming entry.
    By the way, have you read Grandma’s entire diary?

    • Yes, I’ve read the entire diary twice. Once in the early 1980s shortly after my grandmother died, and once in 2010 before I started posting it. I can remember major milestones in the diary–but I missed many of the very interesting smaller events and connections when I read the diary from front to back. The slow pace of focusing on one day at a time really has enabled me to get a much deeper sense of what my grandmother was like.

  6. “Relics of the Earths Past” sounds like an interesting talk your grandma gave, and your grandpa’s talk “Motion Pictures as an Educational Factor,” too. I’d love to know what points they might have brought out!

    I couldn’t help noticing the name of their classmate, Nelson L. Specht, my cousins married a Specht from Minnesota.

    It does sound like your grandma was definitely flirting with someone – I bet it was your grandpa! He must have been a very intelligent man.

    • I also think that they were flirting and it’s fun to imagine that it might have been my grandfather.

      Since the states were different it’s probably a different Specht–but people do move, so I guess it’s possible.

  7. I think they noticed each other in school but three and a half years is a large gap at that age.

    • I also think that it was too large an age gap at that age for her to pay any attention to him (though he may have thought that she was interesting).

  8. Wow, what an amazing story! That the class was so tiny, that they were in it together, the age difference with her being older, your wonderful imaginings!

  9. Cool photo, lucky for you to have it of your great grandparents. How fun to have an Orchestra play for this tiny graduating class.

  10. I am sure that they knew each other in such a small class but since she was 18, maybe she had here eyes on older men at that time.

  11. Sounds like the beginning of a novel!

  12. I loved reading your thoughts about your grandparents. My grandmother was a bit older than my grandfather too. They did not notice each other in grade school; however, my grandpa grew to be much taller then her and she eventually was smitten. They were a very close couple. He adored her!

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • They got married when Grandma was 26 and Grandpa was 22.

      My grandfather also was tall–he was 6 ft. Grandma was much shorter–probably 5′ 1″ or 5′ 2″.

  13. It’s a good thing not every student gives a speech at today’s graduations with so many in the classes.

  14. […] The $2 bill was the third graduation gift Grandma received. The previous day she received a gold hat pin and a handkerchief.  […]

  15. […] Previously mentioned gifts included a gold hat pin and a handkerchief […]

  16. […] previously mentioned getting a hat pin, a handkerchief, a $2 bill, and a […]

  17. 14?!? He’s a freshman! Well, at least the age of one…wow, you got a genius in yo’ family, huh? :-P

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