During my high school days the school paper, published by the classes of the business department, was called the “Cat’s Paw”. I’m not sure how we came about that name, but it’s rather strange to see the same phrase on the window of the museum.
I still have the October 21, 1966 edition because one of the front page articles is about my election as the “Sub-District President” of the FHA. I’m not sure I even remember what the sub-district was! But the paper is interesting for a number of reasons. For one thing it contains the names of the same people who are active in community affairs today, because they were active in school projects and groups.
On page two is a devotional, including a prayer, and this thought for the day: “I want the light of Christ to shine through me, and my life to shine in the midst of darkness.” Apparently there was less concern in those days about separation of church and state! I wonder if we could print a devotional in today’s school paper. Probably not.
There is also a report of a fire on September 16th doing $2,000 damage to the “grade school”. The fire started in the fifth grade room and spread to the fourth grade room. It was started by a faulty compressor in a water cooler.
The superintendent’s message is ironic since it could have been written today. He opens by saying how well the students are adjusting to school and accepting new regulations. Then he addresses the problem of the day. “The one regulation that has not been accepted as fully as we had hoped is the one concerning the length of girls’ skirts. Proper dress and appearance is as important as the knowledge gained by an individual. In our modern world, you must be accepted by your superiors before you can demonstrate your knowledge or ability. A person’s dress should tell us something about that person. It should characterize the individual. …If your dress indicates that you have no self respect, it seems to me that it would be hard for you to command respect from your peers.” I wonder if I could go back to the fifties or even the forties and find a similar plea from the superintendent? No doubt.
In a survey (very scientific I’m sure) 54% of the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior students said if a boy and girl went out two or three times the other students considered them “going steady”. 57% said girls should NOT have equal rights in asking for dates. 72% thought is was all right to go “Dutch treat” on dates.
The back page of the paper is filled with little teasers. “____, why is it that you are so anxious to see the Junior play?? Could it be because of a certain fellow named ____?” “___, who have you been looking for in the halls??? Could it be ____?” I guess anyone’s romance was fair game. There is even a teaser about me!!
New classes were added to the Caddo High curriculum. Boy’s home economics, taught by Mrs. Adkisson, covered the following topics: personal development, clothing and grooming, bachelor meals, cooking, family living, and housing.
The junior play, “The Phantom Bells” promised to finish with a final surprise that “will leave an audience gasping”. I was in the play, and I can’t remember how it ended. I do remember us losing a prop!
Finally, these words of wisdom from the editorial: “We all know that to succeed in life today you need a very high education. Now is the time to start preparing that education. A good education can’t come with just the snap of the fingers, it has to be worked and planned for…Prepare now, for the time is coming when you will need this preparation.” Words to live by.
I don’t know about you, but I love looking back at these glimpses of the past because they show us that the basic nature of people changes very little from decade to decade. I think people always do the best they can, where they are, with what they have. The majority of people in Caddo have always worked hard to make it a better place to live. They’ve always cared about the problems and prospects of the next generation. Looking back to where we’ve been helps us move forward to where we need to be!
By the way, if you have any old papers, family history, or news you want to share in 2006, you can leave them at Craighead’s for me. Just put them in an envelope marked “Caddo Blog”.