The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

March 8, 2014

Jim Bailey: Memories from seventh grade stick in columnist’s mind

Got a call the other day from old friend Leonard Austin, my seventh-grade English teacher who went on to become a principal and later superintendent.

Mr. Austin was one of those teachers who stuck in my mind. He was one of three at the old North Anderson Junior High who went on to become principals, along with John Kinney and Paris Capron. Miss Sylvia Bird was my homeroom teacher, so my first four full-time teachers in Anderson are ingrained in my memory even though I spent only one semester at North Anderson School.

I can remember my once-a-week teachers as well. William DeArmond was my shop teacher (actually mechanical drawing), though he left to enter politics mid-semester and was replaced by William Judd. Mrs. Andrews taught vocal music, Mr. Joe Gallant health and Mr. Dittmer art. Miss Bernice Surratt directed the orchestra in which I was the lone trombone player.

So why can’t I remember the name of that guy who greeted me in the supermarket the other day?

Names of my fellow seventh-grade students even come to mind. Of course most of them rejoined me at Anderson High School after I finished my junior high years at “Big” Central.

I wasn’t yet into the boy-girl stage, but I still can recall many of my female classmates. Eleanor “Susie” Bays and Ruth Ann Tyler were cheerleaders at the school basketball games. I can remember Janice Henry, Laura Lee Shaul, Jane Ann Shultz, Arlina Taylor, Margaret Towler and Mary Louise Crouch. After that, memory fails me.

Jerry Shively was only a seventh-grader, but he made the basketball “A” team. Bill Wagner was a little older and bigger and played on the “B” team. Doyle Dillon was the school’s basketball coach.

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