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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mr. Peabody Meets Miss Margaret

The other day John Yates, a history buddy, and I were talking about cartoon shows we enjoyed while growing up in the 1950's when cartoons were a Saturday morning TV staple. One of John and my favorite cartoons was "Rocky and His Friends". Rocky was a flying squirrel who palled around with a somewhat dimwitted moose named Bullwinkle. They would have an adventure each week and introduce a few friends. 

Two of their friends who were highlighted on the show were a boy named Sherman and his dog, Mr. Peabody. Perhaps, some of you out in the Blog-O-Sphere remember these segments called "Peabody's Improbable History".

Mr. Peabody and Sherman at the WayBack machine.

Mr. Peabody, an unusually smart dog, invented a WayBack machine which he used to bring Sherman back to various times in history, so Sherman could learn history first hand. They would dial up a year and an event and, PRESTO, would find themselves transported back to view and become part of historic events as they unfolded. It's not unusual that both John and I to enjoyed the show, as we both have always been interested in history.

If you are unfamiliar with the show and would like to view an episode or you were a fan as a child and would like to relive some pleasant memories, click below to take a trip with Sherman and Mr. Peabody back to 1492 to witness Columbus' discovery of America.

I got to thinking about what a Mr. Peabody episode would be like if he and Sherman traveled back to New Gretna a few decades ago. I can picture Sherman dialing the WayBack machine to New Gretna in 1941. Let's go back to that time and see who they might encounter. I can't draw a cartoon, so we will have to settle for a Tuckerton Beacon account and some old photos to spark our imaginations.

Our journey in the WayBack machine brings us to Miss Margaret Adams' retirement dinner on a June 18, 1941 evening. It is a significant event in the history of New Gretna. Miss Margaret taught and was a principal at the New Gretna Scool for 42 years. No one devoted more years to educating New Gretna students than Miss Margaret! I'm sure that some of you out in the Blog-O-Sphere have fond memories of her.

Miss Margaret in 1937.

The New Gretna School where Miss Margaret devoted 42 years of her life.

Franklin A. Gray, 1952
Board of Education Clerk

Alice Mathis sang "School Days"

Gene Sears sang "Love's Old Sweet Song"

Bess Mathis and her husband, Zeb - 1946
Bess led the group singing.

Rev. Ernest C. Enslin spoke about Miss Margaret's contributions to the community.

Leola (Mrs. Gerald) Hickman replaced Miss Margaret as principal.

Gerorgia Lutz presented a testimonial to Miss Margaret.

Kathleen Willets Gray was a teacher at the New Gretna School.

Can anyone tell me which of my Men's Breakfast buddies, whose initials are "R.S.", spent quite some time under Mrs Gray's desk due to questionable classroom behavior? I'd sure like to take a trip in the WayBack Machine just to see that! If anyone out in the Blog-O-Sphere served a similar fate as "R.S.", lets hear from you.

Leah Loveland

Helen (Mrs. Clarence) Mathis

A young Lizzie (Mrs. Benjamin) Broome

Mildred (Mrs. Milton) Kauflin

Minnie (Mrs. Henry) Updike

Almira Cramer, later Mrs. Clarence Steele
Mother of Rickie "White Shoes" Steele

Well, that's our little journey back to the New Gretna of 1941 to meet Miss Margaret and the many citizens of New Gretna who honored her at her retirement dinner. Maybe you met some people that you knew or heard about. If so, let's hear from you. 

Pete S


  1. Pete-

    You learn something every day. Never knew Aunt Viola (Mrs. C. Earl) Cramer played the piano?

    Arnold Cramer

  2. The so called name mentioneld here of New Gretna as "herringtown" conflicts with what I was told by my Aunt Bella Mott Bartlett of Tuckerton and brother ( my uncle) Lincoln Mott) formerly of Tuckerton. They said that New Gretna was referred to by Tuckerton residents as "Herontown" referring to the great white Herons that the settlers and Native Americans noticed all over the meadows and small streams near the bay..I was also told that the Tuckerton locals had a ditty they would shout to the Herontowners when meeting up with some of them...."Heron up!...Bang! a Pine tree! ...refering to shooting the Herons. This story I was told back in early 40's.
    Margaret Goulding-Mott Ryan

  3. Sam Briggs was one of the many "bad boys" who received the under the desk punishment in Mrs. Gray's classroom. Needless to say, the confined air was close.
    Phyllis Briggs

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