Tuesday, February 27

The Class of 1910

The schoolchildren of Oceana, West Virginia in 1910. If you enlarge this pic, you can see black dots I put on 4 of the children. They are my mother's sister and three brothers. Mom was only 2 when this pic was taken.

My mother's father was the principal and head teacher at this one-room school. Mom used to tell me stories of how she talked all the time in school, and her dad could flip a piece of chalk and hit her square on the nose. Once she was bent down, acting like she had to pick something up off the floor, but she was really talking to the girl in front of her. Grandpa called her name, and as she straightened up, he flipped the chalk and hit her on the nose. She said she thought her nose was broken, but it wasn't. I guess it hurt her more than usual because she didn't expect it.

She told me he did this nearly everyday for at least one school year, until she learned not to talk. She had a bump on her nose because of it; I'd call it abuse nowadays, but I guess he could get away with it back then. Of course, he never did it to any kids except his own.

23 comments:

Duke_of_Earle said...

You've reminded me of an episode in my high school experience. The teacher noticed that the boy ahead of me was dozing, and tossed the felt blackboard chalk eraser at his head.

For some reason, in a flash, that seemed very wrong to me and made me angry. I don't know why, to this day. I reached forward, grabbed the eraser out of the air before it hit the boy's head, and THREW it (hard!) back at the teacher. I think it missed him and hit the blackboard behind him. Then, suddenly, I realized what I had done. I was HORRIFIED! The teacher was a bit bemused, not nearly as angry as I'd expected, but sent me to the principal's office anyway. I'm still embarrassed when I think about that, some 45 years later. Wow!

John

Blitz Krieg said...

For a family photo that is almost 100 years old, the quality is unbelievable.

Anna said...

Can you imagine actually doing that stuff? Wow. Very cool pics Judy.

Minerva said...

As a teacher, I can't tell you how much I have been tempted to throw stuff across the classroom just to get attention - I would NEVER hit anyone...


But I know people who have been tempted!

All those brothers and sisters have a real look about them don't they of being in the same family?

Diane Mandy said...

I guess being the principle's daughter would be analogous to being the preacher's son with all the unfortunate expectiations of perfection that go along with it. I really love that you have all this old family photos and stories. I wish my family had been more vigilant!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Say, if it's not too late, I know this lawyer that specializes in child abuse. He says doesn't matter if it was in the early 1900s or even the 1700s. Point is, he says, does the defendant have any dough?

Carmi said...

You've just ensured that this story lives on for years to come. You have an uncanny way of sharing history. My wife, the teacher, will love reading this one!

michelle said...

you are fortunate to have a photo that old in such good shape and to have the stories behind the photograph is even more wonderful (i'm a scrapbooker so i find this so way cool)

claude said...

Great photo and a great story! I don't know how your grandfather did it though! ;)

Cris said...

Wow, and she still kept talking for a year in class :-) Nice picture Judy! I like to see how it was back then, my grandfather was born in 1910!

Bob-kat said...

Greatquality photo considering it's age. He had quite an aim didn't he?

My maths teacher used to throw chalk at me for yawning in class. I guess some people can't take criticism!

mar said...

I can't believe it took your mother a whole school year to learn the lesson!! Loved reading your story. How wonderful you have this old picture and know exactly who was who!!

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Wonderful photo! I'm so glad you shared it.

I have a photo of my mom's entire town! Really, the population wasn't much more than in your school photo. Mama was born in 1909, so she was in your mother's age group. Your photo is in much better shape than mine.

Great story. My father was a teacher in a one-room school, and was my oldest sister's first teacher. That ended when he went into the service for WWII.

trinamick said...

We used to have a teacher that would throw a chalkboard eraser at sleeping kids. He had a double jointed elbow, and I think it gave him perfect aim every time.

Weary Hag said...

Love the story AND the photo! My mom had a few photos this old (from her early school years) but who knows who ended up with those treasures. Not me. :(

Our grade school nuns would clap our ears with two of those large foam erasers. I wonder how much chalk got inside our brains from that activity.

utenzi said...

It sounds like your Mom was a pretty slow learner, Judy. I think I'd have learned not to talk the first time I got "chalked" on the nose.

Angie said...

You have such a treaure of photos.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Wonderful picture, Judy! It is so great to see this photo so BIG! Is that part of what you get with the NEW Blogger?
I think it is wonderful that you not only have these wonderful historic photo's but know who some of the people are, in them!

How terrible that he did this to yoyr mother....! I agree, it would no doubt be considered abuse today!

Jay said...

That's a great photograph to have, and a really great story to share.

srp said...

Your grandfather would have made a great basketball player or maybe a pitcher for the major leagues. That is quite the accuracy there on the chalk pings.

That was a big one room schoolhouse, much larger than the one my dad went to.

moon said...

Great story Kenju..and like others noticed, the photo is so well preserved! I love all your pics and stories about your family. Keep them coming!

rosemary said...

I went to Catholic school where Sister Thaddeus hit me on the knuckles of my right hand with the edge of a ruler for tapping my pencil....still have scars. your pictures are priceless.

Jamie Dawn said...

Those cartoons are cute.

That is some aim! Getting a piece of chalk to hit her smack on the nose took some real talent. I bet he was really good at carnival games. :)
She was certainly chatty if it took her a whole year to learn to zip her lips during class.