I got another package yesterday from my wife's uncle, Glenn. Big box, full of crumpled newspapers and inside them a Seiko box. I carefully opened it to find a heavy piece of black cloth all rolled up in a ball. I took out the cloth and slowly stretched it out on the kitchen counter. It was completely covered with gold and silver swimming medals that Louis Milton Hyde (my wife's grandfather) won during his swimming career at Langley High School! I noticed that some of the ribbons have started to deteriorate and several medals have come loose. I tried my best to figure out what went where and eventually ended up with this:
I will go through them one by one at some point, scan them and place them in some sort of container for safe keeping. This is an amazing collection and a cherished memory of a father who died too young.
Some of the medals are inscribed on the back with the actual events:
- Senior H.S. Swimming Championship 1932-33 Relay - Gold
- Senior Life Saving 1930-31 Retrieving Object - Gold
- Senior H.S. Swimming Championship 1932-33 100 Yd Free Style - Gold
And those are just the top three in the right corner!
The fronts say things like:
- Tis Deeds Must Win the Prize - Pittsburgh High Schools Dept. of Hygiene
- Carnegie Institute of Technology - Relay
- Allegheny Mountain Assn. of the A.A.U.
It looks like the whole family was seriously into swimming. I received the following e-mail from one of Uncle Gelnn's cousins (I am going to keep names private unless I get permission to use them):
I have Mema's (Aunt Toot's) ID, track & field & swimming program from the 1936 Olympic Time Trials in Astoria Park where she competed in breast stroke and placed 3rd. The 1st & 2nd place went to the Olympics that year. The lady that beat her out was disqualified on the ship over to Berlin, Germany, that year. I can't remember her name but she got caught drinking.
I also have pictures and articles of all the "Hyde" girls in the Pittsburgh paper as winners in many events. I believe there is even one with them dressed in mermaid costumes. My daughter has Mema's box of swimming memorabilia. I can make copies and send them to you.
See what I said about the family getting involved? Isn't this wonderful?