Sunday, February 03, 2008

Remembering...

The summer of August, 1954, I graduated from college, packed my belongings and headed to a Delta town that seemed eons away from my home in Jackson, MS. I had been warned in school that if I wanted to teach in the city (where the best salaries were) I'd have to serve time in smaller schools. Since I interviewed with only one superintendent, I had one job offer. My salary was $150 per month.

Back in my seventh grade history class I should have learned more. I knew the outline of the state (always on our tests)and I knew we had a delta area because of the flooding of the Mississippi River, but I didn't know of any familiar towns in this area. Too far from Memphis and Jackson. So this first job location was on foreign soil for a 20 year old.

I taught English to seventh graders. With the shadow of the superintendent hovering over us five new teachers, I despaired that I couldn't teach without his presence. My supporter was the librarian, a citizen of the town, who gave me lessons on better understanding the superintendent.(Many years later I would be appreciate his guidance.) Every afternoon I'd leave the two story building and meet her downstairs at the school door, and we'd walk and talk across the playing field to her house one block away. On pleasant afternoons her little 5 year old son would come skipping to meet his mom and walk with us.

Not forgotten are that sleepy town of Drew, the lovely Mrs. Manning, whose little boy became known to everyone as Archie Who, and the wonderment of my slight brush with a future successful football player who produced two more renowned players--Peyton and Eli.

4 comments:

Tim Rice said...

Beautiful memories. And thanks for stopping by my blog.

sage said...

1954 would have been an interesting time to teach in Mississippi--I haven't spent much time in Mississippi, but I've had some great barbecue in Greenwood--from a jute-joint across from the station--which I once blogged about. I enjoyed what little reading I've done here--I saw your comments in Tim's blog and hopped over from there.

nina said...

The things that gain meaning after the passing of time.
Very nice recollection.

CabinWriter-- said...

Thanks, Tim, Sage, and Nina for your comments. I'm one of "The Greatest Generation," a time of a much freer society where I could walk 5 miles to the movies downtown, take a bus at midnight and be home without anyone accosting me. Thanks for reading.