What a month!

Published September 17, 2015

August 29trh marked my 50th high school class reunion. We were Clintwood High School class of 1965! I loved the kids who made up Clintwood High School. I knew I went to school with a bunch of special folks. Now, I know for sure, those special folks are even more special. Our class boasts librarians, teachers, lawyers, doctors, officious government workers and maybe a spy or two, engineers, good car mechanics, coal miners, big company men, pilot of Air Force One for four presidents, helicopter pilot for private business, and just plain old good people and citizens! Our class would not have had the dreams and education to fulfill those dreams without our stoic, money-saving parents who expected us to study hard and to get ahead in life. Our class owes a lot to our teachers and administrators who returned home to the mountains after World War II and had a vision of making Clintwood High School a school that graduates more students from college than any school in Virginia. We held that record for many years. Most impressive of all, as I caught up with classmates from fifty years ago, is the realization that character, personality and belief in the future grew and became even stronger in each of us. What a testament to our mountain heritage! Even though Clintwood High and two other county high schools have merged into one school called Ridgeview, my hope is that Ridgeview continues to uphold what our former mountain schools stood for: making every student feel special, holding high expectations for students, and providing support to further teacher knowledge.


Thanks to the Mountain People and Places group from the Jonnie B. Deel Library in Clintwood, Virginia, for welcoming me. Mavis and Izetta, I’ve repeated your stories that are so full of mountain humor! Thank you all for a most pleasant day. You are very energizing!


Thanks to the residents of The Laurels in Norton, Virginia, for a wonderful afternoon. Had my voice not been so shot, I would have read until your dinner time. Thank you being a part of my mother’s life and for being so gracious!


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DeelPublicLibrary2Thanks to my classmates, Willie and Sheila, for the wonderful reception at Jonnie B. Deel Library. Julie Shortt, thank you for having me at the Wise Library and for having so many participants.


Many thanks to Rebecca Maggard, librarian, and Mrs. Meade, Mrs. Rogers, and Mrs. Teglas for allowing me to visit with your fifth graders at Coeburn Middle School, Coeburn, Virginia. How refreshing it is to be with students with so much personality and an interest in literature! Teachers, as a former fifth grade teacher, I know how hard you have worked to have disciplined students whose self-expression is not hindered. That takes excellent teachers!