Blonda Watt, class of 1909, must have thought it was terribly witty to post used corn plasters (eeew) in her sophomore scrapbook—chances are good she’d be sharing the social media equivalent with a much wider audience today. TMI.
And from the beginning of time, gals like Blonda have scorned young men who courted them with painfully good manners and punctilious handwriting. Correct usage aside, “I did not except” pretty much tells the tale—one excruciating evening with poor Mr. Huston was enough.
Missives like Huston’s were the functional equivalent of texting during the first two decades of the 20th century, fired off regularly by the men up on College Hill to the fair prospects below at Shepardson College for Women, now Denison’s lower campus. The miniature envelopes with penny stamps and the designation “Town” were delivered to Stone, King, and Burton Halls, requesting a walk together at two o’clock on Tuesday next, or a date for a party at one of the fraternities. Women’s scrapbooks of the era are filled with these small white trophies of hopeful gentlemen callers.
Miss Watt’s trail of envelopes tracks a lively association for the rest of the year with a Phi Gam named Paul, whom she joined in crazy “schemes,” but Paul wasn’t future-husband material. In the end, Blonda took a scientific turn—a career at Owens-Corning Laboratory, and a marriage to classmate Clarence Coons, who would become chair of Denison’s department of physics.