Pescadero 1924: Miss Evelyn Voge Loved To Type

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“8%/(-*?)(:@1/2!!xx

Did you ever hit “r” when you aimed at k?

And mixed-up your copy
With a double jj?

Made a capital M when it
Should have been small.

And ruined the meaning
With ‘bell’ instead of ‘ball’….”

Poem from Pescadero Union High School 1924 Yearbook: Carnelian and Blue

Pescadero Union High School student Evelyn Voge never punched an “r” when she aimed for a “k”.

“Ev” was the perfect typist, a real “speed demon” who set out to prove she could click-clack her way to first place at the National Typewriting Contest held at the San Francisco Business Show in April 1924.

Typing was a significant skill. A proficient typist could aspire to be a secretary, a glamorous ambition in this new age of working women.

Given Evelyn Voge’s superior typing skills, it was no surprise that she became the editor of Pescadero High’s first “Carnelian and Blue” yearbook, named for the school’s colors.

She surely organized the yearbook that was artfully bound in red construction paper. Browsing through a surviving copy of “Carnellian and Blue” is like being transported back to Pescadero 1924.

The 90-plus pages are crammed with art, graphics, excellent black-and-white photos, humor and exuberance.

To see Evelyn Voge walking to school she appeared as a stylish young flapper—but when she sat down to punch the keys on an Underwood typewriter, she was transformed into a vrtuoso.

On a 60-second typing test, Ev scored an astounding 79-words per minute, earning the admiration of all her classmates and teachers.

Due to Evelyn’s influence, typewriting became one of the school’s most popular classes with may of the students enrolling. When the day came for Evelyn to compete with 100 other first-rate typists at the contest in San Francisco, she was escorted by her friends to the bus stop in front of the local hotel owned by Dr. Thompson, the county supervisor from Pescadero.

As the bus carrying the young aspirant rolled away in a puff of exhaust fumes, the mood among Ev’s friends was wistful.

The soft-spoken Catherine “Cassie” Bentley and the chatty Elsie Blomquist lingered on the hotel porch wishing they could have accompanied Evelyn on her exciting trip to the big city. Alas, their typing skills were mediocre and the girls glumly walked back to the school.

Note: Cassie and Elsie had their own talents. They were mischief-makers of the first order, later involved in an amusing scandal at the school when they hid the soccer team’s street clothes.

Evelyn Voge, Pescadero High’s legendary typist performed admirably at the contest in San Francisco. Ev finished in the top ten, the only candidate from San Mateo County to do so.

The Underwood Typing Company awarded her a bronze medal. In my 1924 copy of the “Carnelian and Blue” yearbook there’s an amusing caricature of Evelyn Voge wearing her flapper era cloche frantically pounding at the keys of her typewriter.

Evelyn Voge’s true legacy was a role model to many of the other students who resulved to emulate her so that, they, too, could one day make the exciting trip to the big typing contest in San Francisco.

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