Showing posts with label Oxford Elementary School. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oxford Elementary School. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Writing About the Wood Family in WWII

A page from my new family history booklet, showing some printed items saved by the WOOD family



This holiday season, I'm giving yet another gift of family history to hubby's siblings and to our grandchildren.

This time, it's a booklet about the WOOD family in World War II, focusing on Edgar James Wood, his wife Marian Jane McClure Wood, and their three children. For this booklet, I collected memories from hubby and his siblings, reread interviews with my late father-in-law, and picked through the boxes of artifacts, photos, and documents retained in the Wood family.

One goal is to show the younger generation how family history was actually affected by world history. Above, a page from my booklet, showing some ephemera saved by my late father-in-law. These everyday items (gas ration coupons, a gas ration identification folder, and a thank-you postcard from the Stage Door Canteen) add color and visual interest to the booklet. These items were kept by the family for more than 70 years, and will remain intact for future generations.*

How often do youngsters see gas ration coupons? Never. And did they know their ancestor entertained servicemen and servicewomen at the Stage Door Canteen on Playhouse Square in Cleveland? Nope.

Now, when grandkids leaf through this booklet, the colorful ephemera will hopefully grab their attention and draw them into the story. If they read a few paragraphs, they'll suddenly understand that during wartime, the Wood family's life changed in lots of ways.


*Looking for ways to safeguard family documents/photos and share family history with younger relatives? Please take a look at my affordable book, Planning a Future for Your Family's Past, available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: 1st grade in Oxford Elem. School, Cleveland

Circa 1942, here's hubby in his first grade class at Oxford Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio.
His mother, Marian Jane McClure Wood, wrote out the names of classmates on the back of the photo. Transcribed, they are:

Top row: R. Kermode, C. Haley, _?_, _?_, Pat Walty, Valois [sp?], Sherman Mills, Wallie (HER SON, MY HUBBY), G. Moses, R. Fister, B. O'Day, Shirley O'Brock, B. Green

Middle row: Harriet Dalson, Sue Kester, Carol Siley, Lou Kester, Clara Jane, Paul Clarage [sp?], Eilleenn.

Bottom row: _?_, Barbara P., Frances Wood, Cora, David Kennard, Barbara Smith, Gail Smith, Martha Lou.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Ceramic Heirlooms

Zebra sculpture by Marian McClure Wood, 1950
My late mother-in-law, Marian Jane McClure Wood, became interested in ceramic sculpture as a hobby in the late 1940s. She took classes at Oxford Elementary School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, with a well-known ceramicist, Edris Eckhardt.

Edris lived on Monticello Blvd, around the corner from the Cleveland Heights Blvd home where Marian and her family (Edgar J. Wood plus 3 children) lived. Edris was an internationally famous artist whose Alice in Wonderland sculptures had been displayed at the 1937 World's Fair in Paris and who had been a leader in Cleveland's Depression-era Federal Arts Project. She was deeply involved in the local art community and the Oxford school was one focus.

Marian quickly became so interested in ceramics that her husband Edgar and her father (Brice Larimer McClure) built her a kiln in the basement of Marian & Edgar's home, and arranged special electrical wiring for it.

Duck sculpture by Marian MccClure Wood (undated)
 Rather than make the usual ashtrays, Marian studied a book on animal anatomy and made ceramic animals. Hubby and I proudly display two zebra sculptures and a duck sculpture that she made. Marian also created a lovely series of ceramic creche figures, which my sis-in-law puts on display every Christmas.

Like all Cleveland-area artists, Marian aspired to have her works shown in the Cleveland Museum of Art's prestigious May Show. I found out when I checked the museum's database that she succeeded with four works: In 1948, she showed a zebra sculpture; in 1949, she showed "Spring Night" and a zebra; in 1950, she showed "The Champ." (Her son, my bro-in-law, had a painting in the 1960 May show; her daughter, my sis-in-law, had a textile design in the 1959 show.)

Inscription inside zebra sculpture - "1950 M Wood"
Marian's peak achievement was a three-foot-high Alice in Wonderland sculpture that she had fired in a commercial kiln and donated to the Oxford Elementary School in Cleveland Heights, in the late 1950s. This school houses an excellent collection of Federal Art, much of it produced under the supervision of or using the processes of Edris Eckhardt. Perhaps Marian's Alice is still there today?