With 84 children to teach, the "one room schoolhouse" in Orlando had three rooms. During the school year 1937-1938, the Orlando School teachers were Ralph Queen, principal and teacher of the upper grades, Ruby Thompson, soon to become Ruby Barrett, teacher of the fourth through sixth grades, and Beulah McPherson, teacher of the primary grades.
After the preliminary beauty events, the carnival organizers saved the biggest and best for last: the Beauty Queen for the Orlando School. By secret ballot, the students of the Orlando School voted on the prettiest girl in the entire school and it was easy to agree with their decision. Miss Mary Margaret Francis, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Perry Francis, was crowned Miss Beauty Queen of the Orlando School.
Opal (Blake) Hall, when told of the outcome of the fiddle contest and the names of the contestants in the contest, laughed confidently. She agreed with her brother Wayne that any of the other contestants could outplay her Uncle Edward on the fiddle by a country mile. However, Opal revealed the secret of the winning ticket. It seems that Edward, to make up for his lack of expertise, would clown around while he was playing, making exaggerated sweeps with the bow, make faces and comedic pauses which no doubt entertained the audience and provided some hilarity to the contest. Considering the outstanding competition, Edward, no doubt, was proud of this accomplishment.
. . . Oct '08 A Halloween that Changed Orlando
Opal had told me about the hog calling contest and mom winning it. I was too young to remember it, but if mom and dad were there, I would have been unless an older sister stayed with us. My brother Pat (deceased) was born in '34 and Faye in '36, so we may have stayed home. My teachers were Freda Mick and June Amos (Denver Barnett married her sister Rose). Mom taught me how to read, my ABC's, count to 100 before I ever started school. She also taught Dad how to read and write since he only went to school 3 days and didn't like it.
Comment by David Parmer
While discussing the 1937 Orlando School Carnival with Wayne Blake, I advised Wayne that his uncle Edward Blake won the fiddle contest held during the carnival. Wayne was quite surprised and said that he didn’t know that his uncle Edward could play the fiddle. Wayne did acknowledge that his uncle Edward was a good guitar player but for the life of him, he couldn’t recall him playing the fiddle.
To investigate this matter a little further, I spoke with Opal Hall, a daughter of Marion Blake and a niece of Edward Blake and told her of the outcome of the fiddle contest and the names of the contestants in the contest. Opal laughed confidently and told me that any of the other contestants could outplay her Uncle Edward on the fiddle by a country mile. However, Opal revealed the secret of the winning ticket. It seems that Edward, to make up for his lack of expertise, would clown around while he was playing, making exaggerated sweeps with the bow, make faces and comedic pauses which no doubt entertained the audience and provided some hilarity to the contest.
Comment by Donna Gloff
Mary Margaret Francis and her sister Betty were raised by their aunts Mary and Jo Dolan after their mother died in 1939. They lived at the family's Dolan Hotel downtown Orlando. The portrait above of Mary Margaret Francis is detail from the photo to the left of Mary Margaret as May Queen at St Patrick's, the Roman Catholic High School in Weston.
Comment by Donna Gloff
Several styles Shirley Temple dolls were sold in the late 1930s. To the left is one from 1937.