Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

April 22, 2013

BOWYER: The memories are all that remain

Once upon a time, a school building was erected in the town of Onward. It was, at the time, a magnificent building with huge pillars at the front doors, and inside the children sat at their desks studying and dreaming of recess. Yes, they were like any other school children and recess was their favorite time of the day. In the summer, it meant “red rover” and the ocean wave, the teeter-totters and the maypole. In the winter, it was the gymnasium and basketball. In high school, it was a little more serious than that. Not much, just a little.

It’s gone now, the Onward school, and all that is left is the memories of the years we spent there learning the three R’s and perhaps a bit more. I can remember some of the teachers. Marie Hopper in the first grade. Esther Jane Means in the second and third grade, Roy Weaver in the fourth and fifth, and Miss Julian in the sixth. Upstairs there were a number of different teachers, P.A. Foust, Principal, Forrest Martin, two sisters named Calloway, and Helen Evans, a very special teacher. There were others off and on, but these are the ones that I can recall at this time. They were good teachers and we were fortunate to have them out there in that country schoolhouse that became a place of memories later on.

I remember an alumni meeting when we used to have them in the gym. I took Janie upstairs to show her where Floyd Cotterman, the janitor, patched a hole in the floor behind the stage scenery with a coffee can lid. Miss Evans was sponsor of the junior play and she needed a dependable gunshot in one of the scenes. She left that up to Jack Leffert and I and cap guns weren’t dependable. Shotguns on the other hand ... . Well, we found a shotgun shell filled with sand still made a healthy bang and the night of the play Jack’s 12-gauge Winchester pump made a healthy report, blew a hole in the floor, sending a shower of dust and splinters out onto the stage, woke up all of the sleeping babies the mothers had managed to put to sleep causing them to scream bloody murder, and shut down the junior play for a good 5 minutes. Not a bad night’s work for a couple of nimrods like Jack and I. We were understandably proud.

Then there was the night the senior boys decided to test the fire hoses after basketball practice. They worked, but they were canvas and all of the water remaining in the hoses leaked out onto the hallway floor that night and the next morning we were flooded. It didn’t take long for P.A. to get to the bottom of the matter, and that day “Porky” Carson and I were in the pressroom working on the school paper when P.A. walked in. He inquired if “Porky” was “in” on the bit with the fire hoses and he admitted that he was. P.A. inquired further if he wanted his butt kicked at that time or if he might like to put it off until later. Given the choice, “Porky” opined that he might as well kick it right away, so P. A. grabbed him by the shirt collar and drop-kicked him across the press room. It all happened so fast I barely had time to laugh (after P.A. left, of course) No one dared even smirk when someone got theirs from Mr. Foust.

I have often thought in later days how a man like him could straighten out one of today’s schools if only the parents and the school board and the lawyers would allow him to operate on the troublemakers, and don’t worry about his being big enough. He was built along the lines of the giant, Thor in the old “Popeye” cartoons. Probably not quite as big, but he looked like he was if you were on the wrong side of the fence, and he was coming through the gate.

It all happened a long time ago, but some of it seems like yesterday and all of the memories make a person glad he was there to share in the laughter, the learning and the terror.

We are going to have our alumni supper at Onward Christian Church on Saturday, May 4, from 5 p.m. to who knows when. Dinner will by served at 6 p.m. (I’ll never know why they call supper dinner.) There will be a discussion as to whether we want to erect a monument where the building stood at a cost of approximately $3,000.

We would like to have your input, and some of your money, if we decide to do it. Please come.

Joe Bowyer is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached via email at jjbowyer@hotmail.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: The people are losing control of its government The people are losing control of government President Obama and progressive Democrats and Republicans are changing the landscape of our country by bypassing our Constitution and what our forefathers fought and gave their lives for. Their philosophy c

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Health care fraud can't go unchecked National health care spending tops $2.7 trillion annually. That leaves a lot of room, and temptation, for abuse of a bureaucracy that administers medical services. Medicare and Medicaid scams may cost taxpayers more than $98 billion each year. Health

    April 15, 2014

  • MARCUS: Truth is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.” Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: “You can’t handle the truth.” “You,” he said, “just don’t want to see what’s really h

    April 15, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Signs of spring finally upon us Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost

    April 15, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Letters for Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Thankful to community for its care, prayers Thank you to Kyle Rans, Harrison-Metzger-Rans, Guardian Angels Hospice, Royal Center first responders and ambulance drivers for the gentle care and comforting words extended to our family. Thank you to the

    April 15, 2014

  • Brian Bosma BOSMA: House Republicans achieve legislative priorities When the General Assembly began its work last November, as Speaker I pledged a session driven by five main issues: increased road funding, enhanced job training, early childhood education, fair business taxation and cutting government red tape. With

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • LYONS: Taking pity on the Plutocrats "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that belie

    April 14, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.