(Pretending to) Get Married in Mallard, Iowa


Tonight I was going through some super8/8mm movies that I don’t know if I’d ever even seen. I ran across this shorty (21 seconds) from my days of teaching home economics at Mallard, Iowa. The video is of the students in the senior Home Arts class as they were escorted into the home ec. room for their mock weddings.

The Home Arts curriculum was set before I started teaching at Mallard. It was geared 100% to getting married. The administration’s expectation was that I follow the curriculum of the previous home ec. teacher…probably because it had always been a popular class, and, face it, at that time, there was more focus in society on being married as opposed to not.

If I were teaching a similar class today, I’d have the students concentrate more on things like family finance, compatibility, and commitment than on choosing a wedding cake or the four Cs when shopping for a diamond.

When I started teaching at Mallard I was 20 years old; some of the seniors were just a year younger than I at the time. I might have had more growing up yet to do than many of them did!

Oh, yes…I remember the “boys” class when they cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving. They got their clean-up done awfully quickly. Sort of. I didn’t discover until the end of the year that those boys put the turkey bones way back in the corner of the lower cabinets! (How I didn’t discover those turkey bones before then, I’ll never know!)

Those same boys had a home ec. lesson in mending/patching jeans. But, the laugh was on me…or rather on Bill. The boys practiced their mending on Bill’s jeans. After I took the jeans home to Bill and he went to step into a pair, he discovered that those boys had sewn his pant legs closed!

Back to the video. After the Home Arts students graduated in the spring of ’77, Bill and I had a get-together for them at our home. (I.e., all or almost all of the students in the video showed up at our house.) We had no idea what to expect, but to cover our fannies, we made sure that the students were of legal age. (All were except for one girl.) There did end up being some “adult” beverages brought by at least one student, which made me quite nervous. But, in talking with the parents afterward, they were just glad their daughters and sons were with us instead of who knows where.

Fond memories of the days that were. Just like yesterday, today and tomorrow will one day turn into the fond memories for our futures.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


One Response to “(Pretending to) Get Married in Mallard, Iowa”

  1. glennmarkley@msn.com Says:

    Thanks for the great story and video. The speaker we had at the library today told us to write down stories about the past like you have done above, when you get enough, publish a book. It is very interesting and a good story. Thanks for sharing. Glenn

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