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Mary Pope

Mary Pope

Physical Education

Mrs. Pope taught girl's physical education. She still lives in Oroville and until recently was a member of the local amateur radio community.

Miss Pope taught Girls Physical Education “forever”. Every female student who enrolled at Oroville Union High School got to meet her, sooner or later (usually, for some unknown reason, it was sooner!). Along with Mrs. Pittman, Mrs. Stauss, and Miss Olinger our sports included field hockey, volleyball, softball, basketball, archery, golf, running, all the while wearing pure white P.E. uniforms. We had to have our name embroidered on the pocket of the shirt and the hem of the shorts. And we had to have our initials on our socks!! Swimming, at the Feather Plunge, took place in the spring, where we all had to wear provided swimsuits and swim caps --- u-g-l-y!! And, get this, I had P.E. first period for three of my four years at OUHS!! Swimming first period was such fun – cold in the morning AND a wet head for the rest of the day (you guessed it, the caps did nothing for keeping the hair dry). We also had to “dance” as one of our P.E. subjects – with the boys!!!!!! We got to wear our regular clothes for dancing. We danced “on the roof” of the boys gym over the locker room. Of course, if it was raining, we had to move indoors.

One day while in our girls’ locker room (the girls gym was located catty-corner from the boys gym on the corner of Orange & Linden), we were dressing for P.E. and for some silly reason I was feeling giddy (what’s new?!) and I started singing. Before I knew it, Miss Pope was standing in front me, where I was ordered to march to her office and she proceeded to inform me that I had just earned an “F” for the day. I took my punishment with all the dignity and patience I could muster -- I still don’t understand what the big fuss was though - all I was singing was “beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot, the more you toot the better you feel, so eat beans at every meal.”

Miss Pope was a good teacher though – today she still resides in Oroville, caring for her horses, and when invited, attends reunions for all the different classes who passed her way.

Shirley Anderson

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