The greatest adventure of seventh grade

Published 5:21 pm Monday, October 28, 2019

With the leaves turning brown and the weather getting a little cooler, it reminds me of a time that will always be remembered by me and my classmates. Having talked recently to Chris (Hodges) Thompson and Pam (Alligood) Huss, it brings back fond memories of a trip my class took in the seventh grade to Williamsburg, Virginia. Every year it was a ritual that the seventh graders took this trip to learn more about American history. We all looked forward to our trip and a chance to stay overnight and miss school for two days.

For many of us, it was our first trip on a charter bus, and we lined up to get the best seats on the bus. Our parents were there to see us off, and our excitement was obvious from the minute we woke up that day. A bus ride and an overnight trip to somewhere we had never been was excitement enough. Our parents were excited for us and the experience they never had in school.

I remember going straight to the exhibit center once in Williamsburg, where we saw a movie about the beginning of the founding of America. It showed Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown and the important role these towns played in the settling of our country. We were to later take a ride to Jamestown, and on our way home we were to see Yorktown and the battlefields we had studied about in class.

In Jamestown, we saw how they made glass and watched a man blowing glass into a bottle shape. This really amazed us as the man was dressed in the clothing of that time. As we walked around Jamestown, none of us could even imagine how hard it must have been for the early settlers to have survived. Native Americans were dressed in their garments and tobacco was being traded for food right in front of us. The ships that early settlers came on were docked in Jamestown harbor and even though they were replicas, to us they seemed real. They were floating in the harbor and had their crews on board. Once we were through at Jamestown, we headed to Williamsburg, and all I wanted was some rock candy!

We walked the streets that former presidents walked and watched shoes being made and craftsmen making items that people used in that time. We watched the militia drill and got to see the castle and other homes where people lived in colonial Williamsburg. Finally we got to the apothecary shop, where medicines were sold like our today’s pharmacies. They also sold rock candy! It came in a small brown bag and was crystalized on a string. I think Kenneth Cratch and I bought two bags, and it still wasn’t enough. We later went back and bought some more just to carry home and enjoy.

That night we stayed at the Williamsburg Inn and that what was what we really looked forward to the most. For many of us, it was our first time staying in a hotel, and we made the most of it. The boys tried to flirt with the girls; running up the halls to their rooms and knocking on the doors was a big deal. Please remember we were only 13-14 years old, and the night ended too soon. Teachers got us to bed, and the next day we toured Williamsburg. Then, on our way home, we visited the battlefields at Yorktown.

I wish that today’s students could experience that trip and be carried back in time to where our country was founded and the hardships our early settlers had to endure. I think as we grow older, it is easier to appreciate the hard times our early founders had to live through for us to enjoy the benefits we have today. And yes, they might even get some rock candy like Kenneth and I did.

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, NC! The Original Washington!

— Harold Jr.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.