1920s Memories
Nora still shows her FLC pride!
Nora still shows her FLC pride!

NEW! MEMORIES OF THE 20S, by Nora Malles, '24-'65

Wonderful experience. Oh, they had tremendous teachers. We had study hall every night from 7 to 9. And they chose your subjects. Four years of solid English, four years of math, four years of science. It was tremendous. I loved every minute of it. I thought Mr. Bader was the most wonderful instructor I have ever known. He taught science mostly, biology, botany, zoology and chemistry. I never did take physics. He taught physics too. You know, if anybody got out of line, he never said a word, just sit up there and give them that look. Everything quieted down. Tremendous disciplinarian.

We had a little teacher, Mrs. Hecker. She taught rural school management. She was an older lady, always wore navy blue. She had a bottle of ink on her desk and sometimes you’d see her take the cork I guess and dab the front. I think she was from Iowa. Whoo she was strict but I learned a lot.

I remember G.F. Snyder. He was so strict. Course we were all a bunch of kids away from home. I can see now where he had to be to a certain point. Because, you know, kids are kids. In that gymnasium, he’d sit up in the balcony on the night of the dances. We learned right from the beginning that we had to stay that far apart when you danced. Oh, he was strict. In spite of that kids would sneak out.

Then we had, in the music department, Mr. Brooks, we had some wonderful music. Live music, and some that they had come in from I don’t know where, I don’t remember. Light symphonies. The curriculum was well rounded. I think we were so lucky, those of us who were privileged to go to Fort Lewis and take real advantage.

Now the athletic department wasn’t as rich as it is today, but we had a winning basketball team. They went all over the state. I played lots of tennis. We’d get roller skates and go round and round that balcony up there in that old gymnasium. Our athletics for girls was very good and I was on the basketball team. And then we had debate teams, we had banquets, dances, church. The entertainment was fine along with the teaching. I remember we got a Ph.D. couple. They were great. What Ph.D. taught in a high school in those days?

But, you see, it was all kids (not all but the majority) from where there were no high schools or the parents had to move to town and couldn’t or wouldn’t. And they were well taken care of. The dining room meals were excellent.

I think it was either 25 or 50 dollars a month.

Four years of high school, two years of college. If you got a certificate you could teach. That was a mistake, the biggest mistake I ever made, as far as my education. I should have finished. You’d be surprised how much time it took me to get my degree. Teaching, working at home, I took more night classes, every chance I’d get. That was a long time from where I’d started.