"A wonderful time to be young". My classmates and I have often said this in
recalling our carefree days and classmates we grew up with in Del Rio,
Looking through THE BRANDING IRON reminds me of so many things that happened during our High School days. Classes began at 9 AM sharp with everyone seated in their classroom for that forty-five minute class. No chewing gum, no talking without permission, "yes mam" and "yes sir" for correct responses to our teachers. Staying after school (detention hall) if we talked too much in study hall or misbehaved in a manner not approved by our teachers. The female teachers wore hose and dresses or suits and the male teachers wore suits and ties to class. This was without air conditioning.
The first Branding Iron Annual was published in l937 and we were in the 8th grade. The senior editor was a neighbor of mine, Ernest Lee Weiner. I have a picture of the officers of our 8th grade class and later the editorial group (our senior year) for the 1940 Branding Iron. Those who kept their annuals usually brought them to our class reunions for autographs. Always fun to see everyone again and they always looked the same to me, well. maybe a few changes.
Most of the pupils started together in kindergarten or first grade and many later raised their families in Del Rio with children attending Del Rio High.
Several groups of girls and boys organized social clubs and entertained their classmates with dances at the Country Club or Elks Hall. These were fun parties with a local band or an orchestra from out of town. Breakfast was usually served after the dance. This was the time to wear your best suit and gown. I remember finding a talented dressmaker who would sew my gowns from pictures I cut out of Seventeen or Glamour. I wish I had saved them. We also gathered in the homes of our classmates for games and fun. "Spin the Bottle" was a favorite which meant a walk around the block for the couple who won.
Our senior picnic was held on the Herbst Ranch. The Pinto creek runs through that property to this day. Max was one of the seniors and a gracious host. All of our affairs were well chaperoned by teachers or parents. The boys gathered in a group talking and joking around and so did the girls. Doing some funny poses for the camera and of course the food was enjoyed by all.
This was the age most of us learned to drive a car. The speed limit was 15 miles an hour in town. A favorite pastime was when one of the girls could use the family car and filled it up with her friends to drive up and down Main Street on a Sunday afternoon. This was usually after the early matinee in the Princess Theater. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies were my favorite.
You could depend on meeting your friends parked outside of Little Brock's at the south end of Main Street on weekend nights. Some might be inside putting nickels in the nickelodeon and dancing. We could hear the music outside sitting in our car with a coke or our favorite beverage that the
carhop had brought to our car window.
Lake Walk was a favorite place to meet friends during the summer. You could always dance outside on the concrete dance floor hearing the music from the nickelodeon. The cool summer breeze and the hit tunes made you feel like things couldn't be better. Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra were my favorites (and still are). Lake Walk was later covered with water when the Amistad Dam was built.
The football games beginning in the fall of the year were always exciting. I was a member of the pep squad even though at the time I didn't understand the rules of the game. Many of my classmates were on the football team and I was usually hoarse the next day from all the cheering. Not until one of my sons played football in high school did I learn the rules. Never too late.
Harold and I were high school sweethearts and this last June we celebrated our 65th wedding anniversary. Hmmm how old does that make me??!!!!
To the entire alumnus I say GO WILDCATS GO and keep a special place in your
heart for Del Rio High. I hope the Wildcat website will keep all of us