Memories of our county – More on Liberty School

Nannie Maude Reynolds shares memories and thoughts about Winston County’s past.

Last week I told you about Liberty School, but have been thinking of so many more memories that occurred there. As I said, the teacher for the 6th, 7th and 8th grades was Mr. Josh Adams.
Mr. Adams was a wonderful teacher. I remember Mr. Adams had a wart right between his eyes and a scar or maybe just a crease that extended down his forehead to end at the wart. When he laughed or smiled, and he did often, the wart and scar looked like an exclamation point. That made what he said seem so important.
The students in these grades sat in desks that had an inkwell in one corner and their books were in a cubicle under the writing surface. The seats were hinged and would come up when a student arose from the sitting position. The desks were in lines and this allowed the students the opportunity to chat across the aisles.  Once, my fella asked to see one of my books across the aisle. I handed him the book thinking he was going to use it for study. However, he slipped me a note in it and handed it back to me without my knowing there was a note inside.
On the way home from school that afternoon on the school bus, my books were jostled out of my hands and the note fell out on the floor of the bus. The next day, Mr. Adams called me out on the front porch of the school room and questioned me about the note. I did not know anything about it, but someone had found it and had turned it in to the teacher.  I answered him honestly and I guess he believed me because he never punished me in any way.
In fact, I did not know what he was questioning me about until later. He also called my fella  out and questioned him and probably gave him a good ‘talking to’ because I never got another note.
The school yard was the playground for all students. We played basketball, volleyball, washers, marbles, and a game where the players got into a court and two strong players threw the ball across the court and tried to hit one inside the court. I think we called that ‘knock-out’ ball.
The smaller children had seesaws, and swings and we even had a flying jenny at the school at one time. In the fall and spring the school yard was swept clean and had no grass. It was a dust bowl.
Every day one class room would go outside and pick up litter from the school yard. In the hard winter, after a rain, the dust bowl would freeze and it was a hard as nails while still frozen.
About recess time in the mornings the dust bowl thawed and the children waded mud ankle deep. We had a water fountain in the school yard that every student drank from.  There was a huge bell which hung outside the window of the school. Mr. Adams could go to the window and ring the bell for recess or lunch or the beginning of the day or the ending of the day without going outside to ring it.
Our lunch room was also on the playground. We ate at intervals. Some of the girls in the older grades stayed and helped wash the dishes. I was privileged to be able to help wash dishes for my lunch a few times.
I remember the old tin sinks in the lunch room and the smell of the disinfectant that was used in the dish water. Elizabeth Ann reminded me the other day about the garden that the lunch room workers had that helped feed the students. They came and worked in the summer in order to have food enough to feed the students.
I remember Lydia , Rosa Lee Wilkes and Bonnie Sue Boswell working in the lunch room.  Sometimes we carried food from home that was canned, to help out. It also helped pay for our lunch. I wish I could remember how much our lunches cost us. You may say, “How sad!” or “poor kids’ or other things, but the truth is, we were very fortunate to have the school and the teachers and the opportunity to be taught by God fearing, people who loved us and wanted to follow the path to a better education for all children.

Nannie Maude Dewease Reynolds