Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wilmer School: 1938 Senior Class

Seniors graduating from Wilmer School in western Mobile County, Alabama, in 1938 were among the Greatest Generation who would fight World War II on battlefields and at home.

In 1938, Wilmer School graduated its senior class after the 11th grade rather than the 12th grade. That year the school had 12 seniors.

In the above photo, only the names of the three people on the bottom row are known (from left): Helen Sheld, teacher Lelia Mae Lord, and Beatrice V. Pierce (1921-1993).The teacher must have been a big influence on Beatrice because she had an unfulfilled dream to become a teacher herself.

Note the classmate who posed with the boxing gloves. Clearly he wanted to be remembered for his athletic abilities. The photo also indicates that students at Wilmer School had more to choose from than the traditional school sports of baseball and football.

Fifty years after graduation, the surviving members of the class gathered for a reunion at a restaurant in Mobile. A photograph below records that moment. Too bad we can't as easily record the stories of their lives.

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  1. Yes. If only someone had been at that reunion with an iPhone or other digital recorder, taking oral histories . . . I think much of all our lives is just inevitably lost. The effect of time. Is Beatrice your mother or otherwise related to you?

  2. Mariann,

    Beatrice was my mother.

    What I find interesting about myself is that as a kid I was interested in all kinds of history, except family history. It just never occurred to me, until it was too late, to ask my parents and grandparents about the history they lived through.