I am thinking this photo was taken while we were still in elementary school - probably 6th grade (1946-47) - but its setting was at an area-wide PTA meeting held at Hamilton Junior High School. The photo itself has been in my possession since then, but seeing it again this morning made me laugh.
In the fifth grade a new Girl Scout troop (Troop 28) was formed at Whittier Elementary School in Long Beach. Mrs. Frances Allen, mother of Dorothy, became the scout leader, a job she held officially until we all graduated from Poly High School in June of 1953...and unofficially through many years of reunions until she died some years ago. "MizAllen" as we called her was like a mother bear with her bear cubs. She nurtured us until we were old enough to set out on our own, and each of us attributes some of our success in life to her loving care.
She was bold and brave. I look at this picture and can hear her telling us to make sure we didn't hold the flags in front of our faces. Rosalie Lorenzen is holding the flag on the right. Her flag cleared not only her face but also that of Frances Benjamin. I, then Barbara Dobbins, am holding the American Flag and it cleared both my face and that of Carol Smith. As an obedient child I did what she asked, but to the detriment of the little Cub Scout standing on my right. I can imagine his mother was pretty darn put out when she got her copy of this picture.
I don't remember the names of the Cub Scouts, except for Chuckie Newmyer, who is holding the American Flag for his group. He went all the way through school with the four of us girls, and to my knowledge he is still alive and kicking somewhere in California. Fran, Ro and I are still Californians, and Carol is in Sierra Vista, Arizona.
I love this picture -- not only because it brings back such good memories of my friends and our scouting days but because it reminds me of a joke that pops into my mind whenever I see it. It goes like this:
Marianne decides to go to the beach to show off her new bikini bathing suit. She invites a new friend to go with her, and as they strip down to their bathing suits at the beach, the new friend points at Marianne's navel and says, "What on earth happened to your belly-button? It's huge!" Marianne calmly replies, "When I was in Girl Scouts I always was the one who carried the flag in the parades."