Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What is so rare as a day in June?

Above is a photograph of the sophomore class of Jenkintown High School, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, from the 1926 JHS yearbook. In other words, this is the Class of 1928 when they were in the tenth grade. (For non-U.S. readers, high school covers four years, grades 9 through 12, and the classes are known as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.) The photograph also appeared as the illustration for the month of June in a 1975 pictorial Centennial Calendar that was issued to commemorate the first one hundred years of the Jenkintown School District.

Jenkintown, a Philadelphia suburb in Montgomery County, came into being around 1790. I have no idea how Jenkintown educated its youth prior to 1875. My guess is there probably was a school, but not an official School District.

An aunt who lived in Jenkintown sent me one of the calendars when it was published, but I managed to lose track of it over the years, helped along by several family moves. About a year ago, thanks to the internet, I was able to obtain another copy from the Old York Road Historical Society for six dollars.

I was very happy to get it, too, because in the front row, third from the left, the girl wearing the dark dress is my mother, Ruth Silberman, eighty-five years ago, at age 16.

If you click on the photograph you will see the people's faces better and be able to read their names. I remember hearing my mother speak of her friends Jeannette Creamer (pronounced KRAY-mer, first row, fourth from left), Helen Keiser (second row, third from left), and Norman Land (back row, fourth from left). Norman later worked at the U.S. Post Office in Jenkintown, and I met him there on a trip to Jenkintown from Texas with my mother in 1955 when I was 14.

In my next post, I shall show you something even rarer than a day in June.


  1. This is a treasure, indeed. That is a very mature-looking group of high school sophomores.

    I'm looking forward to your next rare find.

  2. Charles Miller looked a cool dude, standing there with his hands in his pockets. I bet all the girls on the front row swooned for him - an early version of James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause".
    Sad to think that all those people, like your mother, have gone now.

  3. I love the hair styles of the girls. Nearly all of them have a 'Bob' ;-)

    It is a wonderful photograph to have. Looking at old photographs of my mother it is remarkable that they looked so mature around the age of 16. Perhaps it is the clothes.

  4. Pat, I think teenagers must have at least acted more mature back then than today's teenagers do. This is pure conjecture on my part.

    Y.P., I don't know for whom the bell tolls nor for whom the girls swooned.

    Carolina, at least one of them did have a Bob: me!

  5. Hi there! I found your blog while looking for information on the Great Scot supermarket that used to be in Jenkintown. You see, I was born & raised there -- JHS class of '87. I still have a nephew who goes to school there and have friends and family in the area. I moved to NYC 15 years ago, but have many fond memories and good friends from my hometown. I feel as if I remember that calendar, hanging in our kitchen, as I have always been fascinated by old photos.

    Be well!

  6. Hi, Jill! Thanks for writing...I think the last two cousins who went to Jenkintown High graduated around 1953 or 1954 -- Philip Caracena and Eileen Silberman. Maybe your parents knew them!

    Please excuse my delay in responding to your comment.