Reflections from Edgar Green (born in 1912, recollections gathered in 1992)
Stories from School
About this time, (1924) it was off to Boonsboro to school—quite a change for a country boy. Started in Miss Cressman’s room in the 5th grade. After about 3 weeks, she put me in the 6th. Walked from Appletown to the Old School on Potomac St. for 3 years. Wasn’t bad except when it was raining or snowing. Missed very little school. One thing I liked—if you made “A” in a subject, you did not have to take mid-year exams. I was lucky—English was about the only exam I had to take in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades.
We had a Janitor at the building, Buck Cleland. To him, everything was “her”. Sometimes the valve on the old boiler would let go. There was Buck saying “hers popping off her is!”
In winter we would pour water on the front walk and skate down toward the road. The first year I was there, electric lights were installed—four bulbs in each room. This was the last word—now we had everything!
The 6th, 7th and 8th grades passed with little changes. Dr. Wheeler and Elizabeth were sitting on the porch when we went to school and still there when we left—always reading the paper. They got a lot of papers or were slow readers.
So now, I guess it is on to High School; but, instead of walking, John Cline was now running a bus, Selden Pacemaker, from Brownsville to Boonsboro on his own, freeform. Appletown to Boonsboro was 20 cents per day. No one heard of “snow days”. We started the first Freshman class in the new building in 1926, 45 strong. Of the 45, 17 finished in 1930.
At one time, they put a fence up the road to the school with gates at McCoy’s store. One night, the gates walked over to the bridge at the Devil’s Backbone and threw themselves in the creek.
We had a great bunch of teachers in high school: Gardner, Bast, Castle. Specscow was the Principal. He was tough—had the bluest eyes I ever saw—should have been a gun fighter in the Old West—all novels say they had cold blue eyes.
Of course, all this time there was no legal whiskey, wine or beer, but anyone with a dollar, no matter what age, could go out to “Butches” and get a pint of shine or home brew for 15 cents a bottle. Lucky, Camels and Chesterfields were 2 packs for 25 cents or $2.00 a carton.
That great day at last— Graduation—and I had the mumps and did not get to walk across the stage to get a diploma from the Superintendent.