I knew you would want to see this photo of me, possibly age 8 or so, wearing my May Day dress. It was our way of welcoming spring to the Earth. We did it by dancing around the flag pole in the school yard, holding onto long ribbons. The occasion required mothers of girls to make a long, white dress, nosegay and hat, that looked much like the fascinators worn by the Royal family today. Undoubtedly, in the 1940s we were ahead of our time at Benjamin G. Orr Grade School in Anacostia.
The parent of the boys got by with just a white shirt and tie. Regardless of the weather, we all joined our sticky little hands and pranced around the cinder-paved school yard to the sound of merry tunes coming from a 78 rpm record being played over the loud speaker. Afterwards we’d have cupcakes rather than the usual milk and graham cracker snack.
When it was cold on May 1st—as it often was in Washington DC that time of the year—we wore sweaters over our outfits. Not even a few drops of seasonal rain could dampen our spirits. We were kids and it was spring, meaning we could count the days until school was out.