Friday, December 10, 2010

Student Nurses at Play


I posted the center photograph of my mother, Audrey Meinzen Doyle, earlier this year in a story about her nursing school days. In that photo, my mom is on the right. The only other student nurse I know is her friend, Leona Paine Tuxford, who is in the center in that photo. I assumed they were enjoying a joke (as indeed they were).

This week Leona's daughter found my blog because I'd posted some other photos of her parents and named them. It was a pleasant surprise when she contacted me. We began corresponding and she shared the photographs on the left and right as well as the story behind them.

She wrote, "From what I remember of my mom's description of the nursing school prank -- for some reason there was a police car in front of the nursing school and the girls thought it would be funny to hug Mom as if she was being arrested and then send her off in the squad car." Can't you just imagine the conversation that flew back and forth and the ensuing laughter?

I was surprised to learn that my mother would be involved in such a prank because she was such a serious person, at least when I knew her. But perhaps youth is generally more light-hearted and age brings maturity and a more serious outlook.

The other surprising thing is that they weren't arrested for "playing" around a police car, as surely young people would be these days. Times have certainly changed over the past 70 years.

Though these photographs are not crystal clear with fabulous lighting, I'm thrilled to have copies of them for the simple reason that they capture a few moments in the life of my mother at a time when she was enjoying herself with friends. Sometimes slightly imperfect images hold value for the story they tell, not just for the beauty or perfection of the images themselves. It is so with these photographs.

To Leona's Daughter, a grateful thank you for contacting me and for sharing both the photographs and the story. I appreciate it.


I invite you to enjoy other bloggers' Sepia Saturday photographs and descriptions.

19 comments:

  1. What a fun story! Great photos too.

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  2. Great photographs. One of the greatest delights of posting Sepia Saturday posts is that friends and family will send or bring you their old photos, even this week relatives came to stay and brought a little packet of old photographs. The informality of yours just emphasise the similarities of the generations - move forward 60 years or so and these could have been on Facebook.

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  3. Such delightful photos! How fun to find out about the story of your mother and her classmates!

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  4. Wonderful photographs, and great that you learned these surprising details about the light-hearted side of your mom. I love such discoveries! Cheers, Jennifer

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  5. I ought to look up a few of my old Nursing School photos and post them. The uniformas were similar to mine, my daughter's uniform were forest green scrubs.

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  6. What wonderful old photos! I bet that was very neat to be able to see your mom in a humourous pose.

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  7. Great photos - and you are right, our parents were so very different before we came along, ha ha. My post this week features my mother at the age of 8 and her brother holding what I think is a hand scythe. These days parents hardly know what that is, let alone let their 10 year old child hold one, lol. And so great that you connected with your mother's friend's children. The internet makes this such a smaller world at times.

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  8. Love these photos! What fun to get another glimpse of your mother.

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  9. How wonderful to have gotten in touch with your mother's friend's daughter. Just another thing that makes Sepia Saturday so much fun.

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  10. It's always great to get "the rest of the story."

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  11. You must have been so surprised when you got contacted by the daughter of your mother's friend, and to get photos as well. I always liked it when nurses wore these uniforms. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos.

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  12. Drats I clicked off before I entered my word so my comment has to be repeated! I did not have time to post this week but am reading and enjoying others Sepias. I love photos where the people are laughing and to get a contact like that from your blog and then photos and the story is, well, in the words of the commercial, "priceless." Yes those uniforms look so much more spiffy than scrubs of today, reflecting how informal everything is everywhere.

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  13. they are not imperfect!! they are representative of the conditions prevailing and the technology available then. i find them most delightful. and the extra details behind those pics are priceless. the web is a wonderous place!! nice that Leona contacted you!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  14. They still are wonderful photos and it is so great to make connections with others that can help discover the history and stories.

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  15. This is surreal. Today is my mother's birthday so I thought I would Google her name just because I was curious and I came upon your blog. My mother is Gertrude Cunningham - one of your mom's classmates in nursing school! She is top row, far right in the upper left photo, 1st left in the upper right photo and 3rd from left in the photo with the police car. I have never seen these photos and I cannot tell you how I feel being able to see them now! Thank you for posting them! My mom passed away in 1979. She was fortunate to have worked as a nurse her whole life. If I ever find any pictures of your mom in our archives, I promise I will share them with you!

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  16. Hi, ghog. Thanks so much for contacting me. Happy Birthday to your mom! I remember your mom as Gertie Hill, right? She and my mom remained friends after nursing school and were members of a nursing sorority that met monthly for many years. I think your mom had a baby when she was in her late 40s or early 50s. (Now who knows why that would be such a memorable thing to a kid!) Anyway, I'm glad you found photos of your mom on her birthday. Thanks for coming to visit.

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  17. Nancy,
    Trumbull County Nurses Association I think, yes? I was the last born that you refer to. My name is Paul Hill, named after my father. I seem to remember that their nursing class was the first graduating class in the program. I haven't been to Trumbull Memorial Hospital in about 6 years, but the graduating class photo was still hanging in one of the hallways at that time!

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  18. Paul, I think it was an organization with Greek letters. I may have the information somewhere. I'll see if Mom had other information about the sorority.

    I wrote another post about my mom's days in nurse's training. While it's not particular to your mom, your mom's experience would have been somewhat similar and your mom is mentioned as a student. You can see it at http://nancysfamilyhistoryblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/student-nurse-registered-nurse.html. It includes copies of the commencement program and her diploma.

    Also, from the information my mom saved they graduated from the training program at Warren City Hospital, not TMH. There must have been a transition soon after their graduation, though. There were previous graduating classes from Warren City Hospital. My mom saved some of the class info and/or commencement programs.

    Gosh, I haven't been to Trumbull for years, at least since before 1987. It would be fun to have a copy of the class photo. There were only 12 in the class, according to my mom's program.

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  19. Nancy,
    I see - a real sorority! Maybe the nursing program did move to Trumbull. So much to learn!

    I saw the Student Nurse page first, then followed the link to the page that had the three photos. Thank you again for your research! These posts have really made my day!

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I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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