I had in mind an article related to the two outstanding basketball players who entered Holmes County High School when the schools were integrated in 1964, but that has not materialized yet. I am still working on that and hope to get it this month. However I have had some interesting feedback on facebook on the topic. Gary Storey reports that his brother, Ronnie who graduated that school year remembered Charles Flowers who also played basketball and graduated with him as another student to integrate the all white school. Deena Hall Moree whose Dad, Robert, was the high school principal has some recollections. Several others remembered Johnny Ponds and Ronald Newkirk or else hearing about them.
In the meantime, I am pulling one from the archives for this week’s article.
When my mid-life crisis sent me back to college in 1969 for a degree in English Education, a lot of people were instrumental in making my college career and my teaching career a reality. My family, of course, were my main support, but I can never forget friends Margaret and Don Treadwell for giving me a place to live and making me a part of their family for two years while at the University of West Florida.
Mr, William Sammons, the HCHS Principal, encouraged me that I could become a successful English teacher, even if I didn’t have a 4.0 grade point average.When I was hired at that school a lot of friends became instrumental in setting me on the right track. My long time friend, Betty Jo Helms Brooks, the school secretary, often reassured me when I was doubtful of myself.
Two other teachers, Dorothy Davis Galloway and Catherine Powell Carswell came to my aid when as the new kid on the block, I won the coveted position as a junior class sponsor. Before returning to school, I had weeded out a few jobs I didn’t want. Working in a bank handling money and bookkeeping headed the list. As junior sponsor, the first order of business once the school year got underway was the major fund-raising project, the magazine sales campaign. With that came a great deal of responsibility for bookkeeping and handling a considerable amount of money. (Cash and checks.)
Mrs. Galloway a long time sponsor gave me an overview of my responsibilities and assured me of her availability if I ran into problems.
Dorothy grew up in Hernando County and married Holmes Countian Clyde Galloway whom she met while they were at FSU. She and I have become dear friends over the years. As business education teachers she and Mrs. Carswell are very organized and I am very not. But with their help I managed to carry out my duties in the magazine sales. Later when we began work on The Heritage History of Holmes County, I was able to enlist her to collect and organize the family stories, a job I was enlisted to do, but she was so much more suited to that and I concentrated on enlisting people to write and wrote some of the stories.
Catherine Carswell came to my classroom and showed me exactly how to keep an account of all the money and subscriptions turned in by students as well as the number of subscriptions sold by each student. Prizes were awarded according to the number sold. Because she had gone to Bonifay School from 4th through 12th grade with my husband, I knew her, but really came to appreciate her when we became faulty members together.
Looking through that 1943 yearbook, I was not surprised that Catherine Powell was in the journalism Club and was on the paper staff. I was surprised to see her in the band and glee club and that she wrote the class poem for the yearbook. The class directory listed her nickname as “Hummer.” I suppose that is because she could make the keys on the typewriter hum.The caption beside her yearbook picture says “Ready to help one and all the while, a sense of humor and a smile.” She certainly helped me with a smile as she helped many a struggling typist throughout her teaching career, including our son Hiram and daughter Cindy. Cindy said she was Mrs. Carswell’s best typing student. Mr. Roche would say that I was his worst.
Since writing this twelve years ago, Dot Galloway, Jack and I and our children are the only ones still alive. I am eternally grateful for the help and encouragement I received from them as well as from Betty Joe, Catherine, William Sammons, Don and Margaret and so many others who have helped and encouraged me all through the years,not just related to school, but in every area of my life including my Happy Corner attempts. I hope that I have played it forward and have helped and encouraged someone along the way.