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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Sunday, June 30 2002

Jack Rager

The Jack Rager School was last used as a school in December of 1949 when I was in fifth grade. I have no idea when the building was constructed, but I do know that it was old and well worn by the time I attended school there.

The building had only one classroom. The entrance was on the east side. Three cement steps led up to the front door. Just inside was a foyer then another door. The seats were arranged in rows with the backs toward the Ford's Corner Road. The larger seats, which were for the fifth graders, were just inside the door. Fourth graders used the middle seats and third grade used the seats farthest from the door. Only the south and west sides of the building had windows. There were no lights and no running water.

Strangely enough, there were two indoor toilets. One for the girls was to the left after you came in from the foyer. The boys' toilet was to the right after you came through the foyer. There was no need to flush, since the toilet sat over an open hole dug into the ground. The building was heated by a coal stove that was located just to the left of the slate blackboard in the front of the room.

Above the blackboard was a portrait of George Washington. An American Flag, with only 48 stars, was on the wall to the left of the picture. The floor was unpainted, tongue and grooved boards. There was a trap door in the floor at the left front of the classroom that lifted on hinges to give access to the coal bin in the basement.

A high school student living nearby served as janitor. He cleaned in the evening and opened the door and started the coal fire in the morning. For water and recreation, we had to go outside. There was a well with a hand pump about fifty feet out from the door. We used a bucket and a metal dipper for drinking. In the winter, water left in the bucket overnight would freeze.

The playground around the school was roughly covered with mud and stones. One cold winter morning, I fell on one of those stones and cut the side of my face. The teacher had no first aid kit and no car. She rode to school on the bus that came for the high school kids in the morning. Instead of sending me home or to the doctor in Nanty Glo, which were both closer, she sent me along with Bob Rager, an older student, to the Mundys Corner School. We walked down the Ford's Corner Road to Route 22 and followed it to what is now Route 271 to the Mundys Corner School.

Mr. Singer, eighth grade teacher and principal of the school, patched me up and drove Bob Rager and me back to class. Before leaving, he invited the teacher outside for a talk. I don't know what he said but I do know that she came back in crying.

Jack Rager was a tough school for kids and a rough assignment for teachers.

THIRD GRADE, 1947—The picture above was taken at Jack Rager School when David Caldwell was in third grade. He is the second from the right in the bottom row. The boy left of him (with his tongue out) is Harry Rager. The boy left of Harry is Chalmer Dilling, who died several years ago. Additional student names will be added if they become available. David said he believes the teacher was Mrs. Patterson, and adds, "She wasn't the one to send me to Mundys Corner. That happened in fourth grade with another teacher."

UPDATE, MAY 18, 2003: New names for the photo, see Jackson Schools page.

Entrepreneurship

A policeman had a perfect spot to watch for speeders, but wasn't getting many. Then he discovered the problem, a 10-year-old boy was standing up the road with a hand-painted sign, that read "RADAR TRAP AHEAD." The officer then found a young accomplice down the road with a sign reading "TIPS" and a bucket full of change.

And we used to just sell lemonade.

— Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for the day

I N S T R U C T I O N S  F O R  L I F E . . .
(first in series)

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve
     great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs:
     Respect for self
     Respect for others, and
     Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful
     stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

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