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I can still remember standing on the porch of Little Mount School, ringing the big brass school bell that meant recess was over. Usually, the teachers would ring the bell but sometimes a student would be selected to do the job. It was a real treat indeed.
Little Mount School was a place filled with love, laughter and learning. When I attended school there, it had three classrooms with two grades in each room. The first and second grade teacher changed usually from year to year. Mrs. Lucille McClain taught 3rd and 4th grades and Mrs. Evelyn Marratty taught 5th and 6th grades. The lunchroom was located in the basement of the school and our cooks were Mrs. Annie Crafton and Mrs. Edna Greer. Our outhouses were located at each end of the playground. When the weather was very cold or pouring rain we surely didn’t ask to be excused to visit the outhouse!
The six years I spent at Little Mount School were by far the best years of my education. We put on plays, recited poetry from memory and performed skits. I can still see Mrs. McClain standing in front of us at Christmas, leading everyone in Christmas Carols. With a big smile and a lovely voice, I can still hear her singing Down By the Old Mill Stream.
Mrs. Evelyn Marratty taught 5th and 6th grade. She was known by her students at Little Mount simply as “Miss Evelyn.” I cannot say enough good things about her. She was a wonderful teacher (I was blessed to have had her in class), a fine Christian lady and a great friend and neighbor. She was loved by everyone. I can still see her seated at her desk with a pencil stuck in her hair and a handkerchief tucked neatly under her wristwatch.
We learned and recited plays and poems that were sometimes two pages long, but she gave us the confidence needed to be successful. If I could turn the clock back, I would love to be the young child my mom took by the hand and escorted to school in September of 1957. A wonderful world opened up for me, a world that lasted six years. Those were the best years a child could ask for in a three-room country school house named Little Mount. If I stop and listen today, I think I can still hear the big brass bell ringing. It’s time to come in from recess!