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The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

Illuminating the past: Debbie Ducar and Casey Ellis ‘59 reminisce about The Tatler

Ms. Gellhorn

On Friday, May 10, alumni weekend began at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, and CHA, Springside, and SCH classes of 4’s and 9’s returned to campus for their reunions!

Alums were around school all day on Friday to get a taste of the present SCH, and some even sat in on Upper School classes. Debbie Ducar and Casey Ellis – both Springside School class of 1959 – were back for their 65th reunion, and they chose to audit Ms. Gellhorn’s 10th grade English class.

After the class they spoke with Ms. Gellhorn, faculty advisor of The Campus Lantern, who told them about our newly revived student newspaper. It just so happens that they worked on Springside’s newspaper, The Tatler.

Via the archives, Ms. Gellhorn actually had one single copy of The Tatler in her room, so she pulled it out. Now, guess who published that issue of The Tatler? Yup, you guessed it— Debbie and Casey! What an incredible coincidence!

The women came back to Ms. Gellhorn’s room that afternoon for a wonderful conversation about their memories of The Tatler, and they told us (Ms. Gellhorn and me) about how their newspaper used to work.

To print the newspaper, they used a mimeograph machine. “It was a great big round cylinder,” Casey described, “and you’d put an ink pad on it, and then you typed a special pad on a purple thing, and then you hand cranked it.”

Debbie recalled her mother’s annoyance with “the ink all over [her]. Because the purple ink would be on the thing that you’d be spinning…..”

The Tatler staff, when Debbie and Casey worked on the paper, consisted of the two of them and one other woman, Susie McBride. Even still, they put out a one page, front and back issue every week on Tuesday mornings, an incredible feat for a team so small.

“Well, sometimes it wasn’t much news,” Casey admitted. She motioned to the large illustration which took up most of the bottom half of one side of The Tatler… “We call this a photo spread,” she said, laughing. “‘Sorry, didn’t get much out of the interview. We can make this picture large!’”

Casey and Debbie did not remember how they sourced their stories, but Debbie did say, with a laugh, that “[The Tatler] was more like information” than actual articles.

“Some weeks were more interesting than others,” added Casey.

Tatler in hand, Debbie noticed, and remembered, smiling, that “clearly [they] wrote things in at the last minute.” Sixty-five years later, writing at the last minute is definitely something The Campus Lantern of today is familiar with!

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About the Contributor
Griffy Whitman '25
Griffy Whitman '25, Inaugural Editor-in-Chief
Griffy is a junior at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and he revived The Campus Lantern last year. He loves lacrosse and writing, so you can usually find him either on the field or interviewing someone for a story. Outside of school, he loves to play with his dog, Wesley.
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  • E

    Eva GorgolMay 24, 2024 at 7:34 am

    I enjoyed having Casey and Debbie in my English class and it was very interesting hearing their stories of their tenth-grade English class also!

  • R

    Riley DelaneyMay 24, 2024 at 7:31 am

    This is so cool and I love how Debbie and Casey just ended up being in our class! This type of coincidence is so interesting and the most exciting part was that Miss. Gellhorn still had a copy of their newspaper “The Talter”!!