Virginia Graves - Class of 1931

Picture taken in 1929
Renee DeAtley, Class of 1931  - Virginia Graves, Class of 1931 - Grace Boutwell, Class of 1932
Virginia's comments about the picture:  Grace's last name was DeAtley.  We all called her Renee. Don't ask me why.
I'm concerned that she isn't with us any more since she doesn't answer cards. I don't know what happened to Grace Bothwell,
she was a beautiful girl and went into the university as an independent and was Savitar Queen.
Story by Virginia














by Virginia Graves Muench,

Just a few things about my childhood:  I went to Benton School the first three grades.  I don't remember but they said when I was in the second grade and the first grade teacher had to be out of the room they took me back to the first grade to read to them until she returned.  I must have been a good reader then.  When I went into the fourth grade we moved to 801 Rangeline and I started at Field School right across the street from our house.  We had Laura Allen, as our teacher that year and she was awful!  Flunked half the class but I wasn't one of them.  When we got to Junior High there she was again.  By that time we were older and gave her a hard time and she begged us and the ones she flunked to forgive her.  John Woods was one that failed that year along with most of the football boys.  That put him in my class although he was a year older.

They did not have an 8th grade in Columbia and decided since our class was a big one to split us up and form the 8th grade.  We knew the football boys would be held back for the 8th grade so some of we girls decided we would play a year and stayed back with them. I was in the first 8th grade and the ones that went ahead were the brains and a very small class and they didn't accomplish much except grades.  That is why they went in the hole with the Cresset their year.  We had a wonderful class and a lot of fun.  I was upset with John because he wouldn’t take me to the prom so I had an outside date and John showed up and watched us all night.  Found out years later he didn't ask me because he didn't have any money to take me and probably didn't have a suit either.  His dad had died and the family was having a hard time at that time.  I was a little sad at graduation because John was leaving the next day for Kansas to work with his brother.  He proposed to me that night and wanted me to go with him but at that time I was hoping I could go to school and refused his proposal.

Along with Dunbar Chambliss, I led the pep squad and had a great time doing so.  I mean we led the pep squad.  Helen Williams was my homeroom teacher and my favorite teacher.  Our class with the help of Helen Williams were the organizers of the Historical Society, and the National Honor Society, and the designer of the liberty bell pin. I was also a member of the Quill and Scroll along with the National Honor Society.  I was the MC for the Junior Senior banquet.


Our football team won State two years in a row, Junior and Senior years.
John Woods and Bob Haigh both are gone as well as Jim McCabe and all my football friends.








If I could find my Cresset I would be able to write more but it has been lost for quite awhile.  I was associate business manager and Max Koerner and I practically did all the work on the Cresset.  One high light in my senior year was:  The class before us went in the hole on the Cresset and we were told we could not have one unless we paid their debt, we were debt free and left $400 dollars for the next class to start with.  We put on a play that ran three night and two afternoons and made a nice nest egg for us and the next class.  I was in charge of getting advertising.  I spend my time going from business to business telling them if they would advertise we would do a skit about their business between acts of the play.  It wasn't easy since this was during the depression but we managed. The skits were funny and went over big and I'm not sure if we weren't the founders of talking commercials on TV.  Wearing heels I fell down the steps at school and got a concrete burn on my shoulder which got infected and I tried to take my finals with my left hand but I was so ill they excused my from my finals. I still have the scar from that fall.

I have a hard time remembering what shows I saw. "Sunny Boy with Al Jolson" and one show that I saw with Norma Shearer that I liked but can't remember the name of it.  In high school if we won a football game we always had a shirttail parade down Broadway and crashed the Hall Theater to see whatever was on.  I never missed a Tiger game and when I could not afford a ticket I sold Mums for a buck apiece in order to get in the game. Since I lived on Rangeline it was all the way across town to Rollins field and I walked home freezing to death but kept it up the next time. I remember when I was young we used to go to the creek a lot on picnics. My Dad had a model T ford and one time I was riding in the back seat when he hit the edge of a bridge ( I was reading the funny paper). Being a little squirt I bounced up and hit the bow of the car. I was laid out all day. Couldn't raise my head but the picnic went on as planned with me on the blanket. Now days I would have been rushed to the hospital but not then.  When I was in the third grade at Benton School I was swinging high when the recess bell rang. I jumped and lit on my head on the concrete steps going down to the basement and they sent me home. I think that is when My Life starts as I remember very little before that.  I must have had a hard head to endure all that.  I do remember them telling that during World War I, I was 5. Elma, my oldest sister, was very ill with the flu. We lived on Sandifer then in a four room house, they had me on a cot in the dining room.  Dr. Thorton was due so my mother ask me to get up so she could tidy up the house. I said I  can't, so she felt me and I was cold so she left me and when the Dr. came he said I had an inflamatory heart and it I had moved I would had died. I had to stay there for two weeks on that cot and not able to get up. I still have a crazy heart from that but I'm 89 and still kicking!  I collapsed in the yard one time when I was married to the Dr, and almost didn't make it.  He told me I had a model T heart and couldn't run it like a Cadillac.

When my sister Beverly was born I was 16, Elma was 19, Etta May was between 17 or 18 and my brother, Layton was about 12.  There was a lady to help my mother but since I was the only one that would do the work, I did the laundry and did the evening meal.  The house on Rangeline had a front and a back stairs and we used to chase each other up and down the stairs. I would jump down the back stairs and one time I knocked a whole set of dishes off the shelf on the pantry.  My folks didn't spank much and I didn't get one then.

I stayed in Columbia for a year after my folks moved to Washington.  I wanted so bad to go to school but was working for Daniel Boone Title Company after high school and did take a course in engineering to be able to plat property. We had a blue printing marchine.  Typewriters and the blue printer was all we had to work with.  I spent a lot of time at the court house running titles.  I liked that.  During high school I worked at Fredenalls on weekends and during the summer.  I also worked at the court house for the circuit clerk.  I moved to Washington when the title company went broke. Times were hard then and Bayless, a more established company got most of the business.  In Washington I worked in the office at International Shoe. I'd like to forget the early years in Washington, I did usher at the show there so I could see the shows for free. The shows changed 3 times a week.  I told the manager if he would buy me a flash light I would usher for nothing to see the shows, so I was the first usher Washington had.  Later when Dr. Muench moved to Washington to be near his mother, I wrote him a letter asking for a job and got it.  I worked for him 3 years before we were married and I really regret I didn't get back into the medical field when he died.  I loved that work and learned so much. I could do anything a certified nurse could do plus lab work but I never got certified.

Three years after Dr. Muench died I went into the real estate business and still have my license, but am semi-retired.  I have three children; Jackie, Rick and Christy.  I have 10 grandchildren, lost one grandson in a car accident and have 13 great grandchildren.  I am still a Kewpie and still have a large collection of Kewpie dolls and Kewpie accessories.


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