Grandma Mellie's Scrapbook
Copyright © 2001, Michael S. Cole, M.D.

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School Days

    Mrs. Copling's letter of school days of yesteryears brings happy memories of my school days. Only two of my former teachers are living--Rufus Fillingham of Joplin and Byrd Nance of California.
    Ours was a one-teacher schoolroom of some 40 pupils from first through eighth grades. We would open the day with reading a chapter from the Bible. Each pupil had his particular day to read. Then we would sing several religious songs or "Our Happy Little Home in Arkansas."
    We would then apply ourselves to studying our books. We were required to know our lessons well or stand in the corner until we learned them. Our teacher was stern, but kindly. We respected him and the rules he made.
    We could not whisper nor run around over the floor. Sometimes a pupil would get permission to borrow a book. Sometimes a note would be passed inside the book (which was forbidden).
    I remember our games played on the ground at recess--"Wolf Over the River," "Ante-Over," "Sheepy," "Needle's Eye," "Town Ball," and many others. That was our physical education. It kept us alert and ready to study hard.
    I live close by the old schoolhouse, which is fast going to decay. Yet it stands on a hill, like a sentinel, defying wind and weather, as if to say, "From under this roof have gone many educated boys and girls who have made useful citizens of this and other communities scattered in these United States."
    How many remember the old parlor games we used to play at evening in our homes? I have been teaching some to my grandchildren.
    How many remember how to play "William Trimble Trow Tran; He's a good fisherman; catches his hens, puts them in pens; Some lay eggs, some lay none--Wire, briar, limber lock, three geese in one flock. One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo's nest."
    Then there is "Go to your Old Home," and the game of "Club Fist," "Pretty Bird, My Cup," "Cross Questions and Silly Answers," and many others.
    They were lots of fun, and grandparents of today too often fail to teach the children these games, which would be interesting for them.
    Here's wishing all the readers, and our editor, a happy and bright New Year.

Mellie Cole
January 1958

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