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“THE WONDER YEARS”

Submitted by A. Troutt

Loren and I both went to school at Denton. First through eighth grade was in the grade school. It was a lovely school. Quite little in comparison to the ones where my children and grandchildren go now, but it had two rather large rooms. Since there was no electricity when the school was built, the rooms were surrounded with lots of windows. A coal furnace kept it warm in the winter. The primary room first through fourth grade was the north half of the building, and the grammar room which was fifth through eighth grades was to the south. The primary students hung their coats on low coats hangers along the wall outside the room but the four older grade students had a cloak room for theirs.

On the grounds also was a barn as some of the children still came occasionally on horse back or by horse and buggy. This was seldom but the barn was there for that purpose in the preceding years. Of course the two outside toilets stood out on the school grounds. The railroad tracks ran just over the road to the east at the back of the school ground. The sight of bums walking along the tracks, not uncommon in those depression years, sent the teacher hurrying out to summon the children into the school house.

My memories of that schoolhouse are the fondest. The smell still lingers in my senses. I can still see the box elder bugs crawling over the sidewalk and the sunlit south side of the schoolhouse in the fall. I can still see the long line of children, hot from playing outside at recess, waiting for a drink from the one and only fountain. The fountain, a large crock urn, was one which had to be filled by bucket by the janitor. There was no well on the schoolyard. I do not know where he got the water. Mr. Ward was the janitor, a very thin gray-haired man who lived there in Denton. The schoolyard had two teeter-totters, a swing, and a baseball diamond. I once got a sliver in my rump from a teeter-totter. I loved to play baseball and when I was in probably in the 7th or 8th grade, I played ball with the boys, and defended first base.

There was no library in Denton, but there was a little one in the school. It was about the size of a large closet. When I was in the eighth grade, a bookmobile started coming to Denton every two weeks. It would park in the street between the central office and the Post Office. The teacher would walk with the whole room of children (about 20) to the bookmobile. We could pick out 3 books. I always took three and I remember what a wonderful thing this was to me.


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