Waco High hi-jinks

Claire Masters

I must admit that I was a bit studious in high school. Mostly, I loved history and English and would always work hard for those particular teachers. I joined the Library Club and served as an officer. Some of us worked in the library for extra credit. My favorite task was to repair books with broken backs and torn pages. The big pot of sticky glue smelled horribly, but I liked the idea of giving a book a second chance to set on the shelf and help a student in his studies.

The head librarian was Othello Denman. Anyone who attended Waco High School during the '30s and '40s would remember her. Her favorite activity seemed to be shushing anyone foolish enough to talk in her domain

Because she had been there so long, Miss Denman had a strong proprietary interest in every book in HER library. She stalked around like Gen. Rommel, keeping a quiet, orderly room.

I always liked her, but there were some who dreaded any sort of a confrontation with the dragon-lady.

Another story having to do with books: Once in a while, the boys would plan a naughty trick on the teacher in study hall. At Waco High School, study hall was an enormous room filled with students who were supposed to be studying. It might have been a warm, lazy afternoon when everyone was half asleep. At an appointed time, everyone would slide a book off his desk and the resulting noise was deafening. The poor teacher would jump to high heaven.

Waco High School had plenty of mischief-makers.

I remember another time when one of our social organizations sponsored a dance at Fish Pond Country Club. I think it was Genheimer, of which I was a member. Those were the mid-forties when all of us girls wore long dresses called "formals" to such parties. Usually, the floor-lenth skirts were made with stiff net in pastel colors. We wore little ballet slippers with these formals.

The night was balmy, the lights were low, and we were all dancing to "Racing with the Moon." How romantic! Just about that time, a couple of guys from the stag line ran in with buckets of crickets they had scooped up around the airport lights. They scattered the contents out on the dance floor.

You cannot imagine the mayhem that ensued. The bugs clung to the net skirts and began to climb upward. Squealing girls began to crunch the bugs under their delicate slippers. I've always wondered who those boys were? Anyone out there who will confess?

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