Tuesday, April 16, 2024

N is for Newspapers


#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter N

I am in the process of sorting through everything in my parents' home, and in so doing, I have been looking through all my childhood memorabilia, the majority of which I hadn't seen since my parents packed up my belongings and moved them from the home I grew up in to this house some 45 years ago. My 2024 A to Z Challenge theme is based on the treasures I have found in the boxes and the drawers and closets. Join me on my bittersweet journey back to my childhood.

There's an old Southern saying that a lady's name should only appear in the newspaper three times: when she is born, when she is married, and when she dies.

I found these newspaper articles from when I was young that either prove that statement is false or that I apparently am no lady.

My senior year in high school, I was cast in the play Arsenic and Old Lace. We had a good many talented girls who auditioned, so the director made the decision to have a split cast, meaning each female role was played by two different casts. Each cast of girls performed for two nights with the boys performing all four nights. I played Martha Brewster, one of the two elderly sisters who made elderberry wine that was laced with arsenic and a pinch of strychnine and served it to unsuspecting gentlemen callers.

Front page of the Ruskin Highlight, baby!

Close up: Mike, Kenna, and me

That no being enough, I qualified to go to the State forensics competition, along with three others from our school's tournament forensics program. I competed in an area called Prose (also known as Storytelling) with a story from a book of parables called The Way of the Wolf that I loved. I performed a story called "Barrington Bunny."

Becky (still in contact with her), Tim, Nancy, me

I made the school newspaper twice when I taught elementary school in a very small town in the Ozarks. Kindergarten all the way through high school was housed in different wings of the same building, and since we were so close in proximity (and didn't have a newspaper of our own), the monthly high school newspaper always included an item or two about the elementary school as well. When I was first hired, I was interviewed as one of three new teachers in the building. Another time, I was pictured in a group of female teachers doing a dance routine at a benefit basketball game.

Teaching 4th grade. They were a great group.

I'm always the tall one.

Last, I found a photo of me and my co-worker that was submitted to the local newspaper when we were officers for our school's MSTA (Missouri State Teachers Association) chapter.

I have no idea who these men were, although I think the one
on the right may have been the state president. My co-worker
Patty and me in back (see? always the tall one)

Contact my publicist for interviews....


  1. I never realized you were tall before. I think the only photo of me in the school paper was a group photo with the swim team. We had on our baggy suits and our swimming caps.

  2. These are great! I am sure going through all the stuff in the house isn't the best chore ever. but finds like these must give you a boost every once in a while.

  3. I think the rule should change. A lady may appear in the newspaper as often as she does something newsworthy as long as it is not also notorious.

    Congratulations on appearing so many times.

  4. Forget the rule! You are a fair dinkum celebrity.

  5. Kudos to your capabilities in forensics competitions! And really creditable that you made it to newspapers.
    I just curious as to know the historical context or reasons for that Southern adage regarding a lady's name appearing in newsapers.

  6. I love the insights newspaper articles provide into people's lives!
    So, you were a fellow member of the NFL? Speech and debate were terrifying to me, but I ended up actually enjoying tournaments. (I never tried impromptu, though. I think I would have been the proverbial deer-in-the-headlights with no preparation time.)