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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Friday, May 31 2002

Last day of school

A couple of days ago I mentioned a temporary lack of inspirations for these entries, to which a friend rattled off a half dozen ideas, some of which I'll pursue. One of these was memories of end-of-school-year field trips, this week and probably next being the last weeks of school.

Such trips don't come to mind, through field trips in general might be worth an entry some time. But in my class, several school years ended with a class picnic. I remember two specifically, though it seems there were more. The clearer one is our fifth-grade picnic. Mrs. Dora Searle, our teacher, walked all of us from the Blacklick Township High School (in which building the fifth grade was the only elementary grade) to the picnic grove at the Pinehurst Restaurant, more often known in its several generations of existence now as the Triangle and now the New Triangle (unless it has been renamed recently as The T or New T to fit the change in the highway intersection there).

When I saw it last summer the New Triangle was bordered in back by a brushy woods, but in May 1953 when I was turning 11 the Pinehurst had an inviting picnic grove back there with several tables. I don't remember if there was an outhouse, but that wouldn't have been remarkable for the time; most picnic parks had them. I remember walking in a narrow column on the thin strip alongside the highway (it had a different route number then) and being impressed at how nice the grove with its trimmed grass was, but don't remember if there were party favors (probably not), whether we ate our normal bag lunches or Mrs. Searle provided lunch and/or watermelon. Nor do I remember games being played, through surely some were. Did some mothers help Mrs. Searle as would surely be the case these days? Even though most mothers did not have jobs outside the home in those days, probably not.

My other picnic recollection, even less detailed, is of a trip to Duman's Dam...I think it was called Dam, then, not Lake (and always Duman's, not Duman). It was before the park was developed but the dam was already a popular fishing spot. It was probably the end of fourth grade...I remember fishing alongside Clair Crawford, who was my best and pretty much only friend at the time, and I think I remember Ray Farabaugh, who lived across the road from Clair and was an almost-friend of both of us...someone we spoke to often but didn't hang with.

The class no doubt had been transported by bus from Belsano School, so the bus driver and Mrs. Helen Brown, the teacher, would have been our chaperones. I don't remember any picnic tables, or even eating...though we must have (funny how priorities change!). It was probably my first time to go fishing, and it may have been with a tree branch with a string on the end and a bent pin as fishing hook. I don't recall catching any fish, or anybody else catching any.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

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Thought for the day

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

William James

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