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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, March 15, 2019

Our Elementary Schools

My husband can remember every teacher and every student he went to school with. He went to the same school (Houston Elementary) and had the same classmates every year. But I can't. I have no recollection of the names of my 1st, 2nd and (half the) 3rd grade teachers in Elizabethton, TN. I remember the schools but not the names of the teachers. My First grade was at a new school called Harold McCormack Elementary School. But, for some reason, they moved me to Lynn Avenue Elementary School. Lynn was an old school. Someone said it had originally been the high school. It was only a few blocks from McCormack. But I spent Second grade and half of Third Grade there before we moved to Spartanburg. Elaine went to half of the First grade at Lynn before we moved and she attended Whitney the rest of her First grade and all of the Second Grade. Melinda attended all her elementary school years at Chapman. I attended a church kindergarden, then McCormack, next Lynn, then Whitney and finally Chapman during my elementary school years. That's a lot of changes for a little girl who was shy and introverted! But I did enjoy my elementary school years. Here are the digital scrapbook layouts I did of elementary school before we moved to Spartanburg.

 Lynn Elementary has been torn down but I took photos of where it used to be.



Then we moved to Spartanburg, SC and Elaine and I went to Whitney Elementary.
The old photos of Whitney were shared by Peggy Garrett Kelly on Facebook and I used them to make my digital scrapbook pages of Whitney Elementary. The school was built in 1919 on the edge of the Whitney mill village. Just a little further on was Lawson's Fork Creek and Whitney Mill was built on Lawson's Fork in 1880. They started tearing it down in 2000. Whitney Elementary is located on Hwy 221 (aka Chesnee Highway). We lived further out just off Hwy 221. Established in 1932, US 221 was connected from North Carolina, from north of Cowpens National Battlefield to Greenwood, connecting the cities of Spartanburg, Woodruff, Laurens, and Waterloo. It eventually replaced SC 110, SC 10 and SC 670. It runs from Perry in northern Florida to Lynchburg in central Virginia. In South Carolina, the highway runs north to south from the Georgia state line near Clarks Hill to the North Carolina state line near Chesnee.




In the third grade, Elaine and I both had Miss Ida Beatrice "Bea" Hewitt (11/14/1907-7/24/2000). She was a sweet lady and we have fond memories of her class. Every year she had her students make paper mache birds. She would assign each one of us a bird and we had to do a report about that bird and read it to the class. Mine was the bob white quail. It seems Miss Hewitt (who never married) had lived in, or near, Whitney her entire life and spent her teaching career at Whitney Elementary. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Hewitt, moved to Whitney in 1904.

In the fourth grade, I had Miss Ameille Rigby (5/10/1896-9/6/1995). She was also a very sweet teacher and I have good memories of her class. We spent our recess in the mown grass at the back of the school. In the Spring, I picked her a bouquet of violets during recess. I've loved violets ever since. Our class was in the basement with windows facing the back yard of the school. She read to us Charlotte's Web. Mother had read Heidi to us and Mrs. Rigby reminded me of my Mother reading to us. Every day, after lunch, she read us a book. I didn't particularly like Charlotte's Web because it was about a spider and the spider dies. But I loved her reading to us.

They built Chapman Elementary and it opened so that I attended 5th and 6th grades there. Elaine attended 3rd-6th grades there and Melinda attended 1st-6th grades at Chapman. Just last year, Chapman closed it's doors. It has been merged with the old Houston Elementary (where Stan and his siblings went) into the new Drayton Mills Elementary (across the street from the old Houston Elementary). Here are the digital scrapbook pages I did on Chapman Elementary.

My 5th grade teacher may NOT have been Miss Rigby as this page says. I believe she was my 4th grade teacher and Mrs. Helen Bishop Kanipe was my 5th grade teacher. Or vice versa. Both were sweet teachers and I get them mixed up. I have changed it on my scrapbook page that would be used in a printed book. Mrs. Helen B. Kanipe (3/16/1922-6/9/2014) was married to Clarence Earl "Smokey" Kanipe, Sr. She was a teacher for 45 years mostly at Whitney and Chapman. She was living in Mauldin when she and her husband died. In the Sixth grade I had Mrs. Boston. I don't remember her first name so I'm guessing here based on Google searches. She may have been Roenia Holland (6/28/1929-12/25/2000) married to a Boston and then a Foster. She was the first black teacher I had and, despite all the civil rights upheaval going on in the 1960's, it never occurred to me that it was unusual. My parents had made sure we knew that God loved every person despite color or any other characteristic. Otherwise they kept us fairly protected from the ugliness in the world. So I was not shocked or confused when I had my first black teacher. She was just my teacher and I liked her. She was, as my previous teachers had been, a very sweet woman. I seem to remember her as being a little more quiet in nature, but then all my teachers in elementary school had been gentle women. The one thing in her class that I do remember was her letting us debate a subject with half the class assigned to one side of the subject and the other half of the class assigned to the other side. I found out I was a pretty good debater, LOL! Thank you Mrs. Boston!



It was junior high and high school that I began to have a lot of problems. I had to have major surgery in the Sixth grade. It was a life and death situation and took me a long time to recover. I was very fearful and nervous, sensitive and depressed. I think I suffered my first bout of depression in the 6th grade. After that I was so high strung. I guess hormone changes worked with my health problems and depression to create a perfect storm type scenario. I was not always in my right mind during those last 2 high school years. I didn't do drugs, sleep around or things like that. I did begin drinking and didn't know my body well enough to know how it affected me yet so I had some problems there until I learned what I could tolerate and what I didn't want any part of. I hate to feel out of control and being drunk gives me a violently sick hangover the next day. I learned, after a couple of times, that I NEVER wanted to feel that way again so I learned to stop before it got that far. But you don't know until you experience it. Unfortunately, there are those who experiment with alcohol but become addicted. So it's not something I would suggest trying. It's really best to not try it at all. If you do experiment you could figure out how much your body tolerates and when it's time to stop OR you could find out you're an alcoholic. Having seen alcoholism up close, it's not something I would wish on my worst enemy. So it's not worth it. To insure you never become an alcoholic, DON'T even start, don't take the first drink! My problems were more depression and suicidal ideation. And I still struggle with it. Fortunately, the last 6 months of high school, I met the Harris family. Elaine had started dating Ronnie (whom she married when she turned 18) and I met the family through her. I was at a point of deep depression and needing an answer. I had been saved at 8 years old (back when we were still living in Elizabethton) and was baptized in 1967 before we moved. I was a believer and I think, if I had died, I would have gone to Heaven. I really don't remember a time in my life when I didn't know and believe in Jesus Christ. But, in high school I had gotten confused and was struggling emotionally. Just before we met the Harris', their older daughter, Kathi, began to have migraine headaches and she thought she might be dying. She went to the little church in the neighborhood where they had grown up and she got saved. Then, it spread through the family. Each one, one after the other, got saved. Elaine began attending church with Ronnie and I went with them. I re-dedicated my life and I've never looked back. Stan, the oldest, was the last one to come to church. I was sitting with Elaine and Ronnie in the tiny church. The front doors opened directly into the little sanctuary. We had just got settled when we heard the doors open and close. I looked back and there was this gorgeous man sitting in the back pew. I punched Elaine and whispered, "Who is that?!?" and she said, "That's the oldest, Stan." It was love at first sight for me. I mean, I could almost hear the angels singing and heavenly light focus on him!!! LOL!!! Sure enough, Kathi and Elaine set us up for our first date. He was 5 years older than me so he was 22 when we met and I was 17. He didn't know where to take a Christian girl so his mother suggested the Billy Graham Crusade in Asheville. We went and he got saved that night on our first date! We got married in 6 months, 3 weeks after I turned 18 years old. As of 2019, We've been married 42 years. God is good! Elaine and Ronnie have been married 40 years and Melinda and Mike have been married 38 years. We all got married at 18 yrs old, as did our Mother and both Grandmothers. It sounds very young but it worked for all of us.

Here are the digital scrapbook pages I did of Stan going back to Houston Elementary School. In 2018 they closed the doors of Chapman and Houston Elementary. They merged them into Drayton Mill Elementary School. They had an open house for "alumni" to get a last look and we went up there.



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