Posted by: patwogan | October 23, 2008

Last Day of School

I reviewed some of my blog archives yesterday and was reminded that I said I would write about the last day of school at Peebler. So here goes.

The last day of school was usually the third week of April.  It was celebrated with a big community dinner and a program put on by the students.  We also received our little certificates of attendance, academics, and other things we had done well during the school year.    We did readings, plays, songs, and showed off our skills in arithmetic, reading, and spelling.  We had spelling bees and math contests all of which had been practiced so that everyone excelled when put on stage.

The school was a place where the community life was showcased.  All of the families attended the last day of school whether or not they had a student enrolled.  I suppose that was because it was a fairly close-knit farming community and many of the people were related. 

The last day of school dinner was a big pot luck dinner where all the community women showed off their cooking for everyone.  There were lots of casseroles, fried chicken, vegetable dishes and desserts.  I remember my  Grandma complaining about one family who came every year and brought a loaf of store bought bread as their contribution to the meal.  At the time, I thought the complaint was probably legitimate, but now I wonder if they were so poor that was all they could bring.  I really don’t know, but I know we always had enough for everyone to eat.    

There were always games after the big dinner.  Usually, the most important was softball.  I think softball was so popular back then because it required nothing more than a ball, a bat, and designated spots for bases.  Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun playing together. 

I think the celebration must have been important to my whole family as I remember Dad being there for the program.  That means he must have had to take the day off from work as the last day of school was always on Friday.  Education was always important to my parents and as such became important to me.  My Dad had attended Peebler, I think, but he had also attended Baker School which was across the road from the Rajah Golf Course about a mile and a half east of where he grew up. 

I believe the reason people were so much against school consolidation was the fear that the community togetherness would be lost when the school was no longer the center of activity.  Sadly, in most cases that became true.

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Responses

  1. The last day of school celebration – I agree that in most cases, this sense of community has vanished as schools have gotten larger and budgets have gotten smaller!


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