• Patty Smith Hall

To My Grandsons

This is a continuing post where I share my early life with my grandsons, Carter and Noah.

What is a moment that stands out the most about your school days?

The truth is I adored school! I loved everything about it, from getting up while it was still dark to catch the bus to doing homework. My parents planted the value of a good education in my head early on which is why I started planning for college by the time I was in fifth grade.

But that doesn't mean I didn't have fun! Like when I was in second grade--Momma had just had your great uncle Darby and was bring his home from the hospital that day. I wanted so bad to be home to see him but Daddy made me go to school. I went but I made myself sick just thinking about everyone being home without me. Mrs. Ward(my second grade teacher) must have picked up on it because she called Daddy and told him I was sick and needed to go home. When Daddy arrived, Mr. Dow(the principal) meet him at the door--he said he thought I had a case of 'baby fever.' I guess he was right because I made a full recovery the moment I saw Darby!

In fourth grade, I had Mrs. Elizabeth Payne as my teacher. Ms Payne was an older lady, as wide as she was tall, but I thought she was absolutely wonderful! We shared a love of history so she encouraged me to read as much of it as I could. She taught us all four verses of the Star Spangled Banner as well as the fight songs for all the branches of the military. Now, almost sixty years later, I can still sing most of those songs.

It was also in fourth grade that I got my first boyfriend. Alan was a sweet boy--we played together on the playground a lot. When he found out that I was moving away, he decided to give me something to remember him by--a beautiful ring that was way too big for me. Ended up, it was his mother's engagement ring. I returned it but I still have a sweet memory of the boy who was going to miss me.

We moved when I was in fifth grade. The only thing I remember about going to Due West was that I worked in the library for the first part of the year. Books have always held a special place in my heart--I love stories and adventure and for me, a girl who had only went to Tennessee and back, they provided a world of both. I learned the Dewey Decimal System and looked up books in a file, no internet or computers.

The second part of fifth grade changed my life. We had moved again, to a new house your great granddaddy had built out of Macland Road. My Uncle Neil and Aunt Brenda moved in beside us so I had instant playmates in Lisa and Rhonda. It was at Compton Elementary that I met several lifelong friends like Virginia Meldrum Gallaway, Ivie McCullough and Janet Pierce. It's amazing to think that we've been friends for almost forty years as I type this but it's true. I'm truly blesses

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