Thursday, February 9, 2012

Eagle Rock High School - Class of Summer 1939

Velma Carver
Guard, 4H Club, World Friendship

  My grandmother, Velma Elaine (Carver) Elsner, graduated from  Eagle Rock High School in the Class of Summer '39.

  Eagle Rock is a neighborhood in northeastern Los Angeles, California.  Eagle Rock was incorporated as a city in 1911, and was annexed into the City of Los Angeles in 1923.

  Eagle Rock High School (ERHS) first opened its doors on September 12, 1927.  The school colors are green and grey, the mascot is the Eagle, the school newspaper is the 'Eagle's Scream', and the yearbook is called the 'Totem'.

    As I began looking through my grandmother's yearbook, I started to notice some things that were different about it.  The outside cover is a plain green cloth cover.  Usually the cover of a yearbook has a title or emblem on it.  But I didn't really think about it too much.

  Then I noticed that the pages inside the seam have little holes like spiral paper. And in the middle of the yearbook, there is a page that says "The End".  But it isn't the end, there is another section!  The first half of the book is for the Class Winter '38 and the second half is for Class Winter '39.

  When I looked at the book from the side, I could see that there are definitely two sections.  The top section is a little more discolored than the bottom section. Also, the paper is not lined up exactly the same in the two sections.

  And then it dawned on me! Remember when I told you in a previous post that my grandparents met in Trade School in a bookbinding class?  Well, I thought maybe Velma had used her skills to combine two yearbooks into one. 

  I searched the internet for an ERHS yearbook from the 1930's so I could compare it with Velma's yearbook.  I found the one above which is from Eagle Rock High School Winter '39.  As you can see, it has a grey cover and is spiral bound.  The website said that this yearbook has Winter '39 in front and Summer '39 in the back. 

  So she took the original covers off the yearbooks from Winter '38 and Winter '39 and bound them together to make her own unique yearbook. 

  The Winter '38 part of Velma's yearbook has the graduating class portraits, group pictures of the classes, Student Government, Activities, Junior High, and Athletics.  I found these pictures of my grandmother:

This is Velma's B11 class picture.
She is in bottom photo, sixth row, second person.

Self-Government Committee. 
Velma Carver is seated in the first row on the right.
"The commissioner of Self Government and his staff work in conjunction with the Boys' and Girls' Advisory Councils. The duty of this committee is to make students cognizant of State and School laws that affect them and report violations of these rules. This covers hall conduct, cafeteria regulations, leaving the campus without permission, and throwing or running on the grounds. A record is kept of offenses and as an individual's lapses accumulate, they are turned over to the Advisory Councils."

  The second part of Velma's yearbook has the graduating class portraits for Winter '39, then group pictures of each of the classes, Student Government, Junior High, Athletics, and then the Summer '39 graduating class portraits.  I found my grandmother in these photos:

Self-Government Committee.
Velma is in the fourth row on the right.
  "Cooperating with the Advisory Councils the Self Government Committee, through its guards, tries to maintain the standards of conduct established by Senate regulations."

Class of Summer '39. 
This is just one page.  There were 199 graduates.
  Her yearbook was signed by many classmates, friends, and teachers wishing her a future of success and happiness.  Some of them mention the Eagle Rock float she was on, a sewing class, and a cooking class.  Here are a few of my favorites:

"Best Wishes to a swell girl who was almost Rose Queen."

"Lots of Luck to a keen kid.  We have had lots of good times "Queenie"."

"Velma Carver, No more one handed anything and you'll be all right - jitterbug"

"To a swell girl" 

"Velma Dear,  I certainly have had a swell time in foods with you and I'm afraid I'm going to miss you when I leave.  Now be a good girl and don't do anything I wouldn't do - Always will remember "Food" class."

And my favorite:
"From Miss Clark you'll get a snappy answer
Of just who Velma might be
Because she's the genius who thinks she can
Cook without a recipe!"

  Ha!  Mom has told me a few stories of how bad her mother's cooking was!  And I wonder what it was she tried to do one handed?!  How funny!  At least she was good at bookbinding!

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