Sunday, October 17, 2010

The old school house

I used to walk in the bitter freez'n cold, across corn fields and through the woods.

It was a little school, just one room. The teacher was a hefty lady, we was scared of her. There were two of us in the first grade. Me and some little skinny girl with curly red hair and freckles. She wore overalls and high top shoes just like I did. She was my bestest buddy.

Ya know, some times ya get to think'n. Your mind just wanders off in some direction where ya ain't been in years. That happen to me this morning while I was sit'n here try'n to get warm. Ya see, here what happen. Last night I  didn't close the door all the way and some time during the night, a puff of wind come up and blowed the door wide open. I were cold in here this morning. But that ain't what got me to think'n. I rekon it's natural to think when ya ain't got nuttin else to do, so that what I did.

In my school days, I went to 13 different schools by the time I was 17 year old. The little country school house with the little red headed freckle face girl and the hefty teacher was my first school. This is where I learnt my ACB's. And to spell my name. It was 3 1/2 mile from the farm where I lived at the time.....if'n ya cut across the corn fields and through the woods. If ya stayed on the roads, it were an extra mile. There weren't no school bus so ya had to either huff it from sun up to be there by 8am or ride a critter. Some did....ride a critter that is.

Cross'n them corn fields weren't no problem......but there was woods to go through. Deep dark woods where man has never gone before. We had a nice trail to follow from years of walk'n to school. Once in the woods I was a scared little feller. Ya see, I weren't alone on this walk. I was the youngest of 6 of us. The big boys, ranging in age from 7 to 13 would tell me stories of "things" what lived in the woods. There was big pythons hang'n from tree limbs just wait'n to gobble ya up. Grizzly bears to eat little boys in bright red snow suits. Have ya ever wore a snow suit??? The creek log bridge we had to cross was infested with flesh eating "grools and gobblins".  By the time we got out them woods, old Billy Bob was a nervous little boy watch'n every bush, tree trunk and low hanging limb.

It would snow bout once a year. From bout the end of November to the first of March. It were cold and the snow was packed high. Ya got remember, old Billy Bob weren't very big when he was 6 year old. A little feller like that can get lost in a snow drift. That what I did. When I stepped off in that snow drift, I was gone....pooof, just like that. I come out from there, snow suit all fill up with freez'n cold snow, freez'n cold snow down my neck all the way to my butt cheeks. I were holler'n "MOM'S"....but she couldn't hear me. "Mom's weren't my mom...she were the lady on the farm where I stayed till my dad got back from the war. 

In the spring time, hornets and yeller jackets come out of hyper-nation (hibernation)...that mean they sleep all winter and come out in the spring time to sting little boys walk'n to school. Farmers would clear their land of trees and bushes so they could plant more crops. All that stuff is piled up somewhere's along the trail....filled with critters and stuff. Ya don't knock down a hornet nest with a stick and expect not to get stinged. From experience, I can tell ya, them suckers knows how to sting. And yeller jackets....what live in them little holes in the ground. Ya don't pour water (pee) in them holes.....or poke a stick in them. 
By my second year at the little country school house, I was a celebrity....with the girls. They made fun of my clothes because they was full of patches and stuff. Ya know that the smallest of the bunch wears hand me downs....right??? I had growed bout an inch and gained maybe a pound or two since last year, but I was still the "I double dare ya" of the school yard. Girls like that ya know. Take for instance....the tree swing on the side of the hill. Anybody can jump out of a swing on flat ground. But who in their right mind would jump down hill? "I double dare ya Billy". Boy howdy....what a ride. Scrapes and bruises for a week. 

A few years ago, I made a trip to the old farm and then went look'n for the little country school house from 55 years ago. All that was left was the foundation. The old rope swing was gone, but the hill was still there. The playground was growed waist high in weeds. I pick up a piece of gutter what I been carry'n with me as a keepsake. That's all I have other than the memories.


  1. Great story, BB. It is surprising what you remember, way, way back. I almost went to a one room school when I started, but the partitioned ot off into three rooms and had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade there.

    Of course we had outhouses. The older kids went off to the new school which had indoor plumbing, but we younger ones had to put up with none and one wood stove to heat the whole place. Not the outhouses, they were a freezen. . .

  2. Like DD said, good that you can remember it. I never went to one that small, but Mother and her sister and brother did, and I got a chance to see that ole building some years ago..

    Thanks for the memories,,

    BTW, you ever try Goggling that girl from back then?

  3. Dizzy, with old age creep'n up on me I got to write down stuff before I forget it forever. I have notebooks full of old past stories. I just don't remember where I put them. Funny you mention outhouse. I don't recall where it was located at the school. Us boys just went to the woods.

    Yeah Ben, memories are a wonderful thing. Photos help too.

  4. BTW Ben, what was that girls name????

  5. Girl? Girl? I don't know no girl!!

  6. Oh my Billy Bob, sometimes I don't know whether to believe you or not...:-)

  7. We had to walk 10 miles uphill in the snow to school and 10 miles uphill back from school.