Friday, July 10, 2009

Our High School Yearbooks: Scarboro ME 1956-61

: What did the Calculus book say to the Math book?

In celebration of our oldest grandchild's graduation from high school, let's look back at our school years in the 1950s.

Note: Click your mouse on each photo to enlarge it.

Gorham, ME High School. Grampy went here 3 years, 2 for junior high (7th and 8th grade) on the 1st floor, and 1st year (Freshman) of high school on the 2nd floor. He said his favorite part of school was the cafeteria, where the lunch ladies were generous to hungry boys, and music classes in the auditorium. He was always an honor roll student.

The new Scarborough, ME High School, 1956

My Freshman Year: 1956 - 1957
I started at Scarborough High School in 1956 as a Freshman (9th grade). Scarborough was a small rural town back then, but a new 4-year high school had just opened about a year before, within sight of my house. With a capacity for 350, it seemed huge to me and my class of about 60 students.

Our Sophomore Year: 1957 - 1958
Grampy moved from the neighboring town of Gorham in late summer of 1957, starting as a Sophomore (10th grade). We were both in the College Course. There were also Secretarial, Home Economics, General, and Industrial Arts courses, or tracks. All classes were taken with those in the same group, so even in a small town we had classes with few of our classmates. Only some went on to college, but we had a classical education in preparation for it, with excellent history and literature courses, and 2 years of Latin.

Our Junior Year: 1958 - 1959

Grampy was on the cross-country team. He's on the left, behind (and between) the guy in the tie and the one in the striped shirt.

My Senior Year: 1959 - 1960

My Senior Play
(I'm the one without a mustache).

Voted "Most Studious"
This photo, posed by the photographer, looks more like I'm going to whack John than study with him.

Here I am (on the right) in the ad for the WGAN TV station in Portland.

I was Valedictorian of my class, as shown on the Alumni page in the 1961 yearbook.

Grampy's Senior Year 1960 - 1961
Since Grampy was on his own from age 16, and had to support himself, he had to postpone his Senior year (12th grade) to work, in Massachusetts, for his room and board. He returned to Scarborough High School and graduated with honors in 1961.

Grampy's School Letter was for Cross-Country Running.

Grampy would have liked to be a Math teacher, but got a full scholarship to Tufts University School of Engineering in Medford, MA.

Grampy's Senior Play
Grampy (on the right) was an Admiral. He got to wear a fancy uniform and a fake mustache.

There were more in his class, but here's the part with Grampy's photo.

Scarborough High School Song
‘Round the royal purple standard the sons of Deering throng,
‘Neath the folds the hues of Heaven fair Portland’s sons belong,
But no colors how e’er cherished gleam forth with clearer light
Than the banner of old Scarboro with its glorious red and white.

Red for courage, nerve and prowess, white for purpose pure and true,
Red and white for all that’s noblest, dear Scarboro in you,
Should defeat before us threaten, we will never yield the fight
While above us floats the banner of our dear old red and white.

Riddle answer: You think you've got problems!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Our Family: Ancestors in the War for Independence

: What did the cherry bomb say to the firecracker?

Independence Day is the celebration of the birthday of the United States of America. Founded July 4th 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, this is America's 233rd birthday.

The Story of America's Birthday
Independence Day is the national holiday in the USA celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
At the time of the signing the US had 13 colonies under the rule of England's King George III. There was concern in the colonies about taxes paid to England. Called "taxation without representation", the colonists weren't represented in the English Parliament and so had no say. As unrest grew in the colonies, King George sent troops to control rebellion. In 1774 the colonies sent delegates to Philadelphia, PA for the First Continental Congress. The delegates were unhappy with England, but not ready to declare war.
In April 1775, as the King's troops advanced on Concord MA, Paul Revere sounded the alarm "The British are coming, the British are coming" as he rode his horse through the late night streets. The battle of Concord and its "shot heard round the world" marked the unofficial beginning of the war for independence.
The following May the colonies again sent delegates to the Second Continental Congress. For almost a year they tried to work out the differences with England, again without formally declaring war.
By June 1776 their efforts had become hopeless and a committee, headed by Thomas Jefferson and including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, formed to compose a declaration of independence. Thomas Jefferson wrote and presented it to the Congress on June 28. After some changes a vote was taken on July 4th. To make it official John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence "with a great flourish" so "King George can read that without spectacles!"
The following day copies of the Declaration were distributed. On July 8th the Declaration had its first public reading in Philadelphia's Independence Square. Twice that day it was read to cheering crowds and pealing church bells. Even the bell in Independence Hall was rung. The "Liberty Bell" was named for its inscription - 'Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof '. The signing of the Declaration was not finished until August, but the 4th of July is the official anniversary of our independence. The 1st celebration was the following year, July 4, 1777. By the early 1800s parades, picnics, and fireworks were the way America celebrated its birthday.

The war for US independence lasted 8 years, from April 19, 1775 to April 11, 1783.

Revolutionary War soldiers in Grampy's family
Dudley Pike (1760 - 1838) Buried Norway, ME.
Ebenezer Murch (1737 - 1824) 1st Lt. in Capt. Whitmores's Gorham Co. In 1776, 2nd Lt. under Capt. Ellis of Falmouth. Second in command of a company of soldiers in 1779. Buried Gorham, ME.
George Randall (1733 - bef 1812) Buried Rye, NH.
Nicholas Bray (1752 - 1843) "Mr. Bray was in the war of the Revolution for 7 years, and endured great suffering from exposure and engagements." Buried Harrison, ME.
Obadiah Mann (1738 - 1825) Died Randolph, NH.
Ephraim Cole (1731 MA - 1778 Valley Forge, PA). Private in Capt. Bridghan's Co., Col. Cotton's Regiment, enlisted 1775. Also 1777, Capt. Drew's Co., Col. Bailey's Rgt. Died of "camp fever".
David Marshall (1750 - 1828) Buried Hebron, ME.

Timothy Jordan (1767 - 1849) In Capt. McDonald's Co. At Yorktown when Cornwallis surrendered to Washington. Buried Otisfield, ME.

Mark Frost (1770 - 1835) Enlisted Lebanon, ME. Served as a Private from April 1782 to 24 Dec 1783. Buried Belgrade, ME.

John Foss (1757 - 1819) Corporal in Capt. Parson's Co., Portsmouth NH, 22 Nov 1775. Went to Cambridge, MA and "served until the evacuation of Boston." Buried Rye, NH.

Soldiers in my family, all in New Jersey
John Besson (1750 - 1842) An Ensign, the lowest ranking officer in the infantry, who carried the colors, or ensign, into battle.
Jesse Dalrymple (1756 - 1844) Volunteered in June 1775, age 19. Was a Private, responded to many calls from 1775 to 1780. Served under Col. Bonnell and Gen. Dickinson. In 1834, granted a yearly pension of $23.33. In the application he recalls a march in Feb 1779 to the Raritan River where they lay over for 7 weeks and had a very hard time, it being very cold and the soldiers being infested with lice. On his return home after this layover, his mother wouldn't let him in the house until he changed into clean clothing brought out to him in the barn.
William Bellis, born Johan Wilhelm Bollesfeldt (1740 - 1826)
Roelif Schenck (1752 - 1828)
John Van Doren (1726 - 1815) In 1777 he fought in the war and was taken prisoner by the British. Gen. George Washington and his army stayed on John's New Jersey farm for refreshment and refurbishing. John's house was the scene of some events of the Revolutionary War. Gen. Washington often slept here when passing in or through New Jersey. On this farm the Hessians, after clearing off a large piece of woodland, established a hospital for wounded and sick soldiers. During the war John's wife, Martha (Lott) Van Doren was taken prisoner by British troops. She was hung up by her heels and ordered to give information about American soldiers. The attempt was unsuccessful and she was released, but it is said not until she was black in the face.
"In Mr. Van Doren's meadow, Washington's army encamped one night in the winter of 1777, and the next morning they marched from it on a ruse. At sunrise British scouts on the plains below saw the columns of American militia appearing and reappearing among the trees, and so long did the line seem that it appeared to them as if they must have re-enforced themselves. In truth the head followed the tail of the column around, and only a company or two were there. The rest had retreated toward Morristown, and this covered the retreat, for the British, afraid, retired to New Brunswick. It is one of Washington's famous retreats. During one of the raids the British came to Mr. Van Doren's house, and among other things carried off the teakettle. A granddaughter thought it a shame that her grandmother should be deprived, and so went to her father's house and got another kettle. In a short time the British took this also. The brave girl determined to recover the stolen article, so she went more than a mile after it and got it."— From "Somerset Past and Present" in "Somerset Unionist," 1870.
The Van Doren house was so notable a landmark of the Revolution that a picture of the house and a notice of the quartering of Gen. Washington and staff there in Jan, 1777, after the Battle of Princeton, is given in Stryker's book "Battles of Monmouth and Princeton" p 301. A medallion portrait of Washington, cast in iron, was in the old fireplace of the mansion.

Abraham Van Doren (1750 - 1823) John's son. In the Somerset Co., NJ Militia

On the other side, but still a Revolutionary War soldier

John McDougal (1746 - 1826) Piper Major (bagpiper) of the 74th, who chose to share the future of the loyal Americans he had fought against, by not returning to Scotland. The 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot, or "Argyle Highlanders" (1777-83) served in Nova Scotia during the American Revolutionary War. Distinguished by its defense of Penobscot against an American Squadron under Commodore Saltanstat. The regiment disbanded at Stirling, Scotland in 1783.
Fort George, at Castine, ME was held by the British, the last fort in the new United States from which the king’s troops were withdrawn. Soldiers of this garrison belonged to the 74th Highlanders. To those who chose to remain in America after being disbanded, lands were allotted in New Brunswick (then still part of Nova Scotia).

Riddle answer: "My pop's bigger than your pop!"