A “Sentimental Journey” on a Sunday Afternoon
by Mary Louise Labrucherie
December 11, 2013 • 423 views
Students of Dean L. Shively Middle School presented a play called, “A Sentimental Journey,” at the El Monte Historical Society Quarterly Meeting and Tea, in commemoration of the Valle Lindo School District’s 150th Anniversary. As historical pictures were flashed on the stage projector screen, students dressed in period costumes gave short vignettes of people who played a major part in the District’s formation (pictured above).
Characters in the play included: Mr. and Mrs. James Durfee, who obtained the District’s first set of free textbooks; James Lewis, who petitioned the State to establish the District in 1863; President Lincoln and Mrs. Lincoln, who came to congratulate the District; Trustee Otto Kruse, who served from 1944-1956 during the time the Army Corps of Engineers took over the Temple School property; alumni Albert Briano class of 1937, Benny Jaso class of 1939, and Marty Martinez class of 1942, who told childhood school stories; Richard Nixon, who as a U.S. Senator, helped the District obtain federal funding for a new school; beloved Principal Emma Ebby, who served the District from 1916-1938; and Principal Marjorie Kimbell, who served the District from 1928-1965 and who was responsible for obtaining the funding for the school’s bell tower that houses the school bell purchased in 1878 from F.P.F. Temple.
The last act was that of character Dean L. Shively, who served as the District’s superintendent for twenty-seven years and “who now looks over the District as a ‘Shively Saint’ and is proud of the District’s high test scores and award winning schools.”
Intermittently throughout the play, students performed dances of the era including the 1920s Charleston, 1944 Jitterbug Swing, and 1950s Hand Jive to help the audience keep cognizant of the moving history and various eras of the District.
The audience attending the Sunday afternoon event gave the students a standing ovation. Homemade sandwiches and desserts were served and provided by the El Monte Women’s Club.