School Double Sessions
Don Browne, Harding Class of 1962
I talk about the high school experience with non-Bridgeporters, I have to
explain about "double sessions". Most comment that they perceive
double sessions as an factor that reduces the value of the high school
point out that double sessions schools, like Warren Harding until 1967-1968, had
no less percentage of students accepted at Ivy League colleges, many with
true distinction of having the entire afternoon free becomes important when the
student becomes sixteen; the age that "working papers" were issued in
students had "part-time" jobs each day after "morning
who worked in "family-owned" businesses may have started several years
before reaching the age of sixteen.
who were in courses other than "college-prep", usually worked in order
to afford the purchase of that first automobile. Many worked an eight-hour day,
1 p.m. to 9 p.m., while attending high school full-time, from 7:50 a.m. to 12:30
"college-prep" crowd usually worked in order to afford the tuition of
that important freshman year at college. The plan was to work
"full-time" during the college summer break.
first "part-time" jobs, during my junior year at Harding, were in the
two major department stores of the city, "Read's" and
"Holland's". They didn't last very long.
especially remember my "part-time" job during my senior year (and
day after class, I would board the "special" CR&L bus parked on
Central Avenue along side Hedges' Memorial Stadium...the bus that would follow
the traditional route of #9 - East Main Street. The bus would depart at 12:40
p.m., and I would eat my bag lunch on the bus, while in transit. My daily
would exit at Main & Fairfield, and walk to Fairway Market (formerly Mohegan
Market), at 56 Fairfield Avenue. It was there that I worked in the grocery
department from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., on
Saturday. Gratefully, the store was closed on Sundays. (Remember the Connecticut
"blue laws" of the period)
looked with envy at the students who worked "next door", at Rudy
Frank's Record Store, 52 Fairfield Avenue. A customer would select a vinyl
record to be "previewed", and the record store clerk would play the
single or album into a sound-proofed "listening booth"!
paid to play records!
students in my curriculum also worked "part-time", but not one every
talked about it.
like a disgrace for not being a member of the "leisure class".
particularly remember two students, with whom I attended every course, including
late Harold Bumberg worked in a drug store/deli counter on East Main Street,
near Ohio Avenue. I remember that
he sliced off the tip of one of his fingers on a cold-cuts slicing machine!
the other, Ted Skiba, had what I considered to be "The Dream Job".
was a chemical technician (with lab smock and everything) at the Columbia
Records Pressing Plant, at 50 Ridgefield Avenue, at Ridgefield and Barnum
mother worked "full-time" at Columbia Records in a secretarial
the morning, she would "drop" Ted at Harding, and drive to the
12:30 p.m., Ted would walk four blocks to the "plant".
at 5 p.m., Ted and his mother would drive home. What a situation! A
"technical job" somewhat related to your future career
aspirations...and convenient transportation as well!
Note: A vinyl collectors site on the internet stated that the Columbia Records
Bridgeport vinyl pressing plant closed in 1964).
most of the student "part-time" jobs were not as glamorous...mostly
"clerks" in grocery stores.
the memory of Don Browne
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