October 7, 1995
Recently I enjoyed a telephone visit with my former colleague and mentor, Jane Schneider Morrison, who came to work here at The Perry Daily Journal about the same time I did, in 1941. Jane wrote a light hearted column, Perry Parings, and also served as women's editor of this paper during her stint here before going to work for the Associated Press in Oklahoma City and later with the Kansas City, Mo., AP bureau. She has lived in San Francisco the past several years. Although she's been gone from Perry quite a while, many of us still remember her well as a Calamity Jane fresh out of Oklahoma A.& M. college with a degree in journalism and an irrepressible sense of humor.
During our latest conversation, she made mention of the Delta Nu sorority, an organization (now extinct) which she helped fabricate during her years in Perry. It was sort of a female counterpart to the Poor Boys club which sprang up here during the depression era, a little before the Delta Nus.
Jane and some of the other young professional women around town, including a couple of Perry high school teachers, Doris Rodolph and Reta Pinkstaff, used to assemble very informally on occasion at one another's home to exchange thoughts on things in general. They'd have Cokes or coffee or tea and maybe some cookies, usually fresh from the grocer's shelf, just some snackies to munch on or sip during the girl talk.
The group had no real name at first and the ladies didn't even consider themselves an organization. But during the daytime Jane was writing women's page stories about some of the older, more sedate groups which met more formally, with hostesses, assistant hostesses and honest to goodness refreshments, plus even a real agenda for the business portion, and some authentic reason for getting together -- you know, a "purpose."
"We talked about that and decided that we didn't want to do anything, just get together once in a while," Jane recalls. "So, we just dubbed ourselves the 'Do Nothing Club,' but then I decided to report our meetings in the paper and ‘Do Nothing Club’ didn't sound right, so I dressed it up in the Greek letters 'Delta Nu,' and printed stories about our get-togethers."
With a straight face, her stories in The Journal described each meeting in careful and imaginative detail. Hostesses and assistant hostesses were always listed and they always consisted of everyone who attended. The same names were repeated at the end of the item where it says "those attending were...." Far as I know, Mr. Leatherock never knew that the ‘Delta Nu’ sorority stories were about a bunch of do-nothings. But they had a few laughs, and that was during the war-time when merriment was not always easy to come by, so they were entitled to do it.
Jane's late husband, Jack Morrison, also was a newsman and was a front-page by-liner for the major San Francisco daily paper. He later was elected to the city's governing body and served with distinction. Jane was in the news department of the NBC network's local station in the Bay City until she retired a few years ago. She is a frequent guest speaker for various organizations there, including the League of Women Voters and others. It was great to hear from her again.