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Hope Chests and Silver Spoons: How girls’ graduation gifts have changed

This past weekend in Spokane, thousands of high school seniors graduated and most received gifts from friends and family.

My daughter graduated this weekend, as well. And, just as it was with her siblings, our gift was a computer to take to school with her. It's a pretty common gift these days, a tool for study and work. Exactly what the contemporary student needs to succeed. But that wasn't always the case.

In the not-too-distant past, girls didn't get that kind of gift. Instead, they were given items that would prepare them for becoming wives and mothers. College was fine, but the real work came after they were awarded their 'Mrs.' degree. Later, in the 1960s and 70s, luggage became a popular graduation gift, suitable for a traveling coed, single working girl and (fingers crossed!) eventual honeymooner. Remember Mary Tyler Moore's matched set of white luggage?

I write a column about antiques and collectibles for Nostalgia Magazine each month. In the latest column I wrote about the tradition of Lane Furniture Company gifting high school senior girls with a miniature cedar chest to be used as a jewelry box. The hope was that soon they would be buying, or be given, a full-size 'hope chest' to fill with things they would need as wives and homemakers. Silver companies gave girls a miniature sterling spoon or knife, often fashioned into a pin, when they picked out a silver pattern.

Today the idea of a hope chest filled with household items, linens and lingere seems laughable. But it wasn't that long ago that young women were expected to marry young and set up housekeeping right away.

 

If you had a do-over on high school

“I would have married my high school sweetheart,” wrote Nadine Joubert. “Yup, after 43 years I'm still regretting that one.”

It’s write time for young authors with outdoor theme

It's time for high schoolers to begin thinking about fame, fortune and the great outdoors.

The Spokesman-Review once again is joining the Outdoor Writers Association of America in sponsoring a contest for youth outdoor writing.

The contest is open to high school students from the newspaper's circulation area.

Entries must be on the general topic of “outdoors.” This includes subjects such as hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, boating, nature and conservation. Any literary style - including humor, fiction, letters or poetry - is acceptable.

Other contest rules are as follows:
 
  • Contestants must be in grades 9-12 and from the newspaper circulation area in Eastern Washington or North Idaho.
  • Stories must be original and may be no longer than 1,000 words.
  • Entries should include the writer's name, school, grade, home address and telephone.
  • Stories should be typed.
  • Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Nov. 18.
  • Limit is one entry per student.

E-mail entries (preferred) to richl@spokesman.com. Receipt of all e-mail entries will be acknowledged.

Entries also can be mailed or delivered to Youth Outdoor Writing Contest, Sports Department, The Spokesman-Review, 999 W. Riverside, Spokane 99201.

Newspaper writers and editors will pick the best entries and award one $50 first-place prize and at least two $30 runner-up prizes.
 
The winning entries will be published in the Sunday Outdoors section and entered in the national OWAA Scholastic Writing Contest.

The national contest offers awards of up to $200 for the best outdoors articles published by high school students in 2010.
 
In 25 years, 39 finalists from The Spokesman-Review contest have won national awards.

Kamm: Reconnecting w/High School Mates

Kamm: I finally found my place on ‘FaceBook’ last month and, of course, friended and was friended by family and friends. But now a strange thing has happened as I look for old friends and classmates. My page is busy with all kinds of people I haven’t thought about in decades. It’s a little emotional and bittersweet as I reconnect with people I knew but haven’t thought about. And it’s humbling that they want to connect with me. Sharing our stories, the ups and the downs, the high school sweethearts who are no longer a unit, the most likely to succeed who didn’t, old work friends who have fallen by the wayside, has caused some tears. There are some I haven’t answered yet; I need a break before I open those old feelings of who we are vs who we thought we would be.

Question: Have you had a good or bad experience reconnecting with old friends and high school classmates via Facebook?

State tournament news

News out of the state high school championships events Saturday:

Mead boys and girls win 4A track titles

North Central boys win 3A track championship.

Almira/Coulee-Hartline wins 1B baseball title.

Ferris wins third-place game in 4A soccer; Cheney falls in 2A title game, 1-0.

University loses twice and is eliminated in 4A softball; Mt. Spokane wins 3A opener then loses second and third games.

Colfax loses in 2B baseball title game.

Colville loses in 2A girls softball title game.

No championships for area tennis players.

 

Rain pushes back softball

University softball coach Jon Schuh enjoys coaching girls for many reasons. One of those reasons was quite evident Friday when the State 4A softball tournament in Tacoma was postponed.

Click here for the story and here for the revised 4A bracket and revised 3A bracket.