I Hate Miss Fentriss

My sister, Pat, and I lived in Norwood, Ohio briefly in the late 1960’s.  We attended Sharpsburg Elementary, and we each took Home Economics.  Pat was in the 8th grade; I was in the 6th grade.     Girls were required to take Home Economics and boys were required to take Shop.  It was the 60’s.

Anyway, there was an especially enthusiastic Home Economics teacher named Miss Fentriss.  I have no idea if she was a Miss or a Mrs. but it seems, in my sister’s recollection, that sewing was the most important thing in Miss Fentriss’ life so I am making an assumption that she was married to her Singer sewing machine.

I had a bit of hyperactivity (Mom called it energy)  in the 6th grade–I barely remember  Home Economics.  I do recall making a blue apron that had a very poorly installed zipper pocket in the front.  I gave it to one of my 6th grade boyfriends to give to his mother for Mother’s Day.  I can only imagine what the surprised woman thought when she received the gift.   “Was the poor child who made this blind?”

My sister took the class seriously.  I still member the very fashionable navy and yellow polka dot culottes she made.  (Now there is a word you don’t see often…culottes).   She knows how to sew and enjoys it.   Later in life when she attempted to teach me to sew, Miss Fentriss’ name began to enter our conversation.

My sister would say in her most school teacherish voice, “Miss Fentriss would do it this way,” or “Miss Fentriss would always clip her threads” as she smugly clipped her threads and ensured her lining wasn’t slipping,

If you have read my previous post (here), you know that I planned one day for making the most simplest of valances and cleaning up our yellow guest bedroom.  It did not go well.

However, I have not been lonely during this process.  Nosiree!   I’ve been besieged by Miss Fentriss’ presence.  She hovers, loiters and whispers “tsk…tsk…what a mess!”   She is especially upset that I did not line the valances.  I started to line them, but I found that the drapery fabric was 54″ wide and the lining fabric was 48″ wide, so I’m short lining fabric, and I live 20 miles from the store.  Forget it.   I’d like to smack whomever made that rule about varying widths.

It’s 9:40 pm.  I went and picked up the fabric this morning but I didn’t get started on making these valances until late this evening.   I’m close to having two valances (unlined) made but the room is a wreck, and Chrissie the Cat is trying to knock stuff off the table.   And I hate Miss Fentriss.

I’ll post the fixed up yellow guest bedroom tomorrow.






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Pat Gardner says:

    Since replies aren’t being posted and I’m already out of my FB page, I’ll do it here. Kudos and accolades! You have a hit! You are speaking in your own voice, you are pulling people into your life and allowing them to live it with you briefly. You are entertaining and uplifting. Superior post, as Miss Stevenson (my 9th grade English teacher) would say. (But we will let her rest.)

    If you ever, sometime in the future, want to let folks know what happened to Miss Fentriss, this is what I know. Miss Fentriss was single. It was rare to see a married woman teaching in a the 60’s. Miss Fentriss married one of the coaches at Sharpsburg and miraculously, she wasn’t fired. She taught one more year, my 8th grade year. At the end of the year she was expecting. NO ONE was permitted to teach impressionable young girls while they were pregnant. Her contract was not renewed.

    She was my Home Ec teacher for part of 6th, and all of my 7th and 8th grade years. I learned a lot. But, yes, she took sewing seriously. She warped me.

    • I love the update on Miss Fentriss. Can anyone else see this? I’m working with the discussion part of the blog and I may have turned off the comments.

  2. Sharon Williams says:

    I am able to see this story

    • Thank you! There are some things I’ve still trying to figure out. Hope to hear from you often. Please put me in your frequently visited links so you can find me!

Speak Your Mind