Reflections: Remembering May Day


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

I have reflected on May Day in the past but this week I want to reflect on it from a more personal view. I remember while in school the excitement that built as May approached, knowing that the first Friday would be the annual May Day celebration.

That meant the crowning of a new queen, the May Pole Dance, a play presented by the grade school, a huge lunch prepared and served by the PTA followed by games on the school’s

athletic field. A baseball game was played and the day capped with the May Day Dance. This all took place at the school on Nichols Street where all 12 grades attended.

I was fortunate in 1949 to be elected to that prestigious position of the school’s 19th May Queen. On May 6 that year I walked, accompanied by the playing of the band on that canvas covered path to the decorated throne, setting on the school’s athletic field.

This was the first time the ceremony was held on the athletic field, the first time there were bleachers and it was the hottest May Day (90 degrees) on record. A crowd estimated at 1,000 sat in the hot sun watching the procession, the Maypole Dance and the grade school operetta, all performed on that dusty ball field.

I had been a part of that operetta while in the lower grades, I accompanied it later on the piano and was a dancer in the maypole dance in the seventh and eighth grades, played for the dance my freshman and sophomore years and capped it with the queen crowning.

Each of my three sisters later served as May Day attendants. My mother was part of the PTA lunch crew and what a great group of cooks they were.

I wish to remember those people in the court when I was queen, just a few short 70 years ago.

They were Jeanne Benson, 1948 queen who crowned me, Wilma Long, Reba Showalter, Janice Hall, Patricia Barton, Betty Bow- man, Nadene Coykendall, Caryl Page, Mollie Hardman, Shirley Pearl, Eilene Ruehrmund, attendants and carrying the flowers were Ronda and Sondra Denton, Maeve Murphy and Judith Hall and Michael Murphy carried the crown. This was the first ceremony in which two sets of twins participated.

I will always have fond memories of May Day at Cardington School.

Looking back

May, 1944: From: The Searchlight, the Cardington school newspaper: Leotus Stoner was introduced as the band’s new drum majorette.

Receiving red ribbons in the county written spelling bee contest were Teddy Deel, Charlotte Patterson, Jerry Decker, Dwight Bean, Marie Asher, JoAnne Westbrook, Janice Hall, Martha Kanable, Jean Campbell, Jean Bond, Betty Jean Fetter and Edna Harris.

The first annual banquet had been held by the Cardington FFA and FHA.

The annual May Day program had been held in the gym because of rain. May Queen was Alice Crum, retiring queen, Maxine Renz. Attendants were Dorothy Sarcone, Mary Sherman, Flora Harris, Geneva Phillips, Marjorie George, Doris Mathias, Dorotha Stephens, Maxine Boger, Julia Reed, Joan Hall, Richard Koon, crown bearer and flower girls were Roberta Jean Long and Elaine Cahoon. May Pole Dancers were Phyllis Yake, Wayne Mateer, Jeanne Benson, Kenneth Heimlich, Doris Smith, Eugene Davis, Janice Hall, Kent Curl, Ann Cover, Dewey Yak, Audrey Barton, Henry Newcomer, Evalyn Patzer, James Hack, Kathryn Nybladh and William Hack.

April 1949: Kenneth Haycook was appointed by the Cardington Township Trustees as the new township clerk.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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