Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Miss Ginny Allen's kindergarten class from the mid '40s. First row: Allen Long, Patsy Wilson, Mary Candis Walker, Sammy Furman, Mason Speer, ?. Second row: Emily Kelly, Jesse Hall, Marshall Leach, Samuella Speer. Miss Allen must have been 80 years old when this picture was made. She was a remarkable woman who taught us to read before we entered grade school. I remember one word stumping me during one of her reading lessions. It was the word "butterfly." I have been asked what the wooden structure is in the background. I think it was a rabbit hutch, but I don't remember seeing any rabbbits in kindergarten. Miss Allen's kindergarten met in a large room on the second floor of her house. Each kid had a cup that we kept on the window sill above a sink. We sat at small tables having four chairs each.
This is what Miss Allen's house looked like in the mid '60s before it was torn down. The picture was taken from in front of the Main Street Methodist Church looking toward the downtown square. The house and the church were very close together. You could almost see into her house from the back windows of the church sancturary when the windows were open. The church was not air conditioned then, so the windows were always open during services in warm weather.
Mrs. Willie Mars's first grade class of '46-'47. Front row: ?, Marie Nance, Tommy Fellows, ?, Nancy Ware, ?, Sammy Furman, Rodney Martin, Ronnie Copeland, Jesse Hall. Second row: Patsy Smith, Patsy Gause, Jimmy Rambo, ?, Leon Brock, Johnny Lomax, Marshall Leach, Linda Boswell, Sonny Timmerman, and Allen Long. Mrs. Mars is at the back. The picture was taken at a party held behind her mother's house next door to the ARP Church on Vienna St. Mrs. Mars's mother was Mrs. McClane.
During my first grade, our class presented the play "Hansel and Gretel." I played the part of Hansel. The play was complete with a gingerbread house made of cardboard with ginger bread made of colored construction paper hanging on it. In Mrs. Mars's class, I remember learning to print, reciting the alphabet, learning to count to 100, singing the national anthem, reciting the pledge of allegiance, and learning to identify famous pictures such as Mona Lisa and Blue Boy. Polio was a constant threat back then. I remember the March of Dimes Campaign when we took home cards that had slots for dimes. We campaigned our neighborhoods to fill our cards. Every year, the Opera House theater publicised the campaign by running shorts films that showed many kids in iron lungs. The images of those kids have been stuck in my brain over the years.
In the spring 2007, the McClane house was listed for sale in Abbeville. The price was $200,000. This is a view of the house from the real estate ad. It was really a large house.
Mrs. Cheatham's third grade class of '48 - '49. Front row: Irene Kelly, Jesse Hall, Caroline Carlisle, Rodney Martin, Peggy McDonald, Patsy Gause, ? (maybe Peggy Flemming), Patsy Wilson, Marian Hagen, ?, ?, ? (maybe Lilly Mobley). Second row: ?, ?, Samuella Speer, ?, Patsy Smith, Jeff Evans, Mike McCarthy, Linda Bosdell, Cornelia Timms. Third row: Johnny Lomax, ?, ?, Bobby Byrd, ?, Allen Long, ?, ?, Jimmy Mann, Marshall Leach, Mrs. Cheatham. I think that I enjoyed Mrs. Cheatham's class more than any other at Greenville Street School. She had an old wind up phonograph that played 78 rpm records. She would put on military marches and the class would march in step around the classroom. She had an album of records of Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" that she played for us several times. I can still hear the music in my mind, and I find haunting.
I remember the school having some sort of "May Day" pagent on Tinsley Field out back of the school when I was in the 3rd grade. All of the boys in Mrs. Cheatham's section had to go to the teacher's lounge to be measured for the white pants that we were to wear. George Link from Belk's department store greeted us with his measuring tape to do the measurements. Later, when we were practicing for the pagent, there was a line of us boys in white pants on the football field. The sun was bearing down on us and I started feeling woozy. Then I fainted. I was taken to the teacher's lounge and given one of the old 6 oz bottled Cokes to drink. At that time, there were no soft drinks, candies, or salty snacks available to students in the schools. So I thought it was neat.
Miss Black's fourth grade class of '49-'50. Front row: Sonny Timmerman, Allen Long, Bobby Byrd, Jimmy Mann, Lamar Hall, Mike McCarthy, Jesse Hall. Second row: Georgia Scott, ?, Emilie Kelly, Norma Higginbotham, ?, Patsy Wilson, ?, Ann Nickles. Third row: Jimmy Rambo, Ralph Davenport (?), Ronnie Copeland, Cornelia Timms, Jo Johnson, Eva Reames, ?, ?. Fourth row: ?, ?, Marshall Leach, Billy Rabon, Sammy Furman, Jack Paine, ?, Johnny Lomax. Miss Black later married Mr. Singleton who taught chemistry, physics, and drivers education at Abbeville High School. Marshall and Johnny are the two tallest students in the picture. Miss Black's class was the first one I studied science in. I remember us studying magnets, batteries, and other electrical devices which had always fascinated me. We also learned how to add, multiply, and divide fractions. That was the beginning of my fascination with science and mathematics.
Miss Annie Hill's '52-'53 7th grade class. Front row: Ralph Davenport, Conrad Cheatham, Jesse Hall, Tommy Fellows. Second row: Marie Nance, Patsy Wilson, Mary Charlotte Wilson, Linda Boswell, Linnie Burdette, Georgia Scott, Patsy Bradberry. Third row: Samuella Speer, Patsy Smith, Jean Wright, Gail Wells, Patsy Gause, Jo Anne McNeil, Caroline Carslile. Back row: Sammy Furman, Jimmy Irwin, Marshall Leach, Johnny Lomax, Donnie Perry, Miss Hill. We were warned by upperclassmen to bring an umbrells if we sat on the front row in Miss Hill's class. I sat on the front row and never remember any unwelcome shower when she lectured. I think that Miss Hill was one of the most caring teachers that I had. She lived with her sister and brother in an enormous old house with big white columns at the front on Secession Ave. on the south side of Magazine St.
I remember as a kid going with my mother to visit the two Miss Hills one summer afternoon. They had an electric table fan that I was fascinated by. Apparently I was so fascinated by it that Miss Hill's sister gave the fan to me. I used it through high school when it finally stopped running. The fan has a characteristic whirr that I can still hear in my mind today.
This was taken on the front steps of Greenville Street School when I was in the 9th grade. The pretty little girl in the center of the second row wearing the white dress is Teresa Schrimpf. She was my next door neighbor and my "little sister." I went to her funeral in 2008. Her husband told me that the last thing she said was my name.
Mary Winton Hughes's birthday party in the early to mid '40s. At that time, we lived across the street from Mary Winton. First row: Nat Vandiver, Robert Long, Billy Cox, Mary Winton, Sammy Furman, Coga Weldon, Marshall Leach. Second row: Allen Long, Jo Johnson, Maxene Johnson, Judy Philips, ?, ?, Robin Cox, Mixon Darracott. Third row: Bobby Knell, ?, Teto Nickles, ?, Samuella Speer, Karma Knell, Judy Fennell. Until I was in the first grade, I lived across the street from Mary Winton on North Main Street.
Another birthday party of Mary Winton Hughes. First row: Maxene Johnson, Judy Fennel, ?, Mary Winton, Judy Phillips, Robin Cox, Samuella Speer. Second Row: Robert Long, Billy Cox, Nat Vandiver, ?, ?, Teto Nickles, Jo Johnson, Allen Long, Bobby Knell. Sitting on upper steps: Sammy Furman. Upper Row: ?, ?, Mixon Darracot, ?, Marshall Leach.
Allen Long's birthday party in 1945. Allen lived several houses down the street from us. I am sitting on the left of the bench. Allen is sitting next to me holding the cake. Standing next to him are Jane Hulsey, Nat Vandiver, Sammy Furman, and Mary Todd Wolfe. The two kids on the left are Chum Butler and Phil Butler from Elberton, GA. They were related to the Sprouses across the street and visited Abbeville frequently. The African-American guy was Sammy's babysitter. Notice the weeds growing in the lawn. This was before folks had power mowers and lawn chemicals, so there were not many neatly manicured lawns back then. The house across the street in the upper left belonged to Ruby and Ira Sprouse. Mr. Sprouse worked on the railroad. Their son Billy Sprouse was a star football player before I entered high school. Annie Lois fisher's family lived in the house directly across the street. We moved from North Main Street to Greenville Street when I was in the first grade.
Picture taken at Robin Cox's birthday party in the early '40s. Front row: Frances Nickles, Linda Terrell, Robin Cox, Bobby Knell, Allen Long, Sammy Furman, Maxene Johnson, Marshall Leach. Second row: Judy Fennell, Virginia "Gin" Wilson, Teto Nickles, Flynn Bowie, Betty Neighbors, Mary Winton Hughes. Third row: ?, Robin's sister Betty, Hazel Reeves Gilliam, ?, Jo Johnson, Robert Long, ?, and Robin's brother Bobby. The house was located on North Main Street at the corner of McGowan Avenue. Robin's mother Liz was a McClain and was related to my mother. They left Abbeville when I was in early grade school.
Picture taken at a weekend "house party" at the Hughes' cabin at Lake Secession in 1955. Pictured are Jo Johnson, Marshall Leach, Jane Hulsey, Billy Mann, and Mike McCarthy trying on each others shoes. Billy wore a size 14. It looks like Jane is wearing his shoes. The rustic Hughes's cabin burned in around '59 and was rebuilt as a smaller house. Mary Winton's parents were always very gracious at welcoming us kids to their place for many get togethers. I had the best times of my youth there.
Picture taken behind Main Street Methodist Church in the early/mid '40s. Johnny Lomax is at the upper left. Marshall Leach is saluting in his white suit. Just to his left rear is Joann Baughman. It is my guess that this was taken on an Easter morning. Can someone identify the other little rascals in the picture? The windows in the picture are to the basement area of Main Street Methodist. I remember our Vacation Bible School meeting in the basement area on the other side of these windows. Later our MYF met there when I was in high school. One of my best memories of Sunday School was Erskine Link giving out free chewing gum to us kids as we were leaving the building at the back entrance. My favorite flavor was Juicy Fruit. I never got Juicy Fruit at home because my mother would only buy Beechnut gum.
From the Press & Banner in the fall of 1958 - Twenty candidates have begun the competition for Abbeville County Bicentennial Queen and they and their sponsoring organizations are now busily engaged in acquiring votes. The vote-getting is a matter of selling advance tickets for the Bicentennial spectacle, "So Long Remembered." The candidate receiving the largest number of points from advance tickets will reign over the celebration, and the ten runners-up will comprise her court. In the competition are: Irma H. Slater, Shirley Fisher, Georgia Ware, Agnes Ware, Carolyn Smith, Lena Simpson, Joyce Porter, Pat Thomason, Jane (Hulsey) LaBoon, Jean Ross, Lynda Cowan, Judy Hagan, Ann Brown, Linda Terrel, Johnel White, Harriet Cartledge, Phyllis Green, Edna Martin, Lois Ashcraft and Rose Hagen. (Not pictured is Lottie Jean Ayers. Lois Bond Ashcraft sold the most tickets to become Queen.)
One of Miss Mabry's second grade classes. I don't know the year.
One of Miss Mary Wilson's third grade classes.
Mr. Davis' sixth grade class in 1954.
Mrs. Nickles seventh grade in 1956.
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