STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
This is November 11, 1971, and this is Irene Cortinovis of the Oral History Program of the Archives and Manuscripts Division. Today, I have with me Mrs. Helen Lotz, a long-time resident of Normandy. As a matter of fact, she now lives in Bel-Nor, just directly across from the University of Missouri-St. Louis Campus where we are taping today, and she was also a long-time teacher at the Bel-Nor School which is closest elementary school to the campus. So, Mrs. Lotz, the way that I got your name originally was from Steve Rowan who, I understand, is a tenant of yours. He is a member of our History Department, and he happened to see me with some pictures one day, and he said, "Oh, you should get Mrs. Lotz over here. She knows a lot about the Muny Opera and has some stories of the "Pageant and Masque", and all. So, before I turned the tape recorder on now, you were just telling me about that. Now, you just went with a friend? You were not really in the "Pageant and Masque" in 1914?
MRS. LOTZ: No, I accompanied a friend to a dress rehearsal and, of course, we figured that it was just going to be a small affair. But as far as kids were concerned, we weren't prompted with the idea of the length of it and so, as a result, we were left stranded after midnight until my parents arrived.
CORTINOVIS: This was in Forest Park?
LOTZ: Yes, this was in Forest Park.
CORTINOVIS: Just what exactly was it—the "Pageant and Masque"—this was on May 28, 29, and 30, 1914, I see.
LOTZ; It was commemorating the, I think, 75th [sic 150th] anniversary of the founding of St. Louis, or the landing on the riverfront of Pierre Laclede.
CORTINOVIS: I guess it must have been a lot more than that, though...from 1764....150th anniversary, I think.
LOTZ: Yes...and it was a very municipal activity, because there were something like 7500 participants of all walks of life, children, adults, etc., that took part.
CORTINOVIS: How did your friend get in it?
LOTZ: I really don't know how she got into it.
CORTINOVIS: Was she in a dancing school, or something?
LOTZ: She was going to a dancing school and probably that was one of the reasons...elocution, too. And this was probably the answer to that.
CORTINOVIS: Now, this was in Forest Park, wasn't it? Was it in the place where the Muny Opera is now?
LOTZ: It was at the bottom of Art Hill.
CORTINOVIS: On Art Hill.
LOTZ; And they used the lagoon at the bottom as the waterway for the boats and aqua...
CORTINOVIS: Where did the people sit?
MRS. LOTZ: On the hillside.
CORTINOVIS: Oh, you mean that the presentation took place in the lagoon? LOTZ: The lagoon and on the level ground surrounding it.
CORTINOVIS: What kind of program was it?
LOTZ: It depicted the arrival of the celebrities, the greeting by the Indians, and the dancing and festivities that went on as a combination of the whites and the Indians.
CORTINOVIS: This was supposed to be a re-enactment of the founding of St. Louis, is that it?
CORTINOVIS: Was there a lot of music or singing?
LOTZ: Yes, there was music and singing.
ORTINOVIS: Do you, by any chance, remember the names of any of the people who played the leading parts...like, for instance, Chouteau or Laclede?
LOTZ: No, I don't.
CORTINOVIS: Do you think they were important business people, probably?
LOTZ: Probably so.
CORTINOVIS: Do you have any idea who presented this or got this together?
LOTZ: No, and I was trying to find this piece of information, and I haven't been able to just locate exactly who was the founder of it. It was a civic program, but now who was the instigator, I really don't know.
CORTINOVIS: The reason that I ask is that I did a little investigative work in that area for a paper that I did, but I got conflicting credits. One said that a group that was specially gotten together did it, and another account said that the Men's Advertising Club of St. Louis got it together.
LOTZ: This sounds very logical...that the Advertising Club would have taken the prominent steps, I would think, because this club, again, was instrumental in the beginning of the Municipal Opera.
CORTINOVIS: Yes. In the Opera, the official history, sanctioned by the Municipal Opera, they give the "Pageant and Masque" of 1914 as one of the forerunners of the Opera. And, the fact that it was given outdoors in the park. This was a precedent, you know.
LOTZ: Well, not only that, but the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare's life 1916. And we had "As You Like It" out there, and this was also a forerunner for the Muny Opera.
CORTINOVIS: And who put "As You Like It" on? Do you recall?
LOTZ: There again I can't pinpoint who it was, but I did have the honor of being one of the queen's ladies-in-waiting. The schools participated in this, really. No, just who in the school...I guess it was probably the head of the school system. I know I was going to Soldan High School at the time, and we walked over there; we had the main part of the performance.
CORTINOVIS: Well, that wasn't a very long walk then.
LOTZ: Oh, no. I think it was just wonderful for the play and also for the audience, because they enjoyed being out in the open, too.
CORTINOVIS: No, were these two things given at night?
LOTZ: The "Pageant and Masque" was given at night, but the Shakespearian performance was given in the afternoon.
CORTINOVIS: Because I was thinking of the lighting at that time. But, I guess with the lagoon all lit, it was very beautiful.
LOTZ: Yes, it was.
CORTINOVIS: Well, I think that the poster advertising the Masque is just something striking, don't you?
LOTZ: Yes, it is.
CORTINOVIS: It's what we call now the art nouveau style. But I just love it. Whoever did that did a really good job. And do any of these others look familiar ...like the chorus? (laughter)
LOTZ: They certainly are very graceful.
CORTINOVIS: Those girls look like they are taking themselves seriously, don't they?
LOTZ: They certainly do. They knew they were having their pictures taken.
CORTINOVIS: Now, how big was the cast of the "Pageant and Masque", do you know?
LOTZ: They claim 7500.
CORTINOVIS: Oh, so there would be a lot of school children then. Did you get into it by belonging to a group perhaps?
LOTZ: I think this is the answer to it, but I didn't belong to a group. I was just a spectator of the whole thing.
CORTINOVIS: I would imagine that your friend got in because she was in a dancing class and whomever was getting this together...it was so much easier to contact a class than it was to... Because I recall that in 1964, you know, there was on the riverfront another pageant commemorating it, and that's the way that happened. Aren't those dandy costumes?
LOTZ: Those are rare costumes, (laughter)
CORTINOVIS: Then, what do you think this other picture is?
LOTZ: I was just wondering. Is this actually the "Pageant and Masque" or is it part of the Shakespearian...
CORTINOVIS: Let me see the back of the picture. It says "Pageant and Masque". But you could very well be right because of the costumes.
LOTZ: Yes, I don't really think that is the "Pageant and Masque". That is really part of the Shakespearian anniversary celebration.
CORTINOVIS: And that would have been in 1916.
LOTZ; Well, now, don't take my word for it.
CORTINOVIS: Oh, no. I'm just going to put a question mark behind it.
LOTZ: I don't see how it would be involved with the knights, king, and queen, and the rest of it. I don't believe that would have a part in the "Pageant and Masque".
CORTINOVIS: I'm trying to think of the way the "As You Like It" goes, because it would depend upon the staging that they gave it. What's this one here?
LOTZ; Well, this again is the "Pageant and Masque". But it could well fit in with the other.
CORTINOVIS: No, this...see the Western stockade and everything. That's what that looks like. And the soldier in front. Not a very clear picture, but that looks like they are either practicing for one of the scenes or...
LOTZ: Very definitely. And, there again, are these girls and their costumes.
CORTINOVIS: Like the chorus line again, (laughter) I forgot to ask you what was your friend's name who was in it?
LOTZ: Lucille Kreidsmann.
CORTINOVIS: But none of these people look familiar to you, do they?
LOTZ: No, I'm sorry.
CORTINOVIS: But they are fun, aren't they? So, now, in 1914 you were still in elementary school then.
LOTZ: I was making the transition from one to the other.
CORTINOVIS: And then... Where were you born?
LOTZ: Right here in St. Louis.
LOTZ: On Kennerly Avenue...Taylor and Kennerly.
CORTINOVIS: My father was born on Taylor near Easton. The house that he was born in is still standing there, and I go by it once in awhile. It's a boarding house or something. What grade school did you go to?
LOTZ: I went to the John Marshall.
CORTINOVIS: It's still there, too.
LOTZ: I don't know how long it's going to stand.
CORTINOVIS: Tell us a little bit more. You went to John Marshall School, and how about your early life. What did your Dad do?
LOTZ: My father came here from Canada and worked down in Swope Shoe Company for 51 years.
CORTINOVIS; In what company, again?
CORINOVIS: Oh, Swopes. Oh, sure.
LOTZ: And I went to Soldan High School and completed my education there. I went to Harris Teachers College and taught in the St. Louis area in the Arlington School for seven and a half years.
CORTINOVIS; Is that the same Arlington School that is there now?
CORTINOVIS: Is that a new building?
LOTZ: No, it's the same one. We had a little interim there for a year or so where they were doing some repair work, and we were transferred over to the Cote Brilliante School. Then we moved back again.
CORTINOVIS: I used to go to the summer playground at Arlington School when I went to visit my grandmother.
LOTZ: We have a lot in common then, don't we? Then I took extra work from Chicago University and came back and continued teaching. I married in 1928 and, of course, resigned. . .because no married teachers were allowed to teach in the City. [married women teachers, that is]
CORTINOVIS: This was just accepted, wasn't it? It was an automatic thing? And you expected to be discharged?
LOTZ: I sent in my resignation, yes, and that was it. Then I was out for eleven and a half years, and had a very happy married life, only it was cut too short. My husband passed away with angina, and I was left with two small boys, one six and a half, and the other four and a half, and I figured that the teaching was the proper procedure, because their time and my time would fit in together much better than any other way. I knew also that going back after eleven and a half years of being out of school was not the proper procedure to do a good job. And, so, I enrolled at Washington University to complete my degree, and I got my Bachelor's degree in 1946; I went on because I knew, too, that that was not going to be a satisfactory end. I got my Master's in 1949 and taught, as I say, up at Bel-Nor and did extra work besides, so I really have groundwork for everything but my thesis. I mean, I have that many extra credits. But, by that time, my boys were in need of college educations and Mamma couldn't afford all of it, so...
CORTINOVIS: I'm sure you've worked hard.
LOTZ: Yes, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. So...
CORTINOVIS: I think that's the secret of it. In this work, I often say that I've met more happy people in the two years that I have been doing this Oral History than I ever knew existed. Because you sometimes hear so many complaining, and all, but when people have kept busy and are satisfied with their life, it seems...
LOTZ: Yes, you keep busy, and you haven't time to think of yourself. And this, I think, is the main idea. If you begin to think of yourself and be self-centered and sympathetic, you begin to gripe, and then life becomes a bore.
CORTINOVIS: I would like just once more to go back to this 1928. Was there any place in the St. Louis area that a married woman teacher could teach?
CORTINOVIS: This was true in the county, also?
LOTZ: No, this was not true in the county.
CORTINOVIS: If you were married, you could keep your job in the county?
LOTZ: When my husband passed away, I knew that this was a terminal situation, and I applied to see if I could get back in the City Schools and, as long as he was alive, I couldn't.
CORTINOVIS: They'd consider a widow?
LOTZ: Yes, a widow could go back.
CORTINOVIS: When did they change this, do you know? ...in the city schools?
LOTZ: I really don't know. Do they allow them now?
CORTINOVIS: Oh, yes.
LOTZ: Well, I really didn't keep up with it, because my concentration was out here in the county.
CORTINOVIS: We talked a little bit about the "Pageant and Masque", and then you said yourself that you were in Shakespeare. Tell us a little bit about it.
LOTZ: There isn't too much about it except I think the English classes delved into Shakespeare, of course, and wanted to celebrate his 300th anniversary and they put on "As You Like It" performance out there. This was also in collaboration, I think, with it...oh, who was this famous person who came on here to produce this play? I can't recall the name right now, but she put on the play at night, I think it was, too. And this, of course, is only background, because, I think, that the civic leaders were rather surprised with the amount of cooperation and enthusiasm of the people of St. Louis.
CORTINOVIS: You mean for this?
LOTZ: Yes, for this type of thing, and the desire to carry it on. This, too, as I say, was background for the Muny Opera.
CORTINOVIS: And this was given out in the park, too. On a stage that was built for the occasion, or what? Where in the park was it given?
LOTZ: Oh, I really did not attend her performances out...
CORTINOVIS: No, I mean, the one that you were in.
LOTZ: Oh, it was up in back of the Art Museum...on a slope there.
CORTINOVIS: There weren't any seats there or anything?
LOTZ: No, they just sat on the ground.
CORTINOVIS: Did you have a big crowd?
LOTZ: Yes, everybody responded very enthusiastically.
CORTINOVIS: But it sounds like a lot of fun with the practicing and all.
LOTZ: Oh, dear, yes! With youngsters, they were thrilled to death with the costumes. Look how they love Halloween.
CORTINOVIS: What kind of a costume did you have?
LOTZ: Oh, a very elaborate long gown, you know. They dressed in the days of Shakespeare.
CORTINOVIS: Is that your only theatrical experience? How about the Muny Opera?
LOTZ: No, I have been a spectator at the Muny Opera since its very beginning, but I have never participated in it. I'm not one to perform.
CORTINOVIS: In 1916, then, you were probably a sophomore in high school. And, so, tell us a little bit about Soldan. I know that it's one of the oldest high schools in St. Louis. What kind of subjects were you taking in Soldan then?
LOTZ: Well, they had what they called a general course which would apply to anything that you would want to take up...as opposed to a business course... and the arts and sciences. But it was just a regular preparatory course... language, math, of course, you had to have your foreign language. Unfortunately, I had to chose Latin, because I was going to be a teacher, and you can't do anything with Latin except that it serves as a good background.
CORTINOVIS: Yes, hardly anybody speaks Latin! (laughter)
LOTZ: So, that was the situation. However, Soldan is not nearly as old as Central, which is no more, of course, and it is regretable to me that they renamed Yeatman from Central High.
CORTINOVIS: That happened some time ago, didn't it?
LOTZ: Oh, that happened years ago.
CORTINOVIS: You know, I can't understand things...
LOTZ: It's the same thing as today with Armistice Day. Armistice Day, to me, was a big thing, because it was announced on the 9th, which was a false alarm. People were so wrought up over the whole thing...that finally when it came on the 11th, they just went wild! And it's something that, if you've ever experienced it, you'd never forget it as long as you live.
CORTINOVIS: I did experience VJ Day and VE Day in World War II, so I know those were both big wild days.
LOTZ: That's right. They certainly were. And why they should...and, of course, I can see both sides of the story...so they can have this long weekend, but it also takes the enthusiasm out of the actual anniversary.
CORTINOVIS: Yes, people just pass it by now.
LOTZ: Yes, what is Armistice Day? I mean, it's Monday, and so it takes a lot of the real significance out of it, I think. It's too bad. But we have to change with the times.
CORTINOVIS: Yes, I'm sure it's nice for people to have a long weekend. What would be some of the other subjects we could discuss since you have been around St. Louis so much of the time. How long have you lived in Normandy?
LOTZ: Well, the present house that we designed ourselves, I have been living in forty-one years.
CORTINOVIS: Oh, yes.
LOTZ: I don't know if you would be interested, but I do have somewhere in my household a resume of the history of Normandy.
CORTINOVIS: Oh, I certainly would be interested in that.
LOTZ: This was named by the French settlers because it was so similar to their Normandy homestead. And this is where they would come out just to spend their summer vacations from the city. The Administration Building over here was the Winslow's estate. And the big white building down the street was Mrs. Hunt' s .
CORTINOVIS: Oh, you mean east of us?
LOTZ: Yes. She gave all the material for the site on St. Ann's Church, which was a small rock church.
CORTINOVIS: I remember that. I was a member there...we lived in [Lucas-Hunt] Village.
LOTZ: There again we have our combination of experiences. It was a very delightful little church, and it's too bad they couldn't have saved it.
CORTINOVIS: Oh, yes, that was terrible. It could have been moved or something.
LOTZ: Well, the stonework fell apart. The limestone wouldn't hold together. That was the trouble. And, I think, that was what they used for the walls, retaining walls around the outside. It was an unfortunate thing.
CORTINOVIS: Yes, I would love to have it [the history]. I will make a copy of it and return it to you.
LOTZ: Okay. I didn't make it, but some who lived in the district put it together and the Trinity Tabernacle down the street, too, is built around and over the Roosevelt School. It was the first school in Normandy.
CORTINOVIS: I remember that, too, now that you mention it. There was a school there. It's been proposed, you know, that one of our buildings be named after the Hunt family.
LOTZ; I think that would be very fine, because I think they were worthy of it.
CORTINOVIS: Dr. Primm has made that as an official suggestion, because the plan for naming the buildings on the campus would be... or always conform with somebody who was important to the area, or St. Louis, and so, that was Benton and Clark Hall, we have so far. And it has been proposed that we have Hunt for one of the new buildings.
LOTZ: That ought to be done because they were very important people and did a great deal for the area.
CORTINOVIS: So, now you're interested in a project that is concerned to preserve the area. What is exactly the project that you're...
LOTZ: Well, it's to preserve, to improve, to induce people to come into the area because of the school facilities being to their liking, and filling their needs. Of course, this is rather a big order because the district spreads far and wide. We have really nine elementary schools now, and they come from the Washington School over there on Hanley and Page and the Lincoln School is on Ferguson, this side of Page, and then the McKinley School, which is on Lucas- Hunt, and Maybelle, I think, it is. Then, the Jefferson School, which is over here on Pasadena, and the Bel-Nor School up here in the area of Bel-Nor. The Bel-Ridge School is just went of Carson Road. And Garfield, which is down in Pine Lawn. So, it extends over a vast population of various groups. And we have to see whether some of these buildings are going to meet our needs and what the facilities are. More building of houses or maybe some of the areas, as Bel-Nor has, or had, a number of oldsters whose families have grown and moved away and the elder people do not want the houses, and they have sold them and there are young people with families moving in. So, this, of course, will have a great bearing on the school families and what the needs are.
CORTINOVIS: What's the name of your committee?
LOTZ: Unfortunately, we are nameless at the moment, and we are struggling for a real interesting name and, I think, the more interesting and challenging the name, the more interest we'll get from the people in wondering what it's all about. But, I'm not of an ingenious nature to concoct something like this.
CORTINOVIS: Who got the committee together?
LOTZ: Well, it's sponsored by Dr. Scheehan. . .he's the superintendent of the Normandy Schools.
CORTINOVIS: And he asked you to serve?
LOTZ: Yes, I'm the senior citizen, (laughter)
CORTINOVIS: Did you think that you'd ever live long enough to be a senior citizen representative on a committee?
LOTZ: The thing is...we tried to get involved all the various representatives from the various organizations, the religious, the private schools, the public school of Normandy, and other interested people. Now, we have one from the League of Women Voters', and we have the chief of the Fire Department, and people from various areas have not been included in this group situation, but they are all included, and we hope that anyone who is interested will be willing to join us and add their ideas to ours to see if we can't come up with the right solution.
CORTINOVIS: Well, this area which has been your home for so long, and you have seen a lot of big changes. Of course, the University was just, one of the biggest ones. Were you in favor of the University being built here?
LOTZ: Yes, I was. But, to be real frank about the thing, I was also for many years interested in having some park and recreational area. This goes back a good many years, and I tried my best to see what could be done with Fathers....! can't think of the name...the religious institution just east of Lucas-Hunt Road...
CORTINOVIS: Oh, yes, I know the one...where the big shopping center is now.
CORTINOVIS: Passionist Fathers.
LOTZ: Thank you, and when I heard that they were going to move, I thought that maybe that would be an ideal situation. But that didn't carry through. And, then, when this area here was going to be left by the Country Club group, I thought this would be an ideal situation but, again, I was stymied and, so, I didn't get any park and recreation area, but I think having the University is an ideal situation. I think that it was wonderful of our foresighted Normandy School system to want to buy the Normandy Club so as to have some kind of college...junior college...they didn't think that the University was going to be taken, but I think it has worked out delightfully for everybody concerned.
CORTINOVIS: Wasn't one of the factors to be considered that this was the time, too, for great buildings, and that had the country club area been split up into small home sites that this would have been a drain on the Normandy School system?
LOTZ: Well, yes, I'm sure it would. And I don't think that this was something that the local people were anxious about anyway...to split up this lovely tract of ground with that sort of thing.
CORTINOVIS: Right. It's very hard to get this much land in this close.
LOTZ: And usually the first thing that they do when they put up a subdivision is to chop down all the trees, (laughter)
CORTINOVIS: That's true! So...everyone can plant a few more.
LOTZ: And, I think, this is the regrettable thing. It's such a beautiful area that it would have been tragic to have this sort of thing happen.
CORTINOVIS: Well, it would. What's the next step for your committee then?
LOTZ: Well, the next step is to subdivide into groups, one seemingly to be involved...you can't separate them...but, one to make particular notation of the inhabitants, that is, and we have information provided by the school system, concerning the age groups of the children and the various schools into which they are located, as well as the number of housing units there are in each area, and the possibility of land for building more houses. Now, I cannot see anywhere, unless something happens to one of the cemeteries, where we are going to have any more building to any more consequence. We are a rather old, stable area, and I don't see much housing. I don't think that we have any more than one or two lots in Bel-Nor, and I don't know that I am right in having them now.
CORTINOVIS: Of course, isn't the Normandy Golf course within your school district?
LOTZ: Well, yes, it is.
CORTINOVIS: This is always a possibility.
LOTZ: Well, this has lost interest to me because for this simple reason... that years ago, we were needing another school over in that area, because we have to bus the children from that area to - we don't bus them, but there is a private bus company - that brings the children from over there from Greendale to the Bel-Nor School, and it would have been very delightful to have had at least the first, second, and third grade elementary school to relieve this situation up here. But, the golf course is going to be sold, you know, and it has never been sold. And, I think, there is more interest now, at least, there looks to be more interest and more participation of the membership than there ever was.
CORTINOVIS: They talk about those things for years, it seems.
LOTZ: So, I really don't hold very much promise of that sort of thing going through...it's just one of those things that happen, you know. But, another thing I am wondering about and that is Lawn Hill Cemetery. Now west of Pennsylvania Avenue, there are...I don't know whether that has been sold... for lots...but, I don't think there are any graves there, and I was wondering if that might someday be purchased. It isn't exactly opposite Lever Brothers Soap. . .
CORTINOVIS: No. It's on the comer, isn't it, across from the corner?
LOTZ: Yes, but I mean the back end of it would be closer to Normandy. Yes, that all goes into that.
CORTINOVIS: Yes, that's about the last open ground.
LOTZ: That's the last open ground that I can see, or think of.
CORTINOVIS: To get your park?
LOTZ: Well, it really is too bad. Then, of course, we even strove for a lot there in Bel-Nor that we thought maybe we could get them at least to get a small area for picnicking and play area. But that became so involved, because you would have to have someone around on guard duty there all the time, and one complication led into another. So, that didn't follow through either. Poor youngsters. We have to be dependent upon the other neighborhood parks, and they aren't meeting us with open arms either. It's a tragic situation.
CORTINOVIS: Well, I think that in our changing neighborhoods, like Normandy... or do you consider it still changing?
LOTZ: Yes, of course, it is changing, and not so much here, but, of course, with the University, it definitely is changing. But, in the eastern areas, it is changing decidedly, because we have a great number of Negro people who are moving into... the Garfield School, which is growing by leaps and bounds... in fact, I don't know what they do with the youngsters! They have put up a couple of extra buildings down there, and then they have just opened, or are opening, before the next semester or not...I don't know...a new building that was taken over from the Legion Hall down there, and they have gone through the repair and renovation of that into a school building...
CORTINOVIS: They aren't really very satisfactory, though, are they?
LOTZ: Well, I know, but the McKinley School is full.
CORTINOVIS: And it's old.
LOTZ: Oh, yes. Well, now the McKinley School is old, but I would think that the Lincoln and Harrison are as old or older.
CORTINOVIS: Are they? About how old do you think?
LOTZ: Goodness knows! They run pretty close...that is, Lincoln and McKinley and Harrison. I mean, all you need to do is to go into the buildings, and you can see from the type of structure that they are very old. The ceilings, and all this sort of thing.
CORTINOVIS: They sure look old, too.
LOTZ: Yes, they are. Then, of course, the Garfield School has grown by leaps and bounds, so it's changing; but, I guess, everything changes to a certain extent. I imagine that the areas of Washington and, now, well, Bel-Ridge has grown, too, but I imagine that's getting rather stable, too, as well as right here in Bel-Nor.
CORTINOVIS: It's going to be interesting to see what happens in the Normandy District and the surrounding area.
LOTZ: Well, it certainly is. But, then, I'm quite concerned, in relation to what we are trying to do, as to what the general trend is in regard to using schools all year round, which our Senator Blackwell has prescribed and one of commentators on the radio has backed up and for which I have written him a letter, and...he was looking for opinions, and I gave him my opinion.
CORTINOVIS: You're not in favor of that?
LOTZ: Well, I definitely am not, because I think that as I told him I would suggest that both he and the Senator would do a great deal of research before they would make any rash judgments. In the first place, the Senator said something about having school all year. Well, that's quite all right, but he has forgotten that it's necessary to air condition the schools. I you are going to have children, I said that I was sure that neither he nor Mr. Wilde had spent any time with a group of 30-35 children in a poorly ventilated room trying to gain interest and concentration and a feasible conclusion from a group of children, because if they had, they wouldn't have such wild ideas. Emil Wilde...he said that he wouldn't see any reason why they couldn't have school sessions and why kids couldn't go, you know, all day, and then go in the evening until ten o'clock. I wonder what he's going to do for the safety of the children and this sort of thing. I mean, this, to me, was a wild and reckless suggestion.
CORTINOVIS: Well, as a fellow teacher, I can agree that September and late May were the most difficult months for teachers. Not only because it's the beginning of the school year and then it's almost over, but also the weather in this St. Louis area. It can be very, very uncomfortable in those months.
LOTZ: Not only that, but then, of course. Senator Blackwell was very opposed putting up new buildings. He said that he thought they should be used and made use of the year around, and...I lost my thought then.
CORTINOVIS: Well, but then, they have to be renovated and air conditioned.
LOTZ: Not only that, but the teachers could work all year round, you know, and get paid. Well, now, after all, for his benefit, we did get paid all year around, but we sacrificed the division of our salary into twelve-month payments, rather than the nine months, or nine and one-half months that we taught, so that we would have an income throughout. But, on the other hand, he doesn't know that when you're dealing with children, that you are not dealing with paper and material things...
CORTINOVIS: Blocks of wood...
LOTZ: That's right. This is a very great strain on your nerves, and as far as I was concerned, I was glad to have the summer to do physical activities in order to release the tension that had built up through the school year. I think that anyone who teaches all the way through is under a strain.
CORTINOVIS: And not only that, but teachers at all levels are expected to proceed professionally.
LOTZ: Oh, definitely.
CORTINOVIS: And this is where summer...
LOTZ: That's right, summer is the only time to do anything. I really think they need to brush up their research a whole lot, before they make suggestions to the general public.
CORTINOVIS: Yes. Well/ is there anything that you would like to add, Mrs. Lotz?
LOTZ: Well, the only thing I think I should say is that it is a great honor and pleasure to be called upon and, I hope, I've done something.
CORTINOVIS: Well, you have. I thought that your material on the "Pageant and Masque" and the Shakespeare Festivals were very interesting, but then it. within quite another category, on the Normandy School District. We are having a new course in our Winter offerings called "The University", and this is going to be on how the University got started, the components of the University and all, and so, I'm going to offer the material that you have given me this morning, as far as the surrounding areas are concerned.
LOTZ: Well, my two boys are alumni of Missouri - at Columbia.
CORTINOVIS: Are they? Well...we like them, too!
LOTZ: I have Mark Burkholder parked in my driveway this morning. He comes in on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And this is something else I can t understand. I find this to be true that there are five or six, including Sue Burkholder, and Steve's wife, who are interested in library work, and why isn't this offered at this University rather than up at Columbia? Because I would think that the people here would be more interested in that than up there.
CORTINOVIS: That's just one of those gaps, I guess. I know that other people have mentioned it to me that it's too bad that we don't have Library Science.
LOTZ: That's why Burkholders moved there, you see, so that Sue could go to the University up there because they were the only ones who were offering the Library course.
CORTINOVIS: Oh, I see.
LOTZ: Poor guy. He has to come back and forth...
CORTINOVIS: Oh, I didn't know he did that!
LOTZ: Yes, he comes in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
CORTINOVIS: From Columbia? Good heavens, I didn't know that! For goodness sakes! Well, I think this is about it, and I certainly thank you for this.
LOTZ: You're very welcome.
STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MISSOURI RESEARCH CENTER-ST. LOUIS
222 THOMAS JEFFERSON LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
1 UNIVERSITY BLVD.
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI 63121