Bridging Generations

Ancestors and descendents of Joyce Verla Pratt and Mark Richard Berrett

Archive for the category “mark richard berrett”

Save the last dance for me

Dance photo (1)

Undated photo of a dance in North Ogden.
That young man in the upper center in front of the wooden box/pallet appears to be a very handsome Mark Berrett.

School and church dances were a big part of my dad’s high school years, and he and his peers used dance cards to plan those evenings.  A dance card was a booklet with a decorative cover and included on the inside pages dance titles, sponsoring organization, chaperones, and a list of those with whom the lady intended to dance.   Dance cards were used mainly at formal dances in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, but continued in some high school settings until the early 1950s when Rock and Roll led to much more informal dances.


Dance Card for the North Ogden Harvest Ball held November 19, 1943

V. Persis Dewey’s 1918 pamphlet “Tips to Dancers: Good Manners for Ballroom and Dance Hall” explains proper etiquette for dance cards.

“The programs are distributed at the door, in the cloak room, or during a grand march. It is the duty of the man to make out the programs for the lady whom he has escorted to the dance and for himself. It is best to make out the programs all at once and as early in the evening as possible.

“In filling out a program, the man should write his name on the first line of his lady’s program, and her name on his. To indicate their dances, a double cross xx should be used.

“At a program dance where the men and women come separately, each one keeps his or her own program. When the man invites a lady to dance he writes his name on her program after the number they decide to dance together.”


Dance Card from the Easter Parade Dance
April 7, 1944


Note the catchy names  – no political correctness here!


I’m not sure if this card was Dad’s or his date’s, but it appears that the rules for dance cards had relaxed a bit since 1918.


More recently the expression “dance card” has been used figuratively, as when someone says, “pencil me in to your dance card,” or “my dance card is full” indicating interest or lack thereof in pursuing a relationship.


Put me on the stage

Dad JH ID card

Junior High Identification Card 1941-42

The last couple of weeks I’ve been transcribing my dad’s mission journal.  Today I realized that I had the remnants of Dad’s high school scrapbook.  75 years old, filled with yellowed newspaper clippings and deteriorating photos the scrapbook gives a look at Dad before he became our father, grandfather and great grandfather.

I think I was most surprised to find out that Dad had been in the Junior High play “Keep Smiling.”  On stage?  Acting?  Costumes?  I would never have believed it if I hadn’t found this proof.

Dad - newspaper about jr high play (1)

That’s a very young Mark Berrett in the center of the back row.

Dad in junior high cast

Mark (the tall one in the back row) and fellow cast members in front of the stage in the school auditorium

Who knew Dad had a secret life as an actor!
I wonder what else we’re going to learn about him?

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