Sunday, August 4, 2013

Salinas High School Graduation – 1914


Here’s a new tidbit in the life of my grandmother, Loraine Gunzendorfer - she attended the Salinas High School graduation in 1914.  I realize that Salinas and Monterey are only about 20 miles apart but I’m perplexed as to how and why she attended.

Apparently, she was a guest of Dorothy Striening.

Dorothy Striening

I’ve done a little searching on Dorothy on and I’ve sent a message to someone who has Dorothy in their tree.  I’d really like to figure out how it was that Loraine and Dorothy were friends.  Or could they have been relatives?  Now that’s an interesting thought!

Of course, this was big news and was even published in the newspaper.  I love that simple things were worthy of newspaper coverage 100 years ago.


Looks like Grandma’s dance card was pretty full.  None of these names look familiar to me, which makes sense since these were kids from another school.

Senior Dance Card

I love dance cards!  These little gems were popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries and were used to record a woman’s dance partners.  Most dance cards were decorative with long strings so the women could wear them on their wrists or attach them to their gowns.  Inside the card were pages with each dance listed with a blank line after each dance.  After a man asked a woman for a specific dance, his name would be penciled in on that line.  Some dance cards had tiny pencils attached to the string, but men usually carried pencils with them.  Etiquette stated that if a man introduced himself and asked for a dance, the woman could really not refuse.  Dance cards weren’t used any longer by the middle of the twentieth century but often times we still hear the phrases “my dance card is full”, “pencil me in”, or “save the last dance for me”.

Here’s Grandma’s description of the weekend she spent in Salinas.


Had a lovely weekend at Salinas as the guest of Dorothy.  Went to the ball with a splendid young fellow from the city – he did not dance because the board forbid strangers to do so.

Wanted to get something for a souvenir at the Lodge at Pebble Beach the day we came over in the machine but saw nothing worthwhile save a finger bowl and Jack would not let me take that.

Who was Jack and why wouldn’t he let her get the finger bowl?  Why would the board forbid strangers from dancing?  I feel like every time I find something it leads to more questions.

More dance cards later in the scrapbook!


  1. I've always heard about dance cards but never saw one. Look at that -- it's almost full! And look at all the steps your grandmother must have known. At least she took a couple breaks for some punch, I suppose.

    1. My grandmother seems to have been quite a socialite - hope she had time for some punch!

  2. Hi Debi, I was just looking at the dance card again, and realized that the name 'Lacey' is on there three times - can't believe I didn't see that at first glance! My guess would be that 'Lacey' was Dean Lacey, Dorothy's future husband (they were married in 1919), who would also likely have been in the Class of 1914 at Salinas High.