Sylvia Snyder Lehman

  • Sylvia Snyder Lehman , '56, recalls, "My father was the shop teacher, and it was very embarrassing to me. He was notorious for being a real, real strict disciplinarian. He had a board about a half an inch thick which was very nicely cut with a saw, and he would have the bad kids bend over and then he'd lob them. He never hurt anybody to the point where they were injured, but it was definitely physical punishment, and it was accepted at that time. I walked to school rather than ride with him, because I wouldn't be seen with him."

    "Nobody drove to school. Everybody walked. I live about a mile and a quarter from school, and I had a lot of friends that lived farther than that. Sometimes we took the bus, but usually you could get there faster by walking."

    "It was very important not to be covered too much, so I wore nylons, and boots over my shoes. I didn't wear gloves, a scarf, or a hat. We were so conscious of wanting to look nice. I froze the front of my legs, and the skin was affected for years and years. We never, absolutely never, wore pants to school. Jeans were for really grubby activities. We wore nylon stockings and girdles. All the girls wore girdles. Our biggest worry was what skirts were going to be like, full or straight."

    The Centralian came out every two weeks. It was very, very gossipy. Who was going out with who, etc. It wouldn't be nasty. It was not cruel gossip. In the spring one year a bunch of cheerleaders all dyed their hair green. It was very scandalous. Another time our basketball team, which had been doing very well, lost terribly. It went around school that they were at a drinking part the night before. It was a terrible thing. I think there was very little drinking."

    "Then there were pot lucks. These were clubs to which a big majority of the girls would belong. There were six to twelve girls in each private club. One or two of them were quite exclusive. My potluck met once a week, usually on a Thursday. We would all go to one person's house, and the hostess would provide the main dish and the others would bring other dishes. A lot of close friendships developed out of these."