On a September morning in 1927, the bell in the tower of the Mason Grammar School summoned children to a new school year. Among that group were first graders who were destined to be the class of 1938.
Because this class was large in numbers, it was divided into two class rooms. This situation continued until the fourth grade. This situation was not a special problem, because many close friendships developed that endured through their school days and for some, a lifetime.
"Reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic", the fundamentals of learning, were diligently taught by dedicated teacher. Discipline was learned, as well. As the class moved upward in the grades, opportunities to compete in math, reading and picture memory. County wide track meets were fun outings and competition with rural schools was good for the county.
There was no lunchroom. Children brought lunches in special containers. Some children were close enough to their homes and could go home for lunch. In the later years, coming home from lunch was done in a hurry in order to get back in time to have a girl's baseball game. Some were pretty wild. Our games were played where the Heritage Park is now located. I do not know where the boys entertained themselves during lunch, but I guess they managed to spend some play time. I suppose at that stage of maturing, boys were not important, only a nuisance. Well, that did change.
Time passed quickly, and the class found itself graduating from the seventh grade. Now, a new beginning was ahead. Four more years in Mason High School enhanced out education. English, history, mathematics of all forms, science, choral club bookkeeping, typing, German, Spanish-all offered to stimulated our minds. In our junior year, there was an influx of graduates from the country schools. Football season was a high light of the fall season, although winning was not very often. The games were played on the present Heritage Park area. The greatest complaint form the players was the presence of numerous grassburrs. Of course, we pep squad girls were busy doing our thing. What a fun time.
Before we knew it, graduation day in May, 1938 was upon us. As seniors, Senior day was looked forward to. One bright sunny day, the class climbed on the back of a truck lined with hay bales for a trip to Buchanan Dam and Enchanted Rock. The class sang the song "Let the rest of the World go by" "Let the rest of the world go by with someone like you, a pal good and true, I would like to leave it all behind and go and find some place that is know to God. Alone, just a spot to call our own, we will build a little nest some where out in the West, and let the rest of the world go by!"
Very elemental, but I dare say that our outing was as much fun and satisfying as those of our children and grandchildren. After 70 years, memory of that day is still vivid.
After graduation, each went his or her sperate ways. Ten years later, in 1948 when Mason celebrated it's Centennial, we had our first class reunion. There had been college graduations, numerous marriages, returning servicemen, first children, a lot to catch up on. As a result, class reunions have continued, the last one to be held was our 65th, five years ago.
At one of our reunions, Superintendent Clinton Schulze, a member or our class, presented some interesting statistics concerning the year of our graduation. I would like to cite a few of those statistics. This will show how times have changed since 1938.
Number of graduates---44
High School Enrollment---195
Total Staff in System---36
Total staff in Mason County---50
Average cost per pupil---$60.00
School Budget (1934-35)--$20,530
County-wide School Budget-$44,732
Number of our class planning college---28
My-O-My, How times have changed!!!
Though these 70 years, changes occurred with in our classmates. Inevitable, death comes to all, and we lost many of our members to that fact. Today, there are 13 or us have been blessed with these many years. Eight of us still live in their homes; the others are residents of nursing care facilities. I would like to name our living class of 1938...They are Virginia (Vedder) Bryan, Mildred (Eckert) Carder, Warren Schulze, Mary Ellen (Thaxton) Christenberry, Alma Lois (Sherwood) Baker, Imogene (Brandenberger) Lofton, Audrey Faye (Kidd) Campbell, J.D. Jordan, Ruby (Eckert) DeVos, Dortha Nell (Hurley) White, Ernest Fritz and Billie Louise (Splittgerber) Lehmberg and I, Marie Louise (Bielfeldt) Loeffler.
In retrospect, these thoughts can comprise our 70th year Class Reunion.