East Side Junior High School
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Class of 1943

playing ~ our Alma Mater
(way too fast, but the tune is correct ... words below)


Dedicated to the memory of

Ray Ashworth

East Side classmate (and also Chattanooga High),
who shared his memories and encouraged me in my endeavors on this page


in honor of my life-long good friend and classmate at both East Side and Chattanooga High,

Doris Ruth Dickerson West


East Side Junior High School ... believe picture made in 1928 ...
front entrance on Main Street to right of the picture ...
see close-up of entrance below in 1943 graduation picture.


Graduating Class of 1943
picture made at front entrance to school

I am on the front row, 7th from the left .... Carolyn June Springer
Second row, 3rd from left .... Doris Ruth Dickerson
Ray Ashworth .... find the boy at the top in white suit, angle down slightly to the left
past a teacher, to the 3rd person. Ray is the tall good-looking boy with lots of dark hair.

There were 13 of us in the '43 class who went on to Chattanooga High School. Once I could recall
all the names but, alas, no longer. I do know at least a couple of other high school classmates in the
picture are Damon Mitchell and Kenneth Sylar. Damon is the 5th person on the top row from
the extreme right. Kenneth is the 2nd person from the left on the 2nd row.

We got our graduation picture before school was out because lots of classmates signed on the back
as well as the principal F. L. Tallant and several teachers. 


East Side's Alma Mater

No acceptable midi of the tune for East Side's alma mater has been located.
I will keep looking for a good one. The tune is "Annie Lisle" by H. S. Thompson,
the same as used by several big-league colleges.

On the city's Eastern border
Reared against the sky
Proudly stands our Alma Mater
As the years go by.

Forward ever be our watchword
Conquer and prevail
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater,
Junior High, all hail!


Our school colors were gold and white.


My mother attended junior high school at the oldest junior high school in the South ..... East Side Junior High,
Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Later I was destined to attend East Side also, as was my sister Pat.) An historical sign
on the front lawn, to the left of the school as you are facing, designated the school as such. The building
was imploded in recent years, and I have no idea what happened to that historical marker. If I'm able to locate it,
I hope to be able to add a picture to this page.

Mother was sentimental and a big saver (as both her daughters became), and among the things she had kept
was her Home Economics book from East Side. Entitled
Science of Home Making, by Pirie, the introduction
to the book was signed "San Antonio, Texas, September 20, 1915." Mother, born in 1909,
would have attended about 1921-1923.

Mother was a good student and won the Latin medal. She encouraged me to take Latin so I dutifully
signed up in the 9th grade. Only one other person, Pierre Andrae, signed up for Latin ... so no class!
I didn't sign up for Latin later in high school opting instead for 2 years of Spanish and then
2 years of French in college.

During my years at East Side, fall of 1940 to graduation in 1943, Mother became PTA president
(as she had been when we attended Ridgedale Grammar School). She was given a large, beautiful and colorful
Roseville pottery bowl of which I am now the happy owner. I also have a large picture of her as president
with the other members of the PTA board.

When I was in the 8th grade, we had one year of classes that I think all students everywhere could benefit from
as it helped with future class plans. One semester we took typing, boys included. The second semester
we had 6 weeks each of Spanish, French and Latin. I loved those foreign language classes, and I've always
thought everyone should learn to type.

On Monday, December 8, 1941, our principal Mr. Tallant had the entire school to assemble in the auditorium
to listen to President Roosevelt's "day of infamy" speech.  I don't remember the year(s) but I recall two movies
we were shown in the auditorium.  We would assemble on Monday mornings, and they showed a part of the movie,
like a serial, for however many weeks it took ... one was "The Biscuit Eater" (how I cried) and the other I remember
was "The Last of the Mohicans," the original with Harry Carey. 

     I remember our school operettas well ... especially I remember "The Forrest Prince" based on
Tschaikowsky's music.  We had pretty costumes ordered from some company.  It must have been our
last year, 9th grade, because, for some silly reason, I wore my honor society pin on my costume and forgot to
take it off when returning the dress.  However, I was able to get it back from them!  Later lost it anyway!  
I know Doris Ruth was also in this operetta, as well as other music activities, as I was, because we both
sang in the glee club and were so "into" music. I'm sure Ray also was in this operetta because he mentioned
that he "sure had fun in those operettas."  Damon Mitchell remembers being on Mr. Verbal's stage
crew, and they did a lot of the scenery for the operettas.
   I remember that one day in the auditorium
Principal Tallant called on a boy in the front row ... I think it was Houston Brooks ... to stand up and spell "Tschaikowsky." (The Russian spelling is Tchaikovsky ... all this learned at East Side.)

Naturally we were all saturated with War news and lifestyles in those days. Rationing was a way of life.
All citizens went to their neighborhood schools for their ration books, and I remember helping
in this program at East Side. Damon remembers that there was a black-out drill on the night of our graduation.
This was fairly common in the War days, and I have vivid memories of black-outs in the neighborhood
with the wardens checking to be sure no light could be seen from your house.

In Chattanooga at that time, Bible was still taught in the public schools even in junior high, and I'm sure
this was not an elective since we had no electives in the 7th and 8th grades. Many classes are still vivid
in my mind, such as Bible, civics, geography, typing, foreign languages, gym, English, etc. For the first time,
so different from grammar school, we had a homeroom and then went to each class.

I remember in the back of the school was a library that we entered from the outside, and I recall
that it was a branch of the Chattanooga Public Library, but it was all we had.  This is where I remember
how I enjoyed roaming through the stacks and reading the "Oz" books.

We had our little school newspaper called the "Bag O' News." I was one of the reporters ...
something I enjoyed.

I remember so well the day I was "tapped" for the Honor Society. We were all assembled in the auditorium
and older members of the Honor Society wandered through the auditorium and pinned a little yellow ribbon
on the new members.

I remember that each year on November 11 at 11:11 a.m. someone played "Taps" in remembrance
of Armistace Day, and we heard it on the loud speakers that were in each room.  
We listened quietly and respectfully.    

I remember that, because there were so many required subjects, we had no electives until the 9th grade,
when I took a music class from Miss Sutton.  Two other music teachers come to mind ... a Mrs. Shipp ... a Jane Still ....
I'm just not sure if perhaps two of those are the same person ... maiden name and married name.
At any rate, we were all required to learn a song to sing as a solo.  In the spring, we had a "tea" in
our music class at which the parents were invited, and we all had to sing our solo ... so scary!
I sang "Springtime Is Here."

I remember our cheerleaders, with their big bobby socks*, and some of the yells ...
one was the "W and L Swing," whatever that was. 
*In those days we wore Oxford shoes and penny loafers.    

  We were fortunate to have neighborhood schools.  I was born and raised in the Ridgedale community of Chattanooga
at the foot of Missionary Ridge.  Most of that time was on Vance Avenue or Kirby Avenue in the 2400 block, down slightly more than one block from Dodds Avenue. We had long-time neighbors that we knew well.
It was the days before air conditioning, doors were unlocked, windows were up. You could walk along
and hear the phones ringing inside houses. I walked the short distance to Ridgedale Grammar School through the 6th grade and later it was less than a mile to walk to East Side where I attended the 3 years before going to Chatanooga High School. This was in the days before "average daily attendance" so we went to school come rain, snow, sleet, ice or too hot or too cold. We also walked to church, the grocery store and went "walking" and hiking with our friends.  

Yes, it was "the best of times." 



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