When I toured what we think of as Central High School last fall, I went into what had been the typing classroom. Mrs. Bedwell, the communications arts teacher, said the green typing desk, green cabinets and shelves were left over from our era.
I didn’t take a typing class. My Dad had a typewriter, and I started pecking at it when I was in about the first grade, definitely long before I was exposed to cursive writing.
Drudge work improved vocabulary
My handwriting was so bad that my dad, who had beautiful writing, made me do exercises to improve it. He’d have me do page after page of cursive exercises, then graduated to make me copy the dictionary. My writing didn’t improve, but my vocabulary sure did.
This, my child, is what a mid-20th-century spell checker looked like. It operated on a form of sneaker-net. If you weren’t sure how to spell a word, you got your tail off the chair and walked over to this big book. The bad thing is that you had to sort of know how to spell the word before you could look up the spelling of the word. It did not run on batteries and only one person could access it at a time (unless you were both looking for the same word).
1964 Typing Teachers
It wasn’t mentioned in The Missourian or the yearbook copy, but this 1964 Girardot photo of Central’s Business Department indicates there was some horrific accident that resulted in Lucille Adams’ body being grafted to Katheryn Wulfer’s head, and her fingers to become implanted in Cornelia Gockel’s shoulder. Jerry Wommel is pretending not to notice.
1964 Typing Club
The 1964 Girardot photo of the Typing Club doesn’t indicate the students were present when the accident involving the typing teachers occurred. The 1965 yearbook doesn’t list a Typing Club, so the accident may have had some residual traumatic effect on recruitment.
1964 Competent Typists
These students were recognized as Competent Typists. It doesn’t say what they had to do to earn the title.
1965 Business Department
By 1965, everyone had their body parts in the right places. Mr. Wommel still looks like he’d prefer to be somewhere else.
Green cabinets were original
Mrs. Bedwell she had heard that the new gray desks were being manufactured by prisoners, but she wasn’t sure if that was true or not. The green cabinets were there in the 60s.
Classroom doors are the same
Here’s the entrance to the old typing room.
View from typing room window
Except for the new gym, the view out the window looks pretty much the same. I don’t remember if the covered walkway was there when we were in school, though.