yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee

The One Room School House

from the collection of Alma Sue Keeton Reynolds

This composition was donated by Alma Sue Keeton Reynolds. The author is unknown but appears to be a Tucker who attended the Union Hall School near Dunbar. It provides a glimpse into the life of young people in the Dunbar Community during the 1940's.

I went to a one room school house from the first to eight grade. it was hot in the summer and cold in the winter. There were several windows on each side.

There were some advantages to a one room school house. The older students would help the younger one. My cousin Jean and I were apt to goof off. When Zula or Ruth saw that we were not studying they would make us get back to work.

When the school needed money the whole community helped. We would have pie suppers. The women and girls would make pies to sell, and the men and boys would bid on them. The boy and girl would share the pie. At one pie supper a boy bid five dollars on his sweetheart's pie. He was teased about it. The whole community would come to school programs, and plays. Even people who didn't have children would come to the programs.

The christmas program for 1940 was a real good one. One of our neighbors son was Santa Claus. I knew who he was as soon as he spoke. Charles Keeton made a good santa. Names were drawn and Jessie Lafferty got mine. She gave me crayons and a coloring book. I was very pleased. Ruth showed me how to color in it. There were some funny presents given out, too. Mable Brigance got a pig's tail wrapped in a pretty package. She was very good natured about it. She invited everyone to the house for pig tail soup.

At one of the school programs my sister dressed up like Pocohontas in my grandmother's dress. Milburn Leeton was the Indian brave who was suppose to talk her into going back to the tribe. I think it was a Thanksgiving program.

In August 1942, we had a victory day celebration to honor the ones who served in the armed forces. Everyone who was there had a relative in the service. Aunt Azalea, who seldom got out of the house, except for church, was there. Aunt Emmy and Uncle Gabe were there representing Mather and Woodrow. Aunt Emmy didn't get out much either. I think walking was hard on her. Mom was there for her daughter, Ruth and her nephew Carl.

The health department gave us shots for typhoid, scarlet fever, and small pox. I suppose that was in case we had an epidemic.

I saw my first silent movie there. The films were very old and some of the frames were messed up. There would be a cowboy riding across the plains and the next frame would be an Indian on the war path. We hadn't much entertainment during the war.

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