Monday, April 15, 2013

Number, Please

The basic telephone is passé today. We have cell phones and many people no longer have landlines. I’ve struggled with that myself. My iPhone is practically another appendage, that and my iPad, but I still like having a plain ole, everyday telephone. Thinking of the phone and how it has progressed in my lifetime makes me smile and remember.

As a very young child, I can remember the phone in my grandparents’ home in Greenville. The main phone was located in a phone niche built-into the wall about halfway down their hallway. Later there was an extension in the living room. Their phone number was ED4-9977 (pronounced “Edison 4, 99 77.”) I’m sure that was not the first derivative of the number, but it is the earliest one that I can remember. Later it became 334-9977. Their phone had a dial on it, and it was extremely heavy. No running down the hallway for fear of tripping over the cord, knocking the phone down, and killing someone!

My grandmother in Cary, Ep, also had a phone. The first one of hers that I remember didn’t have a dial. It just had a round plate in the middle. Although it normally sat on a table in her den, it had a long cord and could be moved out into the main hallway to sit on a shelf there. Her phone number was 275-R. Ep had a party line. She did NOT like that party line. I can remember her complaining a lot about the other people always on the phone. She would have to pick up and tell them she needed to use the phone so that she could get them to hang up. I’m sure they really appreciated that! Later her phone number was changed to 873-2091, once we began to modernize the system (aka switched to a dial phone.)

We lived just outside on Cary, but not on Highway 61. Phone service didn't reach our house until I was in second grade. I can still vividly remember my dad driving up to Mrs. Harris’s outside classroom door. He excused himself and walked through and across the hall to my mom’s classroom to share the good news with her. “We just got a telephone.” He was able to let me in on the secret as he walked back through in route to his truck. Our phone number was 335-J. It later changed to and remains 873-2365.

Our phone was a wall phone. It was in the kitchen, but with the long cord you could walk into the hallway or my parents’ room to talk. At that time, there was no dial, so we picked up the phone and Mary Lois was normally on the other end just waiting for us and would say, "Number, please." I felt particularly lucky because Mary Lois was my Aunt Alma Lou’s sister. All I had to ask was for her to let me talk to Ep. If the party line people weren’t tying up the phone, I could still get right through. If they were on the phone, Mary Lois could just cut in and ask them to hang up because there was a very important call that needed to be connected! Talking to my grandmother was very important, after all. Life was so good.

I can even remember the telephone office with the switchboards being located above the Bank of Anguilla. When local operators were no longer needed to place calls, the office closed. Eventually, that whole second floor was removed from the building. Of course, today the whole building has been torn down and replaced by a beautiful new one.

Our communication abilities have truly evolved over the years. The crank phone and later phones that were handled by phone operators changed to dial phones then push button phones. When my son (born in 1984) was in second grade, he went to my school with me one Saturday. While I was in the office doing something, I asked Andy to walk back to the Teachers’ Lounge to call his dad. In a very few minutes he walked back up to me with the most awful look on his face. I asked what was wrong, because I knew it had to be terrible. He looked up at me with the most pitiful eyes and said, “I don’t know how to make the phone work!” My child of the push-button age had no idea of how to dial a phone. That was a lost art!  I had to walk back to that old phone, stick his little finger in the dial, turn it until it hit the metal, pull it out as fast as I could, and repeat for each subsequent digit! He was amazed that such an antiquated device was able to reach his dad. Today, I go to him for technology assistance since he is a digital native, not me.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited the Mississippi Department of Archives and was looking through the microfiche of the Deer Creek Pilots. The first year to be explored was 1958. I was interested in seeing how the progression of the Rolling Fork /Cary consolidation was reported. While the school connection was interesting, I was drawn to the advertisements in the paper.

Did you know that Crawford Motor Company (Chevrolet) had 6-J as their phone number while Sharkey Motor Ford was 66? To reach Delta Implement Company, one would say, "104" when the operator oh so pleasantly stated, "Number, please."  I wonder, if the Chevrolet place was 6-J, who had 1-J?  Did anyone? What was your number? Can you still remember? I’d like to know.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Special Lady- Margie Gerrard

Growing up in a small town, you seem to know everyone. I felt like that, although I didn’t exactly grow up in any town. I lived about a mile northeast of Cary, Mississippi and life was very good there. My grandmother did live in town and was the postmistress there, as her mother was before her. I called Cary home and felt that people were splitting hairs if they disagreed on the point of where I was from. My mailing address was Cary, Mississippi, after all.

Often we would walk into town. Of course, we walked through the cotton fields, over to a turn-row and walked that row to the dirt road that ran along beside the railroad tracks… Illinois Central, to be exact. The dirt road took us into town. We weren’t allowed to walk down the gravel road that followed the path of Deer Creek. It was too dangerous because of cars traveling down the road…. five or six a day, I believe. Later it was “black-topped” and became even more dangerous. I believe the traffic may have doubled at that point. In any case, we walked that dirt road right into town. After passing five or six tenant houses, the first establishment we would encounter was M. Grundfest. It was such a wonderful little general store, quite typical. The building remains today prominently located in the center of town.

When I was very young, Mr. Ike Grundfest was in the store every day. When his health took a turn, Roy Gerrard ran the store. Roy married my friend’s mom.  Lynette was a year younger than I, but we were very good friends. Miss Margie, Roy’s wife and Lynette’s mom, it seems was always a part of my life. We couldn’t slip into town without Margie stepping out onto the front porch of the store and asking us where we were going. You could practically throw from the store to Roy and Margie’s house and then to the Post Office and my grandmother’s house. They were all on the main drag in Cary. That street changed quite a bit through my lifetime and seems to continue changing each time I go back to visit.

Over the years, I would go to Margie’s house to play with Lynette after school, on weekends, or in the summer. Margie always came in to visit, asking what was going on in my life. We would carpool to Rolling Fork whether to the movies, band practice, ball games, or other school events. It was fun with Margie. It was always an adventure driving with Margie. I always remember her as being a warm, friendly person who would laugh often and laugh loudly. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? 

Margie was good to me, but I wasn’t the Weissinger for which she had a soft spot. That honor would go to my little brother, Lee. As a two year old, Lee would get bored and perhaps lonely so far out in the country. Several times, he eluded the maid and slipped out the back door. He would set his sights on Cary. He followed the same path his older siblings took in getting into town. The major difference was that he was most often clad only in a diaper (cloth- we called him “Droopy Drawers”) Miss Margie would intercept him as he slipped past the store. I suppose a half-naked little boy with very long blonde curls was fairly hard to miss. Margie would call my grandmother, Ep, at the Post Office who would call my Uncle Spencer, who would get my dad on the short-wave radio. My dad would then drop what he was doing to go retrieve Lee. Communication wasn’t quite so easy in that day, but it still got the job done; it just took a while.

Margie was always there, and she always had an opinion. Thank goodness, she seemed to be sympathetic to me, especially during our teenage years. She listened as Lynette and I bemoaned not having a date to the Football Banquet, the Homecoming Dance, Prom, and other significant events. She would give us moral support as we would try to muster the courage to call someone to escort us to the Sweetheart Parade. She was even there to help us through when Bill Marshall asked me out on a date one night, although Lynette was the one who had the mad crush on him. I was really glad that she convinced Lynette that if it wasn’t me, it would be someone else! Thank you, Margie!

Once Lynette got married and moved away, I didn’t see Lynette that often. However, every time I went home, I would see Margie. After I got married, Roy opened his own store next door to his house. It was in the old Sun Oil building. Across the street were the Bank of Anguilla and some offices. The Post Office was still nearby. If I had business in any of those places or Roy’s store, I would see Margie. It was always a joy. She always asked about my family and wondered when others of them would be in town to visit.

My little brother, Lee, ended up moving into town after he got married. His house was adjacent to the Post Office and kitty-cornered across from Margie’s house and the store. Lee and Margie continued to look after each other. I’m not sure who actually was looking after whom. I suppose it varied with the days and the circumstances. They remained close until Lee’s death.

Several years ago, Roy died. Margie stayed on in Cary for a while, but eventually moved to a facility in Clarksdale to be closer to Lynette and her family. Margie’s house no longer stands today, nor does the store. However, her memory continues on in Cary. If you walk down the main drag there today, you can almost feel Miss Margie watching where you were going and you wait in anticipation for her greeting.

Sadly, at about 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2013, Margie Rial’s Gerrard died in Clarksdale, Mississippi. She will be brought home to Goodman Memorial Methodist Church in Cary on Monday, April 1st to be buried. Services are at 11:00 a.m. She will be interred in the Cary Cemetery, just down the street from her former home. How fitting that Margie will again reside on the Main Drag in Cary, Mississippi.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cafeteria Comments, winding down

Last in the series, I think...

We all have memories in our heads and stories to tell. Some wish to share, others do not. Hopefully, these aren't the last stories of The Cafeteria, but instead.... the beginning, an impetus for others.

Ryan and Lanell Grayson had fond memories of the cafeteria ladies, remembering "Mrs.  Mason, Mrs. Wells, Mrs. Fuller."

Seems they had talked to Rickey Lee. He said that he specifically remembered "Mrs. Fuller and Mrs. Mason making sure the guys had an extra helping during football season, and the best thing about it....we didn't even have to ask, but we were expected to eat every bite!!"
He also remembered that "every one of those special ladies in the cafeteria always had a smile on their faces. And they could call every child in the cafeteria line by name. Imagine that."

Larry Wilson says "let's not forget Mrs. Williams" (Miss Guinea)

James Prewitt had a special remembrance. He slipped on a wet floor and broke his right arm while putting the stools on top of the tables. He said while doing clean up after everyone was through eating, his arm hit the sharp metal stool connections as both he and the stool hit the floor. He remembered it being like a work study. He worked cleaning the cafeteria to be able to get his meals free. Well, he added; "not free if I worked for them!lol"

Carol Hawkins Trotter remembered that some teachers made us clean our plates. She said the strategy of the students would be to stuff our turnip greens in the milk carton. We would take turns keeping watch for each other and blocking the teacher's view so no one would get caught.  Carol was a picky eater so she had a lot to stuff in that carton. It was a good thing that she liked milk!

Debra Hammons Wright went a bit beyond the cafeteria. She always looked forward to our afternoon recess in high school. We could go purchase snacks, ice cream, or a Coke. Of course, it was a treat because we were only allowed to go occasionally.

From Facebook posts:

Gary Henderson The thing I remember is that we always had tuna fish one a strip of lettuce or fish sticks with French fries on Friday. I didn't know it at the time, but it was an effort to support those of the Catholic persuasion I think. No matter, I liked them both and they made Fridays even just a little bit better. Does everyone remember the little boxes of chocolate and regular milk. They had little numbers under the flap openings. It was bad luck to get a "3" but great to get a "12." Also, it seemed like we had Navy beans a lot. I can’t see kids today saying "more Navy beans, please!!" I remember the cafeteria ladies being nice and courteous. They always had a smile. Some of them were our classmate's moms. Strange, the little things you remember. Thanks for "sparking" my memory about RFHS meals.

Marilyn Pippin Tilghman Now you're talking about my favorite subject! FOOD! I loved all of Mrs. Mason's food, but did not like the pickled beets! Does anyone remember the yellow cake with a peanut butter sauce? Delicious! My mother would knock on the back door of the cafeteria when they had chicken and dressing and Mrs. Mason would fix her a plate to take home!

Mary Dayle Schults McCormick Can you imagine a cafeteria cooking like that from scratch today? I wonder if Mrs. Mason had to follow the kind of safety regulations they have to follow today. I kind of doubt it, but I never even heard a rumor of anyone ever getting sick from school food.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Growing up in Egremont

I moved to Egremont, Mississippi when I was six years old.  We lived in the downtown business district, so you could call me a city boy. Egremont is a little hamlet between Rolling Fork and Cary on Highway 61.  Before the advent of the interstate highway system through Mississippi, Highway 61 was a major road for north-south travel.  Back in 1959, Egremont had two country stores.  My family had just purchased one, and we lived in the back of the store.  The floor plan in our house was a little bit odd; the designer seemed to have a penchant for doors.  There were two doors from the store to the house portion of the building -- one was to the kitchen and the other to a bedroom.   Inside the house, one room would open to another, but there was also a very small hallway that connected the bathroom, three bedrooms, and the kitchen.  Basically the hall was a small rectangle with five doors.  Although there was a front door and a back door, we rarely used either of them if the store was open.  We, and any visitors, used the front doors of the store to enter and exit.  The store was as much a part of our life as the house, so it was appropriate that they were so interconnected.  You entered our home and our life through the store. Our store was Burns' Grocery.  This is where I grew up.

From the back door of the house, you stepped into a yard and a nice plentiful garden.  The soil was very fertile there because the prior owners had raised quail.  The area had been completely enclosed.  The quail droppings made for excellent fertilizer.  My father was an industrious man who planted various beans and other vegetables. He had a garden that produced throughout the year. My dad’s tomatoes were the best!  I remember going out with a salt shaker and picking a vine-ripened tomato and eating it right there in the garden -- with plenty of salt, of course.  I did not even bother to wash off the pesticides my dad had used in the garden -- makes me wonder . . . .   When we first moved there, the woods were very close behind the house.  There were great places to explore for a young boy.  I had trees to climb, forts to build, and make-believe battles to wage.  Over the years, the woods were cleared and converted to farmland, but none of that could diminish the memories I made there.

Out the front door was the front of the store and Highway 61.  Just 10 or 15 yards east of the highway were railroad tracks.  When we first moved to Egremont, I really had to adjust to the trains. Those that came through in the middle of the night would vibrate the ground and house, causing me to awaken frightened that the house would fall down.  Before long, I got used to the trains and slept through their rumbling past at night.  For the trains during the day, we would race out of the house and get as close as possible to the tracks. If we were really lucky, the conductor might see us. At those times, he would throw gum and candy out to us.  For a boy that lived in a store full of candy and gum, none tasted as good as that thrown by the conductor -- it was just special to get candy that way. I suppose there were times that he had none, because on occasion, we’d receive only a nice, friendly wave.  In hopes that the statute of limitations has run out, I can admit that I remember putting pennies on the track for the train to flatten.  Sometimes we could find them after the train went by, but at other times they were lost in the weeds.  I was told I would be in big trouble if my penny caused the train to wreck.  I stopped doing that for a while, but like any young boy, I wondered how they would know it was my penny that caused the wreck.  I resumed putting pennies on the tracks.  Thank goodness there were no train wrecks in Egremont!

In the house next to us lived the Williams.  Mr. Williams was a farm manager and Mrs. Williams was one of the lunch-room ladies at school; she also drove one of the school busses.  As I grew a little older, Mrs. Williams told me that if I could get up early to ride the bus when she left her house, she would let me be the flag boy.  I felt really important as the flag boy.  I got to hold that flag, step out of the bus, and guard the way for other children crossing the road. Some were even older than I. Mrs. Williams’s bus would head towards Cary picking up kids between Egremont and Cary along and just off Highway 61. Just north of Cary, the route took us up the east side of Deer Creek heading back to Egremont.  If I didn't get up early to ride with her, I would be one of the last picked up. After a while, I didn't get dressed in time to be flag boy and as I got older, I wanted the extra sleep.  My school service to the community soon came to an end.

Next to the Williams' house was an equipment yard where farm equipment was stored and assorted barns and sheds were scattered about.  On the other side of Burns' Grocery was Egremont Store run by Mr. Smith.  He also lived in the back of his store like we did.  Years before, his store was a post office and the mail boxes were still there. We had lots of fun going over there to play, opening and closing the boxes.  There was mail in some of them that had never been picked up.  We probably broke numerous federal statutes taking that mail out. There were houses, stores, barns, woods, and all sorts of things that kept us entertained just on the west side of the highway. Once you crossed the highway, all sorts of other possibilities opened up. We also had the borrow-pits that flanked the highway on both sides. Young boys could really get in trouble in them, especially when it rained and they were full of water!

To the east of the railroad tracks was Deer Creek.  There was a bridge over the creek to the road on the other side that ran along the creek north and south.  Sojamax grain elevators were between the railroad tracks and the creek to the north.  Between the railroad tracks and the creek to the south was a row of houses and at least one church.  There would be families with kids who lived there at times, but no one seemed to live there long.  Maybe, the houses were too close to the railroad tracks for comfort.  So many people came and went that I don't recall many of the people who lived there.  The only one I can remember is Cathy Prewitt.  She was a pretty girl, or at least I thought so.  Although she and I had started first grade together in Yazoo City, I did not remember her from there.  She lived in Egremont when she was in fifth grade.  I would go over to her house to play, especially when it was raining or too cold to play outside.  She had a record player which was impressive to me at the time since we didn't have one.  She would play on what I think was waltz music and make me dance with her.  I would have been terribly embarrassed if anyone had known about that back then.  But, I had a good time dancing with her.  Maybe that is why I can remember her. She wasn’t there long before her family moved back to Yazoo City.  I remember being sad when she moved. 

On the other side of the creek lived both the Spencer and the Barnett families.  The Spencers had two sons -- David and Mike, both younger than I.  David Spencer's father built a tree house in a persimmon tree in their back yard so that they would have a special place to play. I really liked going over there. We had lots of fun playing in that tree house.  Once we made a cannon out of an old pipe and firecrackers. A hole was drilled in the pipe near the end with a screw cap.  We would put a firecracker in the pipe, stick the fuse out the hole, and screw the cap on.  Our ammunition was the persimmon fruit from the tree.  The fruit was then stuffed in the open end of the pipe just before we lit the fuse.  This contraption would shoot the persimmon a great distance. Once when we were in the tree house shooting our cannon, David's father challenged us to try to shoot him with our cannon.  He was dancing around about 30 yards from us when we shot. The persimmon hit him right in the middle of his chest.  He let out the most god-awful scream – I’m thinking it must have hurt pretty badly.  He then warned never to shoot at a person again -- it was dangerous!  What was he saying? He was the one who told us to shoot him in the first place!  He must not have thought our aim was good. The Spencers moved from Egremont while we were still fairly young, but they stayed in the area and continued to go to school in Rolling Fork.

The Barnetts had several kids, but the two boys were Randy and Robert.  At the time, we referred to them as Randy Carl and Robert Lynn. Randy was a year or two older than I while Robert was a year younger.   We played together a lot.  I was good friends with both boys.  We played a lot of baseball together, hanging out at home and in organized sport. Randy and I had a thriving business empire going for a while. We caught little turtles in the creek and sold them at school for 10 cents each.  We had a small plywood boat. It was fairly sea-worthy so we would paddle into the creek and catch the turtles with a net.  Once when I was plying my trade, I maneuvered the boat among some old dead trees in the water.  I look up and looming over me was a huge water moccasin coiled up on a dead tree limb. It was eye level with me, directly over the bow of the boat.  Someone was surely looking over me that day, for if the snake had dropped off the tree limb, it would have fallen into the boat with me.  To say I was scared would be a gigantic understatement. I paddled that boat faster than I had ever before. Once I made it safely to shore, I vowed never to catch another turtle; that lasted for a couple of weeks.  The positive side of all of this was that we made enough money to buy Mother's Day presents for our mothers that year.  I still remember the look on my mother’s face when she opened that talcum powder from me. She was very pleased.

Robert and I played Little League baseball together.  While I played first base, I believe he was a shortstop.  I admit that he was better than I in the field, but I think I was a better hitter.  We won some games and lost some games.  It was just fun to have something to do in the summer.  Coach Cain was our coach.  To get to practice and games sometimes proved to be a challenge. We were a bit creative. At times we hitch-hiked, but most of the time we could just catch a ride with someone we knew who stopped at the store.  Often it would be a farmer heading into town; we would just hop into the back of the pickup.  Later, I fixed up my brother's old moped, and I could use it to go to practice.  The moped was my ride up and down the road on the other side of the creek.  It wasn’t exactly highway worthy, and I surely wasn’t licensed to drive. I would ride the moped to Cary to go to Boy Scout meetings and just to visit with friends.  That moped was quite trustworthy until I got my driver's license, and I felt that I no longer needed it.  Sadly, the Barnetts moved away from Egremont and the area.  Once during college, I remember seeing Robert at an SIA football game.  That was the last time I saw him.  Robert has reconnected through our Facebook reunion page and so has David Spencer. I saw David last year; I have hopes of seeing Robert this year.

The Williams -- our next door neighbors -- had grandchildren who would often come to visit.  Eddie Flowers was a year older than I was and Ricky was two years younger.  When they were around, we would spend a lot of time playing on the farm equipment.  That was such fun.  I also remember us playing in a barn that held cotton seed. We made tunnels in the seeds and would sink down in it as though it were sand on the beach. Of course, as with most fun things there was a downside. We would itch for days after our adventures.  It seemed that there was always something to do. I rarely remember being bored. We would play touch football in the Williams side yard and play hide-and-seek when it started getting dark.  We had weekly wienie roasts during the summer.  That was always fun.  The Williams had a big cottonwood tree in their front yard.  There was a utility pole nearby and there was a guy-wire running through the tree to the ground.  We would climb up into the tree, scoot out onto a limb, grab ahold of the guy-wire, and slide down the wire.  For protection, a heavy piece of cloth was wrapped against our hands as we sailed down the wire.  It was such fun.  The Flowers moved to California for a few years before moving back to Rolling Fork.  It seemed that no one stayed in Egremont for long, except us. 

Do kids in the country still get to do the kinds of things that we did as kids? Egremont was a fun place to grow up!   And, I have great memories that I will cherish forever.

What was it like to grow up in your neighborhood?

by Kenneth Burns

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cafeteria Comments: Dessert and more

Dessert: /diˈzərt/  n.  A usually sweet course or dish, as of fruit, ice cream, or pastry, served at the end of a meal
The Cafeteria Ladies could certainly create wonderful sweet dishes for the end of our meals. Again, I don’t think anyone was concerned with restricting fat, calories, or sugar. I’m sure all three were there in abundance.
Many of us remember the yellow cake with peanut butter icing. I believe there was honey in it, as well. (Debra Hammons Wright, Marilyn Pippin Tilghman, and James Prewitt.)
Mary Dayle Schults McCormick remembered the banana pudding and cobbler, although she didn’t specify which kind. However, Lanell and Ryan Grayson said their favorite was the peach cobbler. Rickey Lee thought the apple pie was his all-time favorite food.
Martha Carter Abney and Cal Carter both thought the best dessert was a cornflake dessert with peanut butter (according to Martha) and Karo syrup (according to Cal.) Perhaps they are both correct. They described it as being very much like Rice Krispie Treats. As a teacher, Martha says you never see anything like that in a cafeteria anymore.
When Hot Shot mentioned the vanilla wafers with peanut butter, it reminded me of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that we had. What was most intriguing about the sandwiches was that the ladies mixed the peanut butter and jelly together. I’m not sure of the flavor- whether apple or grape, but I believe there was honey mixed in, as well. Perhaps, the honey made it easier to spread. I also think that to make all of those sandwiches may have been particularly labor- intensive. Maybe they gave us a scoop of the mix along with two pieces of white bread, and we made our own. I just can’t remember.  I would say Mrs. Mason received an abundance of peanut butter and came up with a variety of uses.  
However you slice these desserts, they were all fabulous (especially that yellow cake with peanut butter icing!)
We will conclude the cafeteria stories later in the week- just in time for The Gathering!
As I was finishing this, a special story was sent to me to be posted. I hope to have it posted late tonight or early in the morning. Kenneth Burns is back and just in time for The Gathering!  He wrote a piece that shares his memories of growing up in Egremont. As with all of his stories, I know you will be pleased.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cafeteria Comments, Pt. 2 Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings, Chicken ’n’ dumplings, Chick’n ‘n’ dumplins….. There’s the correct way to spell it, but then again, there’s the correct way to say it, y’all. And…. Should I refer to the dish as “it” or “them”? Is the term singular or plural? No matter the spelling, the pronunciation, or the number, it seemed to have been by far the favorite food, especially for the guys. Mike Huoni mentioned it/them to me on the phone, the very first time I mentioned “cafeteria food” to him. Remember the chicken and dumpling sandwiches? Willy Bearden also listed the dish as one of his favorites- he has others.  Charles Strong (Hot Shot) says Mrs. Thomas was the Queen of chicken and dumplings. He said they also ate them for years after she retired. Kenneth Burns says they were the very first things that came to mind for him. H.J. Winslow also remembered the chicken and dumplings. He even recalled that Mrs. Fuller was responsible for them.  Girls weighed in on the c & d, too. Mary Dayle Schults McCormick listed it first in her list. I think the second place main course food was fried chicken. It was fabulous!
I had forgotten about many foods. I am thrilled to be reminded. Hot Shot mentioned “the soup” with peanut butter and vanilla wafers. I had forgotten but as soon as I read it, I could almost smell the vegetable beef soup. It was so hearty and delicious.  Other things mentioned as favorites were the split hotdogs that were topped with mashed potatoes and melted cheese, Willy. (I served that to my children, Liz and Andy, when they were little.)Bill Marshall remembered the chili pie and sloppy joes. It seems that everyone remembered the homemade rolls. Lisa Kynerd Smithhart and Cheryl Berry Welch both remembered the smell of the cafeteria and then both agreed it must have come from the baked rolls. Other mentions were macaroni and cheese, green beans swimming in bacon grease (Mary Dayle), taco pie, turkey and dressing, and cranberry sauce.
Coming up next…. Sweets and least favorites….perhaps the sweets will balance the others. There is still time to share your memories. Surely more of you who went to RFHS in earlier and later classes have memories. Come on; share.
Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cafeteria Comments Pt. 1

Seems, that food is important enough to get a reaction from people and that is WONDERFUL! Some people responded to me in texts, some through FaceBook on RFHS Reunion page (all classes), and some through email (classes of 1970-1972).
I will share pieces for the next few days. Please feel free to send even more responses. I’ll post what I can.
Mike Houni conveyed that he and Robert Waldon were the “milk boys” in sixth grade. They got special treatment from the ladies for doing that. On the days that we were served Chicken and Dumplings, they were given as much as they could eat. In turn, they would make Chicken and Dumpling sandwiches. Mike swears that they would eat 4 or 5 sandwiches on those days. Obviously, Chicken and Dumplings were his favorite foods. As for least favorite, he said it would be sauerkraut. Now, he doesn’t actually remember the ladies in the Cafeteria serving it. However, football camp is a different story.  They served it there. If you ate it and worked out, you would get sick. Mike said he steered clear.
Also, when serving as “milk boys”, the older boys would always threaten to beat them up. The older ones didn’t want to pay for the milk, or they complained that Mike was taking too long to serve them. (Early forms of bullying! LOL)
The milk must have really been special! Eva Dunaway Kolosiek says that her favorite food was the chocolate milk.
Speaking of milk… Willy Bearden says that Robert Waldon told him that Mr. Mullins called his daddy about his brother Joey’s milk bill. Joey was probably in third grade at the time. The bill was almost $40.00…. and that was at three cents a carton! 
Robert Barnett says the chocolate milk was the first thing he thought of. It was just refreshing!
Not everyone was a fan of all milk. James Prewitt says his least favorite food was the white milk. (I’m thinking the chocolate must have been okay!)
Martha Carter Abney wondered if the three cents for chocolate milk was part of a government program. Carol Hawkins Trotter, a picky eater, claims she made a meal out of chocolate milk and white bread.
I certainly remember a lot of foods, but as more and more responses have come in, I have had my memory jolted a bit. I loved the sweet cake with peanut butter and honey icing (my description.) Debra Hammons Wright says she “loved the cake with warm peanut butter sauce.”
Marilyn Pippin Tilghman asks if anyone remembers the yellow cake with a peanut butter sauce. She thought it was delicious! James Prewitt liked this cake, as well.
Stay tuned for more Cafeteria Comments…. Favorites, least favorites, and memories.