By: Paige Cline
Did you ever wonder how we got where we are?
I mean name-wise.
There were not that many different names in Wyoming County a lot of years ago. That was before the influx of people from parts unknown during and following World War II.
As of March, 1941, there had been 1000 Cooks born in Wyoming County during the previous thirty years. In all, 17,400 babies were born in that same time period. In 1940, 300 Cooks were born in the county.
In the thirty year span before WWII, there had been 857 Morgans born, 463 Stewarts and 399 Lusks.. Smith and Jones were very much in the minority in the name game.
Why am I telling you this? I don’t know. It just seemed interesting to me.
About that same time, 18 new TB cases were found by X-ray screenings. Tuberculosis was a dreaded disease back then and, as far as we knew, the only treatment was to be placed in a sanatorium for treatment and isolation. Like polio, it was something that was never far from the minds of parents and even the children as soon as they were old enough to realize the danger.
As testimony to the economic growth of the county, Marianna added 50 men to its payroll. Many mines in the county were experiencing similar growth.
Not exactly in the early forties, but not long after, someone in the Board of Education thought that the school bus drivers were getting to be a bit too casual. An order was issued by the director of transportation that all drivers would be in full uniform, including cap and necktie. The drivers were a spiffy crew for a few years. But gradually the code was either relaxed or ignored and we evolved into the “anything-goes” dress of today.
Same way with teacher dress. Not too many years ago, a male teacher would not dare go to school without a suit and tie. I don’t know if it was a rule, although I suspect it was. But it didn’t have to be.. The men would dress as they thought appropriate. And appropriate meant a coat and tie. Period.
If you see a necktie in a public school today, you can bet that it is either a visitor or an administrator. Times change.