Thursday, May 24, 2007
Graduation day, a new page in life
Graduation Day is a new page in the life of the graduates. Remember when you graduated? We are so young then but we liked to think how grown-up we were, not realizing that being grown-up is a perpetual state and childhood is a thing of the past, gone forever. When we reach 18, it is a time of adult decisions that last for a lifetime, and life and everybody else expects us to be wise in these decisions.
When I graduated eons ago, baccalaureate was at the Presbyterian Church and of course, graduation itself was at Holly High. It was a real nostalgic time and we realized these wonderful friends and I were all going separate ways forevermore.
It was fun to reminisce over the things that happened, such as a big wagon being placed on the school roof. Whoever put it there was a genius and a strong one, at that, being adroit enough to lift it up there. Back in those days there were still wagons everywhere but we didn’t use them except maybe for a hayride, which was really fun. The principal gave an ultimatum that whoever put it up there had better go and take it down. They did.
Then there was the time in chemistry class when my partner, Brooksie Peters, and I concocted up a formula and nearly blew up the laboratory. We had an explosion with smoke, fire and a loud noise. Brooksie fainted and I thought I had killed her and expected the school to blow up next. Then in an instant it was over, but Brooksie was still unconscious on the floor, but it wasn’t long before she rallied. I nearly failed chemistry; it wasn’t one of my talents. The instructor, Mr. Wilkerson, wanted to know what I had mixed — I had no idea, but I did get an A the last semester.
Then there was the time that some of the students (not I, let me arrange my halo) put a goat in Mrs. Gatewood’s room for the night. When she arrived the next morning, the goat had eaten her prize ferns she was lending the school. Mrs. Gatewood quit and went home. The principal had to go to her house and coax her back. She was the best teacher we ever had and it would have been a shame to lose her because of a goat joke.
We had an English teacher and someone put a dead opossum in her desk. She opened the desk and screamed “a marsupial!” Whoever did that was expelled.
I’ll never forget one day in 1940 we were all in chapel, which we had every day as a time together for prayer (yes, prayer) and a scripture (!) and remarks by the principal. Dudley Colston came running in the side door and yelled, “Rust College is on fire!” The whole group rose and went running out the door to see Rust College burn with the principal hollering; “Come back here! Come back!” and we just kept going. It was a horrible sight to see and one of historic preponderance that is indelible in my mind even today.
School was such a privilege and we didn’t realize it. We took it for granted. Those friends are lifetime friends, almost like kinfolks. When we have reunions, it is so much fun to go back in time.
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