May 1, 2008

May Day, May Day!

Pembroke Hill, the school where we spent our first formative years, knew a thing or two about tradition. It came into being when Pembroke Country Day (a boys' school started in 1910 where our grandpa spent a few years) and Sunset Hill (a girls school just South of the Plaza started in 1913) tied the knot, shook up the sexes, sent the young kids to the girls' campus and the older ones to the boys'. This great sugar-spice-and-everything-nice-meets-hammers-nails-and-puppy-dog-tails-union occurred when I hit first grade...and what a shake up it was. Luckily, they kept many of both schools' long-standing traditions, namely: May Day Field Day. For the May Day component, which started at Sunset in the '20s, the littlest kids dressed up as Robin Hood (thank god, for those fancy KC parents they didn't follow through with that sealing from the rich bit...), the 3rd through 5th grade girls (like Porter, above, in 3rd) threw on custom made ribbon skirts and danced with a hoop of flowers, while the 6th grade girls, in the same costume, braided the May Pole with boys dressed in tennis whites. Afterwards, we'd strip down to our little white gym shorts and reversible red/blue shirts and Field Day would begin. Oh, the 50-yard dash! Such bitter competition. Such fun.

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