Memory of the Day: Oak Grove School Trivia

I was remembering a number of small tirvial things about going to OGHS this morning. Here are a few things I recall. I started school in the first grade, no public kindergartens in 1951. My first grade teacher was Mrs. James. Two things I remember about first grade are the huge oak tree outside Mrs. James’ class room. It had a name…”George Washington.” We were told that it was planted there by former students, though looking back at that through my nearly 70 year old eyes now it was awfully big to have been planted there very recently. I don’t know when the old school burned and the new one was built to replace it, but I do remember playing on “Billy Goat Hill”, the big pile of rubble left over from the old school. It was treacherous and we were not permitted to play on it, but we did. We would play king of the hill on that pile of trash. It is also interesting that I don’t remember when or how they hauled the pile away. In Mrs. James’ I remember playing “Go in and out the Window.” I believe the sole purpose of this game which included a part where a boy was supposed to kneel and face his partner, a girl, was to make me turn red and feel really embarrassed. There were other great games during my elementary school years like “Red Rover” and “Run Through.” These games were intended to maim, but not kill the kids playing them. That is unless the teachers were organizing the activity then we had to allow the girls to play and we couldn’t hurt anyone.

Does anyone else remember October in OGHS when Mr. McBride would play the World Series over the intercom? I remember listening to those games on the radio and there was something more exciting about radio announcers than television announcers. I loved listening to the World Series in school.

We had a pretty unique school organization. All twelve grades in one building with only one story. We started school at one end of the “U” shaped building in first grade. We worked our way up the leg of the “U” to the “Center” where vending machines were and where we crowded in before the opening bell on rainy days. The 6th grade classes were across the hall from the cafeteria. I remember for one brief period the cafeteria workers would deliver orange juice to the class rooms in the afternoon. I only remember that happening when I was in Mrs. Campbell’s 6th grade class. I remember that we entered junior high on the other side of the Center where the lockers were. It was a great honor to finally reach that side of things and be in the high school part. High school and junior high ran together on up to the office where a left turn took you by Mrs. Mays’ math class, Mrs.Campbell’s English class and Mrs, Parks English class. we proceeded around the other leg of the “U” past the Ag classes and Home Ec classes, out the door and to the gym where we graduated. It all seemed so well planned.

Say what you will about Huey Long and Louisiana politics, but I never had to pay for a school book and a good hot lunch was $0.15. I remember that Friday was always fish day in the cafeteria. I never knew just how many of my classmates were Catholic, but we all enjoyed the fish. For some reason, I didn’t like their banana pudding and made a habit of trading my BP for other items of foodstuff that kids normally didn’t like. One was saurkraut. Later on in high school, I remember our pregame meals in the cafeteria. Always had mashed potatoes with lots of gravy. The gravy was primarily to disguise the meat product on the plate.

Who remembers being handed #2 pencils and rough paper to do our class work? Slick paper was only for tests. We didn’t have any “Trapper Keepers” but I usually had a zip up folio to carry papers in. Books were just tucked under your arm and carried along. Often this included picking up the ones that slipped out on the way home.

I remember making nickel bets on the playground. I lost about $0.15 on Cassius Clay fights. It took me three of them to realize that he really was “The Greatest.”

OK, there are other trivial things I could relate, but for now, I’ll post this and ask this question, who out there knows when the old school burned and when the new school was built. Also, I invite anyont to add your particular trivial memories of OGHS or any other West Carroll Parish School or, heck, any school.

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One thought on “Memory of the Day: Oak Grove School Trivia

  1. The first year in the new school, after the old one burned, was 1950. I started school that year. I do not know what year the old one burned but old army barracks were used as temporary classrooms until the new one was built.

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