John Scarlett

Interview

October 26, 2003

Conducted by Joe Liles

Part 2

 

 

In that school, we had seven grades in one room, and we had one teacher that taught all the grades.  The school sit in the site of I 85.  That interstate goes right through where I’d say the school building was.  It was on the Station Road from University Station to where it hooked into the Cabe Ford Road.

 

I cain’t call my first teacher’s name right now, but they taught us reading, writing, arithmetic, English, geography, history, basics.  My second teacher was old Marion Jones.  We had a Mrs. Poole.  My last teacher was Lula Fincher.  I was 12 years old when I stopped going to school.  I finished my seventh grade.  The teacher used the blackboard to teach us.  She’d call for each grade by grade:  third grade arithmetic, fourth grade arithmetic, and so on.

 

We were permitted to go out in the yard at recess.  And there were hickory trees.  When we would go out for lunch, we would get a bunch of scaly bark or hickory nuts and crack ‘em and put ‘em in our pockets.  And when the teacher weren’t looking, we’d eat ‘em.

 

We had to take our lunch, such as what we had to eat.  We had plenty of food.  Whatever mother fixed, she’d fix it for lunch.  We had dried peas, and we had a bean I cain’t recall the name, similar to a pinto bean.  We’d have meats and I know we would have a biscuit or two and pear preserves.  We had whatever was available.  In the spring of the year, when the weather was good, she’d fix the lunch basket and we’d get our lunch after we left school when we got to the farm.  We’d eat our lunch there and then we would work to the edge of dark and go back home by the lantern light.

 

One time I got in a fight after school.  The boy was older than me, five years older.  But my sister had a parasol, and she said, “If you don’t whup him, I’m going to whup you!  You see, in class this boy was messing with me.  His name was Thomas Albright.  I took a hickory nut out, won’t but three quarters of it, and I hit him in the back of the head.  He told me he was going to beat me up on the way home.  Well, after school, we got into it.  Every time he would come into to me to fight, I would catch him upside the head.  I wasn’t but eleven years old, and he was 16, but I fought him in good fashion.

 

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