Dear old school days at Fairview recalled

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ON THE WAY TO THE BUS STOP – Buddy Pickard, Peggy Pickard (Byrd), Francis and Katherine Cathy pose for a picture enroute to school at Fairview. Notice the chicken in front of the children begging for the girls’ apples.


Fair warning: young people today, with no exposure to the ‘dear old golden school days’ like Grandma and Grandpa used to have, will have problems identifying with this article.

I, myself, sometimes wonder, “Where those days really real?” Of course when I see the face full of wrinkles looking out of my mirror, I think this is not me – but it is. (Oh my goodness, does anyone have a Kleenex?)

Our school days were filled with strict discipline – you know what I mean! And ‘yes’ our classrooms and methods of teaching are considered primitive compared to standards used today. ‘No,’ we old heads couldn’t even have dreamed of computers and expensive ‘toys’ kids have today.

At recess, we played games called ‘London Bridges Falling Down,’ Ring-a-Round the Rosies; Red Rover-Let ? Come Over; and Drop the Handkerchief.

Some of us girls played ‘Jacks’ on the concrete steps and hopscotched on chalked outlines on the sidewalk, while the boys played ball and marbles. But mostly, older students played tag as the younger ones ran around the building.

I’ve had the feeling for a while now that I ought to write something for the paper, to keep my articles alive. But I was getting nowhere until I received the Humboldt Chronicle on a Friday in August. Posted on the front page, a bold headline read: “Fairview Farewell.”

After the giant back hoe took its first bite from the framed arch entrance of the old Fairview School Building at Three-Way, it seemed to tremble and was finally laid to rest.

The ‘one-upon-a-time’ idyllic schoolhouse of my youth deserved a lot of amazing grace. I revisited its hallowed grounds one last time, two days before it was razed. I felt overwhelmed by its full measure of despair and emptiness. The bushes were overgrown and the door leading down to the basement lunchroom, where Mrs. Nellie Stewart, Mrs. Roma Leslie and Mrs. Dovie Turner once served us hot meals for $1.50 a week, were nailed shut.

I suppose that most everyone at some time or another has wanted to reminisce about their school days. And some of you don’t recall things in the same way that I remember them, but that’s alright because we were just kids and that was a long time ago.

Just for the record, I was five years old when I started first grade in 1943, or was is 1942? Oh well, does it really matter? Anyway, according to Mother who passed away in 2008, I was excited about starting school that first day, but when I got there I was scared. The classroom was too big. The desks were too large and the big boys were scary. I held on tight to Mother’s dress and cried to go home.

I missed my baby brother and I wasn’t about to spend all day without him. Since Mother couldn’t control my squalling she started to cry.

Then a little boy wearing glasses, named J. W. Hardison began crying too. Finally Mother left with me – only to return the next morning. This happened more than once, but after a while my luck ran out….

Continued in next article

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