Sunday, November 1, 2009

Community organizer: 1920

Dorothy was, perhaps, even more ambitious than most girls her age, and she was determined not to let her mind "get into a rut," which, she had noticed, feminine minds in Crescentville were somewhat likely to do. So she had decided to join the Alpha Club, which was the woman's study club of the town, keep up her music, take French lessons, keep posted in current events, and map out a course of good solid reading with the help of Miss Brooks, the librarian.
Sounds like a plan.
But she reckoned without Florence Mclntyre and other distracting influences of a stay-at-home existence. It wasn't so easy to be purposeful as it seemed.
Oh no!
"...I have to remember that this is a library, not a recreation center. But, goodness knows, I'd be glad enough if there were such a thing in Crescentville, to keep the young people off the streets."

"A recreation center?" asked Dorothy. "I never heard of such a thing. Just what is it?"

"A place where people, young and old, meet to have a good time. There is usually a building with a gymnasium, a theater and lecture room, and other meetingrooms and play-rooms, a bowling alley, perhaps, and athletic grounds outside, and usually a place where people can bring their lunches and have picnics."
Yes, Dorothy escapes the influence of Florence Mclntyre and becomes a community organizer.
Dorothy, meanwhile, for the first time since she had left school, felt that she was doing something that amounted to something.
Isn't that nice? But there's more!
Without a dissenting voice Dorothy was chosen as the girls' playleader, at a small salary, to be paid out of the Recreation Fund that was being raised.
She uses her position to get a cushy job!
Dorothy had met the young man in question at a church supper, and thought he seemed a very nice boy. He had been two years at an agricultural college, where he had been captain of the football team, but after he had served in the war, financial circumstances had compelled his coming to Crescentville to seek a position, and the dry-goods shop was the first thing that offered. No, he didn't like it especially; he was looking around for some kind of an outdoor job, but he hadn't found anything yet. Dorothy mentioned him to the committee as a possibility, and they said they would inquire.
And one for a boy she fancies!
Then Dorothy took several trips to Milltown, the nearest large town, where there were several flourishing community activities, and received help in many ways from the leaders there.
Also she used her position to take lots of trips.
She had filled out considerably and even grown an inch or two, which fact was probably due to the gym work and outdoor sports she had taken up as a part of her leadership activities.
And get a free gym membership.

--From The hall with doors--

1 comment:

Trooper York said...

Are you a friend of Dorothy?

Wait a minute of course you are.