Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Versatile Central

Long before "diversity" was popular, before it became a hot buzzword (or a tired cliche), Madison Central High School was home to a diverse student body. You can see it as you look through all of the old Tychoberahns. You can read about it in all the back issues of the Madison Mirror.

Posted below is a page from the 1928 Tychoberahn that takes note of what its editors called "Versatile Central" You should be able to enlarge the image in your browser by clicking on it. The photo is not a sharp as I'd like it to be, but until our local libraries have better reproduction hardware available (somebody please buy them a scanner!), it will have to do, since the Tychoberahns do not circulate.

I also have retyped the text on the yearbook page and entered it below so that it is easier to read. This will also make the names searchable -- and, with luck, perhaps someone from that class (who would be very old), or someone related to one of the people mentioned in the text will stumble across this post on the Internet, or be directed to it by a search engine, and will take the time to send an email and share more of their story, or the story of their relative who attended Madison Central High School in 1928.

There were 217 students at Central who were born outside Wisconsin, thirty-one of whom were born in foreign countries, and six in Canada. Those not born in Wisconsin represent thirteen foreign countries and twenty-five states in the United States. The largest number, fifty-eight, came from Illinois. Iowa is next with twenty-two, followed by Minnesota with fifteen, and Michigan with fourteen. Other states contributed from eight to one. Nine foreign born are from Sicily. Russia and Canada each sent us five.

Those who came from foreign countries had many interesting experiences on their trip to America. Boris Schuster came from Russia in 1917 when he was seven years old. The trip lasting two months, was made by way of Siberia, Manchuria, China, Japan, Seattle and San Francisco, and then by train to Stoughton.

Stanley Jones came from England when he was eleven years old. His chief difficulty on the trip was the fact that the officers of the ship seemed to set the clock back an hour just when it was time for a meal.

David Greeley was born in Newfoundland, where his father was a missionary.

Russell Hibbard's parents were missionaries in China, where he was born.

Rebecca Nathenson was born in Russia and travelled for two years through Poland, Germany, and France, on her way to America.

Philip Porrino landed in America from Sicily in 1917. A submarine fired at the boat on which he was traveling, but no serious damage was done. This experience occurred a little way off the coast of Spain. Vito Intravia had the misfortune to be on a ship which ran into an ice-berg. By pumping water the rest of the trip all passengers were able to land safely. Joe Raimond came from Sicily in a small crowded boat. Many passengers died of seasickness and were thrown overboard for the sharks to eat.

Winfred Jones came from England on account of her mother's health.

Many other interesting experiences were met by various persons.

No comments: