Playing marbles made me late for school

Published 5:25 pm Monday, February 12, 2024

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The recent perfect weather we’ve been having reminds me of playing marbles outside while waiting for the school bell to ring at John Small School. If you had five or more kids playing; the bigger the circle you had. Cambo Rodman and I always had fun with the boys playing marbles.

Many dungarees have had the knees repaired by iron-on patches because they were worn through by playing marbles. Many a bar of soap has been used to clean my knuckles because that what we used to play marbles. I remember Mrs. Swain and Mrs. Deathridge used to make me go to the bathroom to clean up but I would count my marbles instead. Cambo and I would always be late for class because we were outside playing marbles.

Have you ever fallen off the monkey bars and knocked the wind out of your body? Joe Ange did and I followed him! The things we did before school.

Rose Ann would walk every day from Tenth Street to John Small School, sometimes we would have Betty and Jane Alligood walking with us. We would count the turtles in the big ditch that ran alongside Harvey Street and I would return later that afternoon and catch them and sell them to Rose’s Dime Store for 25 cent’s.

Have you ever had classes in the white building behind on the playground at John Small School? That was Mr. Everett and Mr. Fowle’s favorite place to have physical education in front of that building. The softball field would be larger and you could hit home runs if you hit in the lobby. Donnie Waters and Bill Nolley made an A in Physical Education because of that. I never had a class in that building however, but some lucky ones did.

I can remember recess in the lobby of the original John Small School. There were Coke machines outside in the lobby and teachers sold nabs for five cents. They were square and the drinks were six cents apiece. You could get a drink and a pack of nabs for 11 cents back then.

We had lunch on the stage and went through the lunch room to get our lunch. Lunches were not but 25 cents. If we made it to the High School-we would a lunch room but we he to put up with Mrs. Hill calling and telling our parents if we missed class or behaved. Poor John and Billy Hill! They had their mom at school and if they misbehaved, she would be right there.

There were many activities before school that I have left out. As we got older, we would meet our girlfriend and carry her books to first period. Didn’t we Bobby Hardy?

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

Harold Jr.