Clothing in the 40s
Elsie Johnson, 2015

When I was in high school in Perry Iowa, we were never allowed to wear pants!!! I did walk a mile to school so in the winter my mother brought me a snow suit (wool) to wear. I walked and was very warm. However I always had to take my skirt to wear after I got to school. Horrors!!! I forgot my skirt one day and had to wear my wool pants all day. How embarrassing!!! Girls just didn’t wear pants then!!! However saddle shoes were “in” - but they had to be dirty! I wore my cardigan sweater backward once and started a trend for that fashion statement! Girls wearing pants to the classroom was always a “no-no” in the 40s!! I was a high school cheerleader. It was a wonderful honor to be on the squad! All our football games were played at 7pm. And in the fall in Perry it got cold. We wore white shirts with a white wool sweater that had a big “P” on it and a blue skirt. We wore saddle shoes (dirty, of course, I was very upset when my mother cleaned them once!) We also wore ankle socks - no panty hose or anything to cover our legs. Sometimes I think my legs were as blue as my skirt from the cold, but you’d never admit you were cold!!! I attended my 60th high school reunion. Four of the squad were there. We were asked to lead a cheer. We thought we had done very well when the M/C said, “You girls don’t jump as high as you used to !!!


Elsie Johnson 2015
Being Sixteen In The 1930s
Elsie Johnson, 2015

School Activities - Girl Reserve Club - an athletic cub with after school games. Cheerleader - would practice after school. Social Activity - Rainbow Girls - we had meetings and dances on the weekends. Dancing lessons - Tap and Toe Saturday and Sunday Activity - worked at Woolworth’s for $0.15 plus a fraction an hour. (I could buy a nice blouse for $1.00) Babysat for neighbor girl for $0.35 an evening (from 7-12pm and sometimes doing dishes) Usual Saturday home chores: Dusting the staircase Cleaning my room which I shared with sister. Other jobs that needed to be done, ie, dishes. Sweeping the kitchen floor, helping my father too. Fun Times - Riding up and down main Street looking for the action (there wasn’t any!!!) going to “The Lake” in the corn fields - there wasn’t a drop of water, but good music!) Going to the skating rink - “Round and Round”. Once I fell and a dozen skaters skated over me. I still had fun in my teen years - stealing watermelons in the fall and taking them to the Public Park to eat them after we stopped at my mother’s house to get her large butcher knife. Is one of my fondest memories! Of course boys were always on our minds and talked about!


Elsie Johnson 2015