Friday, September 21, 2012

Four More Days

FOUR days until this project,

Lessons Learned:
The Story of Pilot Mountain School

gets launched into the world.

Today's operative word - four, such a non-invasive number. Four, square, completion.

One man I interviewed tried to get his point across of how poor his family was. At the beginning of the school year, his mother broke the solitary long pencil into four pieces, one for each child and no one got an eraser. There wasn't one.

Four classrooms - That was the size of the school on its first, first day in 1942. No lunchroom. No library. No principal's office. No auditorium. Plenty of nail kegs, however, since the school was still under construction. Overcrowding at nearby Salem school reached such proportions that these four classrooms were urgently needed.

Four sheets of paper - A story I caught: "I have done my lessons on a brown paper bag. Sometimes I did not have notebook paper because we could not get it. I was not made light of for that. I was not made fun of for that. The teacher checked the papers just like she did the notebook papers. Whatever grade I got, I got, and there was nothing said about it. She'd return it to me just like she returned it to everybody else. Sometimes we would get the Belk's Department Store bag. All they had on them on the front was Belk's in big black letters, but the bag was wide and tall. You could cut down the side and cut the bottom off it and you could make three or four sheets of writing paper from that. Every time I could get a Belk's bag from anybody, I would do that. You'd just do what you had to do, but it made you stronger."

Four brothers - One first grader that 1942 year had four brothers serving in the armed forces. The oldest, in the Air Force, was married with children and was not sent to battle abroad. The brother in the Marines contracted malaria and was hospitalized for a year. One brother in the Navy was shipwrecked and spent a long terror filled night in the ocean before being rescued. The second Navy brother was killed in action the same year this child started first grade.

Four - a number with a powerful story.

Can't wait for everyone to read the book!

Catch of the day,


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