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Lighter than Air Friday Blog

category_bug_journal2.gif There is a whole lot I want to say about Wall Street reform and the president's so-called “entitlement commission” among a few other things, but I've been too busy packing and shuffling an extraordinary amount of paper involved in the house sale and purchase to do any productive thinking. I warned you this would happen during my move from Maine to Oregon and today's post is so light that it may as well be helium filled.

Amazing 1940s Acrobatics
My friend Kent McKamy sent me the video below. It is from the 1944 film, Broadway Rhythm featuring the Ross Sisters singing Solid Potato Salad. But that's the smallest part of what they do in this clip. Mostly, they show what astonishing acrobats they are.

The three sisters - Aggie, Elmira and Maggie - were born in the late 1920s in west Texas. When I was growing up in the 1940s and early 1950s, a lot of girls my age practiced the Ross Sisters kind of acrobatics. I think today they probably would have become gymnasts.

Anyway – the amazing part begins about one minute into the clip.

More 1940s – in Lake Oswego
A few days ago, I was poking around the internet to find out more about my new (original) home town of Lake Oswego, Oregon. And look what I found at the Lake Oswego Library website: my class photo from 1947, with our teacher Mrs. Hargreaves, taken just a week after my sixth birthday.

Can you tell which one is me?

Lake Grove School 1947

Leave your guesses in the comments and I'll post the correct answer at 6PM eastern U.S. time today along with a story about the only other kid in the photo I remember.

UPDATE 6:00PM: Apparently most of you know me better than I do. The only reason I recognized myself (in the red circle) is that I vaguely remember seeing the photo in the past. It's probably sitting in a box of loose old photos I'll be packing soon.


Interesting that some of you think the girl in the middle of center row might have been a bully. I don't remember her. But Brenda, the girl in the blue circle? Definitely mean, nasty and horrible. She caused me no end of grief in first grade.

She was much bigger than I was and was out to get me. Every day of my life she teased me, poked me, shoved me, called me names and once slugged me in the face with her fist. I hope her life has been as miserable as she made mine that school year.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Ernest Leichter: My Radio Friends


first on the left in the first row. in yr other kid photos in header, you have such a big and wonderful smile.

unbelievable those gals were toooooo much. LOL

Same guess--first on left, bottom row. Loved those flexible gals!

front row, left!

I say front row left end, next to Ms. Hargreaves.

Front row left (next to the teacher)...
It was easy!

I agree with the others. Next to the teacher.

Whoa! I thought there might be one or two guesses for the front row left...apparently I have lots of company with my guess. (Weird if we're all wrong...)

Front row, first on left. There's that smile!

Well, Ronni, because you are such an active participant in all things and are so civic minded, I think you volunteered to hold the sign!

First row, first girl, is you.

But that sourpuss girl, three in from left, middle row, who pooped in her school bag?

Was she the class bully?

If so, I'd like to go back in time and have a little schoolyard chat with her.

"Hey, who are you?"

"I'm your conscience."

"Call me "THE CAT."

"Listen up, sister. This is how it's gonna be, see. Every single time you even THINK about bullying anyone, a little switch in your mean head will flip from nasty to nice, just like that."

"Next thing you know, you'll nauseate yourself doing good deeds."

"I'll give you an on the spot example. See that little kid over there, the one without a jacket. Go over there and give him yours."

"Hey, what's happening to me?"

"See how easy that was?"

"Now, walk over and apologize to those rope skipping girls, Bertha and Gillian, the ones you have teased every single day from kindergarten."

"Beg them to forgive you, offer to do their homework for a week.

"Aw, please, this must be a dream. Why should I do that?"

"Because I, THE CAT, will be shadowing your every move. One refusal with result in you being transported to the streets of Mumbai, with a dollar American in your pocket."

"Swooooosh.) (I give her an instant video play on my net book.)

"What's that thing?"

"It's magic."

"People like you will be using these things some day, to bully others, but not if I can help it."

"So. That's how THE CAT works."

"Any questions?"


"Get busy."

She staggers off, looking to help anyone and everyone.

This is an emergency.

A lone cat comes along and sniffs the spot we were standing on. It glares at her, then evaporates with a hiss.

Because I picked another girl I went back to look at the picture again after reading that everyone thinks you are the one standing next to the teacher.

I'll still go way out on a limb and say you are the blond girl in the back row between the two boys (second from the left), My only reservation is that I doubt that you were ever one of the tallest girls in the class. I'm probably wrong, therefore.

Second from the right back row :-)

Front row left, next to the teacher. I'm with everyone else. It's the smile mostly. What a delightful find for you.

First left, front row, I'm sure. But in defense of the girl in the middle, I recently came across a picture of my 5th grade class, and I was glaring at the camera as if on the verge of committing mayhem. I recall that I had seen a football team photo just before that and most of the players were scowlng menacingly, which gave me the idea that must be the way for guys to go. Who knows, maybe the little girl was imitating an idol of her own.

doctafil--you are right that girl does look mean...wonder if she was as mean as she looks....or maybe just sad...in any case, glad I don't have to find out!

Well I thought you were the one right in the middle of the front row, but I am obviously outvoted.

I'd cogitate the picture and try to find you but I am inspired by the Ross Sisters and must go to pilates and practice bending my spine. Did those girls have anything but ligaments and tendons???

Ist row, 1st on left like everyone else. I think you are missing a couple of teeth in the front.
A treasure of a pic!

Just to be contrarian

Second row, second from left

What a surprise find on the inter-tubes! I agree...next to the teacher on the left looks like your header picture. With bees knees! What a crew! Mostly girls.

Agree with the majority on this one, first child, first row.

Who is that mean widdle kid in the middle? The poor child must have been having a very bad day.

I think you are the girl in the middle of the first row. Very cute!

And for the record, I like the lighter than air posts and we need more of them.

Front row, right next to the teacher!

The smile and the forehead give me the clue.

Ronnie, off course front row left next to your teacher. The visual of the acrobatics/flexibility and strength of the Ross sisters borderlines on being surreal. WOW, totally impressive.

I couldn't figure it out, but just wanted to point out that I, too, have a high forehead, and (since the age I got control of my own hairstyles), always wore some kind of bangs, as you do in all of your different-aged pictures. Also,in lots of class pictures people are posting on FB, it is glaringly apparent that most kids were not fat in those days--usually one or two that we would now think of as just a little pudgy, and they were teased about it--probably why that poor little girl looks so grim and unhappy!

The Ross sisters were the precursors to the Circ de Soleil. Amazing-especially the splits! I wonder how well they aged over the years. Thanks for sharing it.

I see you are really enjoying packing.

Yes, I blew up that shot and compared your young chin to the chins in the image. Glad to know I got it right. :)

I agree with the others. Next to the teacher.

Ronni, THE CAT apologizes to middle girl, picks up the scent of the real bully, and is fired up, fur a-glitter.

THE CAT clicks a few netbook keys, yanks up a cold case file, whiskers on alert.

A mug shot opens up.

THE CAT stares hard at the screen, mumbles "the last time I saw a mouth like this, it had a fish hook in it."

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