Little did they know in 1924 that, in about the time it took them to finish high school,
they would enter sixteen years of sacrifice.
Among the memorabilia at thee Fernandina Beach Schoolhouse Inn is a photo of the a 1924 high school class. If these smiling faces were 18-year-old seniors at the time the shutterbug posed them, that puts their birth year in 1906.
115 years ago.
A year before they entered high school, World War I ended.
They were leaving high school during the Roaring 20s. The Wrigley Building was just completed in Chicago. The Washington Senators won the World Series. Two US Army planes flew around the world. (It only took them 175 days.) France held the first winter Olympics. It was a Leap Year. Our nation implemented the 1924 Immigration Act which established a quota system for immigrants based on national origins.
Looking at the faces I thought of the dreams these students might have had moving into their post-high school life. What would the future hold for them and their families? What future would they create for themselves and their communities? What surprises, twists and turns awaited them? Were they hopeful or resigned? What would be their bright spots and not-so-bright spots to come? Would they recognize weak signals around them?
Just five years after that photo, our nation would begin the Great Depression which lasted twelve years. That was followed by World War II; another four years.
Little did they know in 1924 that, in about the time it took them to finish high school, they would enter sixteen years of sacrifice. Almost as long as they had been alive to that point of the photo.
I thought of my parents who lived during those sixteen years of sacrifice. I heard of the bread lines, ration stamps, neighbors not returning from war. My father dropped out of school in the 8th grade to help support his family. Not an uncommon story as I came to learn. Neighbors helped neighbors. The New Deal came into existence. Government programs proliferated to help citizens. Young people volunteered to fight for freedom. More than 116,000 would not return home to the USA.
Individual sacrifice for the family and community good.
115 years ago.
Video recommendation for the week:
When we look back, do we regret not doing what we wanted to do? Do we put off life until tomorrow? In 1924, those students were looking forward to their tomorrows. Did they get there? Will we? Here is a reminder.
Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.
My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click here.
My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. Please, check out her blog.
And you can still order:
- Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
- Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.
You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®