The first segment I did was on the first church I attended. I want to do
this one on the school.
First of all just a brief bit about the Pilot Grove community. I don't
think that place has ever nor does it now have street signs. Everyone
just always seemed to know where everyone lived.
Pilot Grove is the second name it had, the first was Lick Skillet.
Long ago the stage line came through there and had a way station.
People on the stage could get out, rest a bit and have a meal. It
seems the lady there cooked so well that folks said they would like to
lick the skillet..hence the name. Someone later changed it to the
present name. I am glad.
I started to school there in 1935. I was 5 years old and started in
what was called the Premer..same as Kindergarten now. I believe
the Premer and first grade were almost considered the same.
The school, at that time only taught through the 8th grade. The
building was made up of 2 school rooms and an auditorium. Each room
had four grades in it. I am not sure just how this was handled. I think
she would teach maybe one or two subjects in one grade then go to
another grade and do the same. This was done throughout the day
until all subjects in all four grades were covered.
The school had no A/C in the summer, just open windows. In the
winter it was heated with a wood stove. No electricity. No running
water. There was a wash basin provided to wash our hands. Our
restroom was 2 outdoor toilets..one for the boys and one for the
girls. Teachers expected you to take care of that business during
recess or lunch period. We carried our lunches and I am sure that
sandwiches were sometime traded among the students.
The playground equipment would not be allowed today. The merry-go
round really was dangerous because the bigger boys would get
it going real fast and it would go around and up on one side and
down on the other. We could have gotten broken legs but I don't
remember that ever happening. The see-saws were ok unless
when you were at the top the person on the other end jumped off
and let you fall at break neck speed..You learned to have your
legs out of the way in case this happened. Of course we had a slide
and I don't think that was a hazard.
I don't remember what we did for recess on rainy days before a
nice big gym was built. I do think daddy helped build it. After we
had that we could go to the gym during recess.
They also used it for other activities..Probably more than once
they had donkey ballgames. It was fun watching a basket ball
game and the men having to ride the donkey to make a basket
or get the ball from the other team. I do believe though when
they had the donkey baseball game they did that in the summer
when it could be done outside. One year at Christmas there was
a hugh Christmas tree set up in the auditorium and parents brought
a present for their children and we were told to look for Santa
Claus that night and he would bring us a gift. I do remember
that night and seeing Santa come in all of us getting a gift. I
knew for a fact that there was a Santa Claus.
Another popular activity was the box suppers. Girls would decorate
a box really pretty and put sandwiches and goodies that
she would eat with whoever bought the box. Her boyfriend really
wasn't suppose to know which box was hers but I am sure they
had a way of letting him know. It would get interesting when
two boys were bidding against each other for the same girls
As you can see, we didn't have the luxuries that students and
teachers enjoy today but people did get together and have
fun. One thing that the teachers had then that so many
don't have today is..the parents stood behind them. If we got
into trouble at school we got in trouble at home. No use in
hiding it from your parents because they seemed to have a
way of finding out.