Donald & Ann (Clayton) Kelly graduated from Springlake-Earth in 1949.

As High School Sweethearts, Donald and Ann were the Senior Class Favorites of 1949!

(Picture taken from the Earth Weekly News)

Donald and Ann have just recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary!!

I interviewed Mrs. Kelly and here are some of the things we talked about:

What were some of the clothing fashions of the 1940's?

Knee-length skirts were really popular and to make them long skirts, the girls would sew ruffles on the bottom of them. "Saddle Oxford" shoes were a very big fashion then. They were brown and white. Another fad that came and went (thank goodness!), was wearing your dad's big shirts. The sloppier, the better!! Really fads didn't hit a small country town like Earth until a few years after they hit the bigger cities. Hair really wasn't a big thing. Girls wore it from lower ear to shoulder length.

Who were some famous actors who played in movies?

Gene Autry and Roy Rogers were big. Western/Cowboy was the type of movies that they played in. Kids would go to the movies in Earth or Olton and if they were lucky, they got to go to Plainview. When you lived out on a farm, you didn't get to go into town to do things like that, so it was fun when you could!

Roy Rogers

Who were some of the music artists, and what songs did you enjoy?

Frank Sinatra and Gene Autry! The music of the 1940's was really good music. Some of the songs I enjoyed were "Mavizy Doats," "Buttons and Bows," "I'm My Own Grandpa," "Cruisin' Down the River," and "Mule Train."

Frank Sinatra

Did you have a TV set in your home?

No, we had a radio. "Amos and Andy" was one of the most popular shows to listen to. The first television set I saw was after I got married. Kids growing up learned to entertain themselves. They learned to think for themselves also.

Do you remember where you were when Pearl Harbor was bombed?

Sunday, December 7, 1941, we had company and were sitting in the living room at my house, listening to the radio, when an announcer broke in and gave the news. I remember exactly the announcer coming in and saying, "We interrupt this program..."

Did any of your family have to go to war?

None of my immediate family went, but I had cousins who did. My father was a farmer and no farmers went so they could stay here to produce food.

During the war, what all was rationed, and how did it affect you?

Meat, shoes, sugar, flour, gas, etc. was rationed. The school buses still ran. Farmers got more gas than anyone. During the war, everyone would gather up all their scrap iron, haul it to town, weigh it, and whoever had the most iron, won a prize!

What classes did you take your senior year, and how many credits did you have to earn in order to graduate?

I took English, Texas History, and typing. We had to have 16 credits to graduate: 4 per year. Home Ec. was a 1/2 credit. During the war, it was really hard to find teachers, so we didn't have as many classes to take, such as science! At that time, there were only 11 grades and I skipped the fourth grade. There was not as much stress in school as there is now. School was much more relaxed and not so competative. The only drug problem we had was racing to the drug store! "Drug" was a new word!

What extracurricular activities were there in school?

Pep Squad, which I was in, Chorus Group, Junior Play, Senior Play, Football and Basketball. We didn't have a band and the football games were played in the afternoons because there were no lights to play at night.

Did you work during High School?

No, girls were expected to stay home and help with housework. Boys were expected to help their fathers on the farm. After I married, this other lady and I had a sewing store located in the Earth Mall. We paid our employees $3.50 per hour, I think.

What did you do in your spare time during high school?

I did church activities, such as GA's (Girls Auxiliary) and Rainbow.

Did kids have any parties during school?

We were allowed one class party per semester. We went to the Sandhills and ate watermelons! There wasn't any spare gas during the war, so we couldn't go much. We had Fall Breaks instead of Spring Breaks so we could go home to harvest the crops.

At graduation, were there any traditions?

There weren't any traditions, but that year (1949), we put on a play for graduation. We were one of the first classes to wear caps and gowns. They were gray. We were also the first class to get printed invitations! Graduation was in the old gym (now know as the Junior High Gym.) Our class was the first or second one to get to have Senior Luncheons at the churches. We had two: one at the Earth Baptist Church and one at the Springlake Church.

Did you go on a senior trip?

Yes, we went to a Dude Ranch in Mesa, Colorado, called the Flying Lazy H Ranch. We rode horses and stuff like that. We rode all the way up there on a school bus! We sold magazines to pay for the trip, and my mother went as a sponsor.

Did you go to college?

Yes, to Wayland Baptist University. I was in the International Choir there and we traveled everywhere, including Mexico. I didn't even go to college for a whole year. My father had a heart attack, and so I came home to help my mother.

See Pictures from Mrs. Kelly's Scrapbooks!

Click on the date to see a picture of the graduating class of that year!

1940 - 1941

1942 - 1943

1944 - 1945

1946 - 1947

1948 - 1949

1940 Facts & History

Fashion of the 1940's

Music of the 1940's
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