18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
June 18, 19, 20: These days are filled with uneventful proceedings not worth mentioning.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Occasionally I miss the obvious, and this is one of those times. I recently realized that I knew one of Grandma’s friends in the diary (Blanche Bryson) when I was a child!
Since Grandma didn’t write anything specific for a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share that story with you.
Yesterday I shared information that Blanche Bryson’s daughter Jane Shuman, daughter Pam Cooper, and granddaughter-in-law Janet Shuman gave me about Blanche and her sister Margaret. Blanche’s married name was Kramm, and Janet wrote in an email:
“Grammie Kramm was 74 when I met her & still substitute teaching at Warrior Run in 1966.”
And, it was like . . . Whoa, my 4th grade teacher missed a lot of school, and for much of that year I had a long-term substitute named Mrs. Kramm. . . Blanche Bryson Kramm.
Mrs. Kramm would have been in her early 70s when I had her as a teacher, but she still had lots of enthusiasm, loved working with children, and knew how to engage them in learning.
I’m sure that Mrs. Kramm did a superb job teaching us reading and math, but–and this might sound silly, but I mean it in the nicest way– what I remember best about Mrs. Kramm is how she taught me to tear paper in a straight line without using scissors.
Let me explain—
During the time period when Mrs. Kramm was our substitute, there was a school program or assembly. Our class sang a song about popsicles and we held “popsicles” that we made out of Crayola crayon boxes that we attached a popsicle stick to and then covered with brown construction paper. (We made chocolate popsicles).
The music teacher had selected the song, and my classmates and I thought that making fake popsicle props was a bit babyish for us fourth graders.
Mrs. Kramm, however, decided that it was a wonderful project for fourth graders—if we learned how to tear paper neatly without using scissors.
I remember folding brown construction paper back and forth a couple times—and trying to tear. Oops—the tear veered off at a strange angle. . . .
I don’t remember many sheets of paper I ruined, but I do remember the pride I felt when I successfully tore a straight line. (It’s really easy, but it seemed hard back then.)
Fast forward to today— Every time I neatly tear a coupon out of a flyer at the grocery store, or tear off a registration form at the bottom of a larger sheet of paper, I think of Mrs. Kramm. . . aka Blanche Bryson Kramm.