Southside High School - Edsonian Yearbook (Elmira, NY)

 - Class of 1945

Page 64 of 102


Southside High School - Edsonian Yearbook (Elmira, NY) online yearbook collection, 1945 Edition, Page 64 of 102
Page 64 of 102

Southside High School - Edsonian Yearbook (Elmira, NY) online yearbook collection, 1945 Edition, Page 63
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Southside High School - Edsonian Yearbook (Elmira, NY) online yearbook collection, 1945 Edition, Page 65
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Page 64 text:

A Prayer Lord, help me live a gentle life, One free from evil's might. Lend courage through the bitter strife And peace throughout the night. If days are long with endless work, As some are sure to be, Grant patience, Lord, that will not shirk The tasks assigned to me. Though rough the climb up life's high mount And hard the blows that fall, Send strength from thy oe'r-flowing fount That I may bear them all. Then when the end is near at hand, My only prayer shall be, That, though not great or rich or grand, My soul will dwell with thee. Patricia Painton Honorable Mention -- Class of 194-7. Can You Hear Me, American? Can you hear my anguished cry struggling to pierce the clouds of oppression? I am the Greek youth -H dulled, embittered, beaten by war. I cannot tell the world of my hopes, my dreams of liberty, I cannot stand erect to meet what lies before me, I cannot bow before a God I do not know, for I have- been damned to a ruthless submission in which I lead an animal-like existence. Only the brain and soul of me are comparatively free to wander in the land of wonder and doubt. I have heard that somewhere there is a land that offers peace. Although my mind is brimming with perplexity and confusion, I cry to you for help. Can you hear me, American? Can you hear my eager plea striving to rise above the din of battle? I arn the Chinese youth-hardened, saddened, orphaned by war. For endless years I have wearily trudged along the winding roads of my country, seeking and never finding the welcome warmth of security. Victim of needs - knowing hunger never satisfied, thirst never quenchedh I look toward the future with fear and appre- hension. I know of you, American, your skillful warfare, efficient potency, ad- vanced medicines playing minor but important parts in our eventual victory. My ancestors called you a white god, I know of you as an aid, an ally. If you but touch my country with a finger of relief, we can frugally bring about widespread 60

Page 63 text:

to its loyal inhabitants. All types and kinds of people passed over the bridge. Young and old, rich and poor, lonely and contented. Many of them found rest and renewed hope in the church just the other side of the bridge. It was no special kind of church. Catholic, Protestant, and Jew alike could find refuge within its sheltering walls. Tonight it lifted its delicate spires through the mist of snow as though giving praise to the Almighty. The bridge was dark and, at first glance, looked deserted. But, no, a boy was standing at the railing alone. He had his shoulders hunched and the collar of his shabby coated turned up against the biting wind. He was very young, not more than seventeen, but his face was hard and his mouth was set in a stubborn line. He stood there staring at the wind-whipped maelstrom below him and a slight tremor passed through his body. In its muddy turmoil he could see the stars refiected like splashes of silver on liquid ebony. It looked very deep as it rushed on its never ending way. Very deep. He leaned a little farther over the edge and stared fascinated. This would be an easy way out. No pain, just the blessed sense of deep rest. Down there, there could be no wrong side of the tracks, no condemned nationalities. He could do it. Then let them talk 5 he wouldnit care 3 he wouldn't even hear. As he gripped the rail with the sudden decision of youth, a hand fell on his shoulder and he wheeled around. He faced a small, rather tattered man with a care-worn countenance and a kindly smile. His eyes were a deep, intense blue, almost like the sky, and his look was understanding. "Don,t do it, son." He spoke quietly. ."Why not?" the boy flung at him savagely. "What business is it of yours?" His hands clasped the railing behind him and his whole being was shaken. "It is my business though, son. Perhaps you won't understand now, but you will later on. Life isn't so bad when you look at the beautiful side. Look at the sky. A vast expanse of glory encrusted with sparkling crystals, each one separate and in a different shape. Think it over, son. Give life another chance." The boy turned around and lifted his face to heaven, letting the cool snow caress his cheeks and lift his spirits. When he turned, the little old man was gone. Then the great bell in the church tower rang, and a mad exhilaration filled his heart. He folded his hands and lifted closed eyes to the stars while all around him bells seemed to ring, lifting his humble prayer to an understanding Father. From the church tower the old sexton, with eyes like the sky, watched the boy walk away with new confidence in his step, new faith in his heart. Anne Marie Flynn First Prize - Class of 1948. 59

Page 65 text:

benefit. Your national wealth is our promise of liberation. Although my mein is stoic, I send a silent plea. Can you hear me, American? Can you hear my anxious voice echoing across the ocean of differences which separate us? I am the English youth-frightened, retarded, bent by war. My meager existence has become so habitual that I am appalled by your copiousness. I not only admire, but also envy your ingenuous, egotistic patriotism 5 it is character- istic of the great, altruistic nation which you are. When I pause to compare our respective homelands, I realize the prime need of brotherhood and cooperation between us. This is being accomplished by our executives g nevertheless, there is a lack of complete understanding between the citizens of your country and mine. The future holds a better promise of durable peace if the English speaking peoples of the world meet on grounds of unity. Although my message is shaddwed, it is direct. Can you hear me, American? I. ' june Sullivan Q I' 1 I X First Prize- e1asSt0fR,1l946Q . g t 2 , s-, Jw f . 1, 1 f J Daybreak . The forest was just beginning to stir. Thin wisps of mist veiled the treetops. The pungent smell of pine was everywhere. Suddenly, a hare poked his pink nose out of the brush and sniffed the morning air. N o, there was no danger. He hopped out into the sunlight and stood basking in its warmth. Then, giving a playful twitch to his ears, he went off in search of breakfast. Amid the branches of an oak came the song of a finch welcoming the new day. The weasel crept noiselessly out from behind a fern and darted down one of his narrow trails. Soon an owl Hew through the air and came to rest on the branch of a large pine. He had been hunting all night. It would be good to sleep now. Below him, two pheasants advanced cautiously, their sleek feathers glistening in the sun. Far off in the distance, the rat-tat-tat of a woodpecker echoed and rc- echoed through the trees. The bees droned busily as they gathered nectar. The ferns swayed slightly in the breeze. High above, fluffy clouds sailed past, their whiteness accented by the deep blue of the sky. Suddenly, the shrill cry of blackbirds shattered the stillness. There was a loud whir of wings as they circled higher and higher in the air. Almost without sound the fox slunk through the bushes. The tip of his bushy tail swayed gently to and fro, betraying his agitation. His red eyes burned. Would he ever be able to roam the forest without those black marauders screeching the way they did? How he hated them! They warned his prey for miles around of his presence. Slowly he continued on his way until the green foliage completely enveloped him. The forest was fully awake now. The new day had begun. Patricia Painton Honorable Mention-Class of 1947. 61

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