Parietal rules, curfews, no pants past the post office, boys (men?) allowed upstairs only on Sunday afternoons, with the door open, and, yes, getting pinned: life in college during the ‘50s. None of the hijinks described by Ann Tracy in her story “Quiet Girls” (no snow where I went to school, for one), but once the frat boys water ballooned a peace rally at which a socialist visiting professor was speaking. I started dating the man I married at the beginning of freshman year, was pinned sophomore year. Kept my virginity. Got married shortly after graduation. I was definitely a Good Girl (see Charlotte Mandel’s poem, “Crossing the Calendar Bridge”), a Quiet Girl. You can see why Ann Tracy’s story resonated for me – as do so many of the stories you submit to Persimmon Tree. It is hard to imagine my 21-year- old granddaughter reminiscing about similar experiences from her undergraduate years.
Meanwhile, something totally different that occurred to me while I was exploring Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s fabulous artwork: Some of her work made me think of the Lascaux caves, which makes me wonder: Why do historians, anthropologists and art historians assume the 17,300-year old Lascaux cave paintings were done by men? Seems clear to me that women were decorating their homes while the men were out hunting. I think Smith’s painting, Herd, might prove my point.