August 18, 1955


Transcribed by Janette West Grimes




(Continued from last week)


†† We have already related the first visit of the County Superintendent of Schools, Prof. Joe C. Nichols. But it will bear repeating here. We were extremely bashful, a characteristic that none of our acquaintances except the older ones, will ever believe. We had a dread of the visit of the Superintendent. But one morning about six weeks after school began, we saw a man driving a horse to a buggy approaching the school house. We recognized him at once as the County Superintendent. Our first thought was to flee and we actually had a hard time restraining our own self from leaping out a window on the east side of the school house and disappearing in that big cedat thicket. But we knew this was not the proper thing to do and we "stood our ground." Like many things in later life, we learned that the dread of doing an unpleasant thing was worse than the actual doing of that thing of dread. We introduced the Superintendent to our nearly 40 pupils in as nice way as we knew how. The Superintendent offered some word of commendation of the teacher at Dean Hill in 1910 and then proceeded to make his usual remarks about what boys and girls should do and could do. We were pleased with his speech and we think it did not worry our pupils. Anyway, we took Mr. Nichols 75 yards to where we boarded and had him as a dinner guest that day now long gone by. He still lives, in Sumner County and will doubtless get a "kick" out of the poor, bashful teacher of 45 years ago at Dean Hill. We thought then of him as some kind of "rawhead and bloody bones" among teachers and would not willingly have "crossed his path" for any sum. He soon went his way and we returned to "normal." He was a good supervisor and we have learned to esteem him very highly for his sacrifices made for the teachers of Smith County 45 years ago.


†† The first of our early pupils to die, so far as we can recall at this time, was Arah Williams, who was in the sixth grade in our early school. She lived on Bee Branch and went from earthly scenes all too soon. There is a peculiar grief to a teacher whose students "go before him" and are no more. We have had to conduct the funerals of quite a number of our students in the various schools we taught long ago, and it always fills our heart with an unspeakable grief when we stand over the casket of a former pupil and say the last sad words of one who sat at our own feet, as it were, and know that our pupil has gone away forever and "sits at the feet of the Great Teacher who taught as a man never taught." God bless the memory of our dear boys and girls who all too soon reached the end of life's journey and had to enter early the "valley and shadow of death."


†† But we will not close this account on so sad a note. In spite of the 45 years that have come and gone since we began our teaching, we still find life is well worth living in spite of all the unpleasantness, the sadness, the sorrow, the grief, the disappointment of life. As to some of the lighter things of the years that live now only in memory, we recall many. we recall that most of our students got along all right in later life, some of them attaining to the better things, some about "middling" and others not doing as well as they might have done. But we love to think that so far as we know, not one of our early students is our enemy. Some of them still say: "Don't you remember the time you whipped me?" Most of these things are now forgotten on our part. In memory, we would not have it otherwise,that the good, the pleasant, the joyful, the cheerful, the lucicrous, live; and the ugly, the bitter, the painful, the disappointing, the sad failures of those years should be covered with the broad mantle of Christian courtesy an forgetfulness.