‘Gerald played the cymbals and I played the sticks’

By Carolynn (Fenrich) Leeuw – Kamloops, B.C.

When I came across a photo of me and my cousin, Gerald Feist, it brought back a flood of nostalgic memories. The photo was taken in the fall of 1949 when we were seven years old and in Grade 2 at McClurg School in Wilkie, Sask.

We are dressed in our rhythm band costumes. The tops were made of yellow cotton trimmed with black felt piping and black felt buttons glued in place. They were made by our mothers from a pattern our teacher designed.

To complement the yellow tops the girls wore black skirts and the boys wore black pants.

A round Sifto salt box cut in half and painted black, with yellow ribbons attached at the sides that tied under our chins completed the ensemble.

Gerald played the cymbals and I played the sticks. Other classmates played bells, triangles, castanets, drums, tambourines, sand blocks, and sticks, and our teacher accompanied us on the piano.

After many practices and many acquired grey hairs by our teacher, recitals were performed for our parents and the school body in the upstairs auditorium of the school.

Thinking about this 62 years later, I’m sure every parent attending the recitals was bursting with pride.

They watched and listened to their potential Mozart or Beethoven clang, bang, tap, jingle, and shake their instruments to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, London Bridge, Hot Cross Buns, Are you Sleeping Brother John, Hickory Dickory Dock, and Mary had a Little Lamb.

The photo is from a collection taken by Gerald’s mother and my Aunt Ann (Fenrich) Feist.