Margie’s Experience at Grace Ball Secretarial School (1960s)

Here’s the link to the original story by Lynn K. McCloskey about the Grace Ball Secretarial School in San Francisco:
And an email from Margie Burns who attended the school in the late 1960s:

I went there, too, met Grace Ball herself and Ruth. Except it was Mrs. Roof “like the roof on a house.”

I remember the typing teacher, though not her name. She, too, was one of the Ancient Ones. Of course we were in our 20s (early, early if that).

I use my shorthand to this day. Have lost a lot but still use it.

I rented my own apartment in San Francisco and rode the cable car to school daily. I had friends who lived in/boarded.

My experience wasn’t as bad as hers . I don’t remember being pinned to the wall by Grace but rather sitting across the desk from her.

The school was directly over an art gallery; the drug store was on the corner of Powell and Sutter. Unfortunately, it didn’t last the entire year I was thre. Popular meting place before and after class, though.

I must have been there 1967, 1968. When did the writer attend? It’s just possible we were in the same class.

From Margie S.

What Was It Like At Grace Ball Secretarial School In San Francisco?

My friend Lynn Kalajian McCloskey tells us:

Lynn.jpg Photo: Lynn Kalajian McCloskey

Do you remember I went to secretarial school in San Francisco- Grace Ball.?…

…Grace Ball (GB) was located at Powell and Sutter above the Owl Drugstore, which had a lunch counter and the best hamburgers.

Grace was a very old woman with extremely bad breath, and when she’d talk to you, she’d pin you up against a wall and her face was about two inches from yours. She
was decrepit.

Her sidekick, Ruth something, was a “little” younger and the drill sergeant type. There were about 100 girls in the school. My class was the rebellious one. We would meet each morning in the shower room and plot our strategy for the day. Nothing really bad ever happened, just prankster type stuff.

Our typing teacher was a small, thin woman – you think nice? Guess again. She was nasty mean and used to walk around with her pointer lightly smacking hands if they were idle. Soone day we took her smacking pointer and threw it in the garbage. She didn’t
know what to do, and we told her the custodians must have accidentally
thrown it away. That’s just one example. Most of the other teachers were
pretty nice.

Grace Ball was a secretarial school but we also took accounting classes.

I hated it there–so did everybody else. I only liked going to GB because I met some great people. Most everyone boarded there, but there were a few of us who lived in the City or on the Peninsula. We disliked it– but had fun flaunting the rules. We were

You probably wonder why were we there.. we were biding our time waiting for something better to come along….