Ike & Enie's College Years

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 1930 to 1933
Location: La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsinmap
This page has been accessed 164 times.
State Teachers College - La Crosse WI
This pages reviews the years Irvin Claude "Ike" Smart and Elaine "Enie" (Olson) Smart attended the Wisconsin State Teachers College at La Crosse, Wisconsin. The school issued yearbooks annually, and below are pages from its 1930-1933 yearbooks concerning their time there. Below appear the title pages to the yearbooks, and, in the textual description next to those, click on page links to see images.

Ike began his four-year career at the Wisconsin State Teachers College, some 230 miles southeast of his home in Crosby, Minnesota, by 1930. In the 1930 yearbook, at page 48, Ike is listed as a freshman at the school, and his picture appears, and page 77 confirms Ike was a member of the school's championship volleyball team.

The 1931 Yearbook for the Wisconsin State Teachers College also confirms Ike's attendance. At page 49, Ike's name and photo appear marking him as a member of the sophomore class. Pages 97, 98 and 99 recount his exploits on the college's championship basketball team, and include pictures, and note, "What 'Ike' lacked in height, he made up for in speed." At page 148, Ike tells a joke.

The 1932 Yearbook for the State Teachers College shows Ike attended the school as a junior and that Enie had begun her two-year teaching program. Pages 107 and 109 show them enrolled in the school's physical education program, with pictures of both. Enie's participation in the school's Buskin club, one the oldest at the school and whose "primary purpose ... is to train its members in dramatic art," is confirmed, with a photo, at page 60, and is the earliest known record of what would be her lifelong interest in the theatre. As for Ike, page 57 confirms Ike's membership in Kappa Delta Pi (an honor society "founded in 1911 to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching"),[1] and page 69 reveals his membership in the school's select "L" club of sports stars. His admission to the latter club, no doubt, resulted from his participation on another championship team in basketball, as pages 87, 88, 89, 90 and 92 illustrate. "Ike," it said, "is the Minnesota speed boy. he is small, but surely adds a lot of trouble for opposing guards. As a forward Smart was the spark plug of the team. Besides being a good shot himself he was a good passer and feeder." Pages 110 and 144 recount some of Ike's reputation and humor, but the most interesting, perhaps, of everything in the yearbook is what it shares about the relationship of Ike and Elaine together. At page 138, paying homage to the basketball champions, says, intriguingly: "'Ike' Smart. Forward--and how! A musician, poet, and parlor athlete. Ask Elaine." Boy, the profile manager sure would like to ask her because a "parlor athlete" is slang for "a genteel womanizer"![2] The 1932 yearbook entries conclude with a funny little colloquy between Ike and Enie, at page 142.

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