Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Good News, Bad News and a Meal Ticket

The good news is that the owner of a certain old steamer trunk has graciously allowed me to start looking through its contents in search of Ainsworth history.

The bad news is that the owner laughingly describes the steamer trunk thus: "Whenever we had something we didn't know what to do with, we threw it in that trunk." It contains a hodge-podge of newspaper clippings, professionally produced souvenirs, informal mementos, photos (mostly unidentified), letters, greeting cards, IOUs … you get the picture. I have to sort through all that to pick out what is or might be relevant, try to identify and date photos, scan everything, organize my images and notes … and this on top of everything else I have to deal with at home.

I want to get back to daily posting, but I'm not sure I can keep up.

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Our first little steamer-trunk treasure is this meal ticket from the Ainsworth School Cafeteria. It is undated, and I don't know what significance there is to the name being "Ainsworth School" as opposed to "W.G. Haan School." Thus far in my microfilm reading (1920) I've never seen any school in Ainsworth called anything but "the Ainsworth school"; and while we know that the new school had been re-named in honor of Major-General Haan by November 1929, I'm wondering whether the traditional name might have persisted on minor items like cafeteria meal tickets, even after the renaming.

Ainsworth school cafeteria meal ticket
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.

On the back, someone has typed some disjointed remarks.

Ainsworth school meal ticket verso

Here's my theory about those remarks. ***WARNING: WILD THEORY AHEAD!*** I think they were bits and pieces remembered from a speech heard at an eighth-grade graduation, or some such ceremony, noted down afterwards by Minnie Rossow Harms. How's that for a wild theory? It rests on a lot of assumptions, and a major difficulty is whether Minnie would have troubled herself to resort to a typewriter.

But let's not worry about that right now, when we've got ourselves an Ainsworth school cafeteria meal ticket.

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