Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Oh Mother, what to wear?" "No problem, dear...

...Just put on the NDA uniform." 
The article below from Vol. 1, #1, Oct. 1926, of NDA’s THE GAVEL accompanied the photos seen in this posting.


             Our Uniform—what does it signify?  What does it symbolize?  Is it merely a dress, a garment to be worn regularly to class?
            Our Uniform symbolizes simplicity and modest of dress in the neat blue skirt and pongee blouse of summer and the stylish dress of winter.  Not only is simplicity and modesty expressed but discipline also.  The disciplinary value consists in the daily and regular wearing of the uniform. 
            Oh? fellow students of Notre Dame, let us wear our uniform as we do our refinement, wear it and think what it symbolizes and always be proud of –Our Uniform.
                                                                                                Esther Bramlage, ’27

Did the young ladies of Notre Dame Academy High School and Commercial School actually feel this way about their uniform in 1926?  Blogger may be mistaken, but she thinks they did, or at least most of them did.  From interviews of alums of the 1930s, blogger found that the sense of pride in the school AND of being seen by the world as students of NDA was strong.
A summer and winter outfit have, of course, been realized over many years but not at notable as they were in the late 20s.  When the change occurred that eliminated the white midi blouse is uncertain, but by the mid 1930’s all of the young ladies seem to have been wearing a dark blue dress.  These dresses could be of any style but the white collars and cuffs were a must.  Long sleeves disappeared also, seemingly sometime in the ‘30s.  The scarf tied in a bow, at first a rather large one seen here in the winter uniform, also changed over the years to a very much smaller version before disappearing in the fall of 1942.  
We will move forward in this vein in the next posting, so do stay posted.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oh no, Grandpa...

Memories, like birds--fleeting.  Catch us, catch us if you can.

Oh no, Grandpa, you couldn’t have graduated from Notre Dame Academy!

Oh yes, he could have, and if he said he did, he probably did.  The Sisters opened a grade school as soon as the new 5th St. building was completed.  Boys were accepted with the same enthusiasm as the girls.  While the records are sketchy, to put it kindly (maddeningly), there’s plenty of proof that boys were there.  They may not have abounded—the girls always outnumbered them, as far as blogger can determine.  Here are a few photos to attest to their presence. 
The reason for this posting is that blogger realized that many, maybe most, people aren’t aware of gentlemen grads from this august institution.  What brought this to light was a recent  conversation with a  high school alum who said an aging relative told his family that he too had graduated from NDA.  The family was in serious doubt.  Blogger assured the grad that it was quite possible, and was able to verify the assertion from the records that the school does have.  The doubt was understandable; only people in their late 70s or older may remember the fact since the grade school discontinued in 1937.  The last 8th graders to graduate should be around 87 now.  That means there could still be quite a few male alums (properly called alumni) still gracing the area.  Therefore, Gentleman, please stand up and claim your rightful place in our gallery of fame!