In May I received several bags of documents, photos, and other ephemera that had been in my dad’s keeping the past few years. As I have slowly tried to get rid of the smoky stink that clings to everything, I have gone through and begun scanning and documenting the contents. It wasn’t until I began looking at the documents that I came to realize how very little I knew of my grandma, Margaret Ann Clifford. It makes me so sad to think that I missed the opportunity to hear about her experiences first hand. I always had known that she was quite intelligent, but really knew little about her education or job experiences.
Among the papers were the records from her high school years, yearbook, diploma, graduation newspaper clippings, and the tassel from her graduation cap. I love that she kept her tassel. Reading her high school record reveals that her favorite subjects were English, History, and Latin. I find it interesting that at the bottom of the record there is a portion dedicated to Preferred Peacetime Occupations. Her first choice was as a Linguist and second choice in Medicine. Her vocational preparation included training in Blue Print Inspection, Chemistry, Typing, and Math. Noted in a section labeled Special Aptitudes: Skillful in language. Has excellent appreciation of literature. She can organize groups and take responsibility for leadership. On June 2, 1943 Marge graduated from James Whitcomb Riley High School and was 20th in her class of 277 students. Margaret had done well in school and when she graduated was recognized in the newspaper article about the graduation.
After graduation she was recognized and given scholarships for further education. During her high school years World War II was at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Many of her classmates went off to war and so after graduation she attended Milwaukee Vocational School. While there she was part of the War Industries Training Program had received training in the Inspector Army Air Forces course during World War II.
Upon learning of this I remembered some old pins that I had inherited with all of her jewelry. I really had not given it much thought. As I scrounged in my jewelry box and found my own pin collection from School Safety Patrol, Presidential Physical Fitness Award, Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity pin, and those from the many National Conventions that I had attended, I eventually found them. I looked at them intently and went on Google to try and discover their origins.
This pin was a homefront production award during World War II
Pins with this emblem are related to the Air Force.
I can picture her as a young woman in a uniform walking around a factory with these pins on her lapel. How proud she must have been to be able to contribute to the war effort and support her siblings who were serving in the Navy. In my next post, I will share what I have learned about her work experience.