Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How About a Little Piece of My Past

I went to a one room school in Rome, Illinois - just north of Peoria and along the Illinois River. This picture was taken when I was a fourth grader and my sister, Jo, was in the first grade. I am in row three from the bottom the third little kid over. My little sis is the first little girl in the second row. Our teacher was Evelean Placher who was an absolutely wonderful lady - I can still see her standing before the school reading a story and sometimes crying if it touched her. Miss Placher married about this time to Duffy Gerstner - I can remember how excited all the kids were.
The next year, this picture, the school had been made into two rooms by extending the stage and putting up a partition. I am the 8th from the left in the 3rd row from the bottom. My sis, Jo, is 3rd from the left in the 2nd row and my little brother, Bud (Chuck), is the 9th little boy from the left in the first row. Opal Claypool came to teach - another grand lady who just passed away just a few years ago. Grades 1 - 4 were in the smaller main room with Evelean and grades 5 - 8 were on the stage with Opal. So Opal was my teacher for the 5th and 6th grades. They then added two big new rooms in front of the old school and Evalean taught 1st, 2nd, 7th and 8th so I was back with Evelean. A new teacher was hired to replace Opal - can't remember where she went but she taught in the area for years and years. There were 10 in my class in the 5th grade which was the largest and when I graduated from 8th grade in 1942 there were only 3 of us. We actually had 5 but one boy didn't show up and my friend Sally who had polio earlier was in the Shriner's Hospital in Chicago having surgery on her affected arm. In the picture above, I am standing in the crook of Sally's arm which is up on the brace she had to wear all the time. After her surgery, she still did not have the use of that arm but she no longer had to wear the brace. Back to graduation, 3 or 4 of the other little country schools came and graduated with us at Rome so there were 12. I can't remember diddlysquat a lot of times, but I can still remember the poem I recited at graduation - may I bore you? (Click to enlarge)
Somebody said it couldn't be done
But he, with a chuckle, replied
That maybe it couldn't
But he would one
Who wouldn't say so til he tried.
So he started right in with trace of a grin
on his face. If he worried, he hid it,
And he started to sing
As he tackled the thing,
That couldn't be done and he did it.
Edgar Guest
Hope you enjoy this little tidbit of nostalgia.

4 comments:

LESLIE said...

My goodness how very pretty you were. So you must have been the oldest child in your family. I enjoy old pictures. Leif's mom who would have been 86 this year remembers when she had to stop going to school because she had to go to work for the family to bring home some extra money for them. She said she really wanted to go to school and that she was good at it. Boy do I wish our new generation realized what a privilege it was to get to go to school once upon a time. Oh well. Leslie

QuiltinCanuck said...

Carol - thanks for sharing! I love the old pictures - you were just as good lookin then as you are now! It was easy to spot you. Loved the stories to - can't say I remember that much of my early public school days....J

Anonymous said...

I do enjoy your blog!

FeatherDuster said...

Isn't it funny the things you can remember so clearly, from way-back-when?

Wow, I wish I had all those cute little floral dresses to cut up for quilt pieces! lol