Archive for Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sigma, Delta, Gamma

August 7, 2008

We are all complaining about the price about gas now, but I was remembering when I was in my freshman year of high school, it was only about 15 cents a gallon but it was rationed, along with many other things, because of World War II.

We had an "A" sticker on our family car, which allowed only three to four gallons of gas per week. The "B" sticker went to workers in the military industry and entitled the holder up to 8 gallons per week. "C" stickers were granted to persons deemed essential to the war effort, such as doctors. "T" rations were available for truckers. The "X" stickers were the highest priority in the system and could get an unlimited supply of gas. They were ministers of religion, police, firemen and civil defense workers.

Because of the war the only sport permitted in the tri-county league system was basketball. To go to the games, we had to pool our gas stamps in order to make the trips out of town.

To keep things interesting in Lansing High School, our principal, W. L. Hoyle, devised a program consisting of three intramural organizations, called Sigma, Delta and Gamma. I was a Gamma. It was surprisingly well divided among the students in all four grade levels to make every activity competitive. We held scrap metal drives, paper drives and rubber tire drives. There were music festivals, a carnival and other events that we did in competition with each other. All these things we could do without traveling to other schools - anything to save on gas and help the war effort at the same time.

These groups were given points for their winnings and accomplishments. It only lasted one year when Mr. Hoyle was our principal and if I remember correctly the Sigma group won the year's competition. Mr. Hoyle also taught science and manual training. In the manual training class they made name badges in various shapes with names glued on, using macaroni letters. These were prizes for winning events at the carnival.

As a student at that time, I did not appreciate Mr. Hoyle's ideas. Now I can see the importance of keeping us busy during the war years when not only gas, but many other products were rationed.

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