Sunday, July 09, 2006

Teachers

Butch Class of 60: I think I saw a mention of Mrs. Bratton. She taught Latin, as I remember. It's only a memory, cause you can bet I didn't sign up for a foreigh language. I remember that there was the possibility of Latin being offered in the ninth grade if enough 8th graders signed up for it in advance. Claudette Lindsay ran all over the Junior High hammering on likely Latin scholars to sign up so she could be sure and get Latin I. Well, enough suckers signed up and Latin I would be offered in the ninth grade the next year. Yippeeee! The next year, everyone who signed up was pre-registered and it became one of their classes. Everyone but Claudette! Et tu, Claudette?

Janet, Class of 62:
Teachers - I think Mr. Bratton was one of best teachers I ever had. Jimmy Lindsey told a wonderful story about him at one of our reunions. After Mr. Bratton passed away there was a sale at his home. Jimmy's sister went to the sale and found numerous yearbooks each literally stuffed with clippings about students he had taught at Forrest City. He had evidently kept up with students after they graduated and saved newspaper articles that related to them. Mrs. Bratton was also a good teacher. She was really strict but cared about her students. She expected you to do your home work. Karen Moore, Class of 62, can attest to that since she was the center of the story that circulated through FC High for many years about translating a Latin story. And who can forget Miss Smart? Mr. McClure made my life miserable. The only time my parents ever came to school was in my defense for punishment he gave me. Couch Slaughter threw erasers at us in class.

Anonymous: Alice Anne DeRossit was the best teacher ever. She made history come to life and one of the only teachers I can remember that all the kids liked. Miss Engles would get on my nerves! SHe would say Memphis Egypt not the Memphis in Tenn but Memphis Egypt! DUH! (July 24, 2006)

Anyone remember one of the not-so-favorites--Mr. McClure? Eighth grade American History, Sam Smith Jr. High, 1957-58 school year. Just one year--but what a deal he made!!

Bogie said... Others that come to mind--a not-so-favorite, remember her? She was a fairly large woman, (they all were to me at that time), kept pulling her bra or slip straps up in class and study hall. She was well-known for knowing how to "turn the page of the book or magazine". If you were ever lax enough to "flip" pages she made a special trip to your desk or seat to show you and those around you how to turn the page. You gently grasp the top right corner, slip your fingers down the side of the page and "fold" it to the left. Get it? I did--about 100 times!

One of our favorites--Mr. Henley--band director. Did everyone realize that Mr. Henley appeared in the movie "Jaws 2"? When I saw that movie at the theatre, I never suspected I was looking at him--and it was several years later that I really looked at him and on my own decided "that was Mr. Henley!" There was some clairification with other students that I had not gone insane--they also knew he had appeared in the movie.And my all-time favorite--Mr. A.F. Thomas--choir director. He stuck to his guns as a director--I had to take a math course in my junior year and had to give up choir for that one time. I had been in his choir since jr. hi but missed that year. I didn't get to go on the choir trip my sr. year. Mr. Thomas said it was because I didn't take his class in the 11th grade. I was heart-broken.
Mon Jul 10, 10:07:57 AM 2006

Paul said… YES, A.F. Thomas was as cool as he was good. He also put up with a lot of shenanigans from the boys in the choir. We (the others know who they are) used to make farting sounds by squeezing our hands together. Of course it would disrupt everything and trigger giggling fits throughout the choir. His response was the best. He would get this sad, tired look on his face…glance up in our direction…then put his hands on his hips, and state in a tone of resignation as he looked towards heaven…”It takes so little to entertain some people.” And you know, that was a pretty effective response. I didn’t feel so hip making the farting sounds after that. My experience in choir was just great though.

Mr. Bratton was probably THE BEST overall high school teacher I ever encountered. He could have been a professor in a university because he was that smart and that good. He made both geometry and physics understandable and fun.

Mrs. DeRossitt was a joy – both as an excellent teacher and as a mentor. We used to drop by her house unannounced on weekend evenings to visit with her. She always made us feel welcome. I marveled at the fact that she read a book a day – which of course gave her a great breadth of knowledge on a range of subjects.

I had a mad crush on Mrs. Holland (11th grade English). But aside from that, she was a wonderful teacher, got me interested in poetry and writing, and helped me analyze some Bob Dylan songs.

Mrs. Harrington was a very good teacher, an enjoyable friend, and at times an enigma as both. She was an excellent bass fisherwoman – as Jim Machen and I can substantiate. She also had two lovely daughters. We also used to drop by her house in Marianna on weekend nights to see her daught…er…I mean, to visit with her. lol

And then…at the other end of the spectrum was Mr. Shuford. *sigh* Uh…perhaps I should let Jan, Linda, B.J., Nancy, Dora, Gee Gee, et al. cover those stories…

15 Comments:

Blogger Administrator said...

Others that come to mind--a not-so-favorite, remember her? She was a fairly large woman, (they all were to me at that time), kept pulling her bra or slip straps up in class and study hall. She was well-known for knowing how to "turn the page of the book or magazine". If you were ever lax enough to "flip" pages she made a special trip to your desk or seat to show you and those around you how to turn the page. You gently grasp the top right corner, slip your fingers down the side of the page and "fold" it to the left. Get it? I did--about 100 times!
Bogie

Mon Jul 10, 08:07:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

One of our favorites--Mr. Henley--band director. Did everyone realize that Mr. Henley appeared in the movie "Jaws 2"? When I saw that movie at the theatre, I never suspected I was looking at him--and it was several years later that I really looked at him and on my own decided "that was Mr. Henley!" There was some clairification with other students that I had not gone insane--they also knew he had appeared in the movie.
And my all-time favorite--Mr. A.F. Thomas--choir director. He stuck to his guns as a director--I had to take a math course in my junior year and had to give up choir for that one time. I had been in his choir since jr. hi but missed that year. I didn't get to go on the choir trip my sr. year. Mr. Thomas said it was because I didn't take his class in the 11th grade. I was heart-broken.
Bogie

Mon Jul 10, 04:28:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Mike Irwin said...

OK, time to fess up. I'm sure the statute of limitations has expired by now. I always wondered who put the sugar in Mr. McClure's gas tank.

Mon Jul 10, 08:51:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

Walter Ferguson said I realized once I got into professional music how my training at FC highschool under Mr. Henley and AF Thomas had benefitted me so much. They taught me to stretch the limits of my talents. I credit them both as having a big influence on my life in this business and making a living doing it. I'll never forget when I came home for the holidays as a freshman in college, Mr. Henley called me and asked if I could play a gig with his band cause the drummer was sick or something.

Tue Jul 11, 12:52:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who put the sugar in McClure's gas tank, but I commend them for it. Ask Betty Bridgforth about the low grade she received on a six weeks test due to the fact that she didn't answer one question "the way" he wanted it answered.

Tue Jul 11, 01:32:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mike Irwin! Why haven't we seen you lately at our reunions? The class of '62 misses you! (I don't--but that's another story!)

Tue Jul 11, 07:27:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

Others that are favorites are Coach and Mrs. Ed Henderson--sadly we lost Coach Ed this past January. Just in case you are some of their former students--we of the class of '62 were contacted--but this is a good way to let others know.
Bogie

Wed Jul 12, 09:34:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember "Booger"Martin in Jr. High? What WERE all those spots on the back wall of his room???? High School memory....I was in Collie Walker's homeroom, so was John Mann in the 10th grade...we were upstairs in the old high school ...remember how big the windows were and how many there were in each room, well John opened them all one cold breezy morning, took the door off the hinges, put it back upside down. Once Collie, who was always late, finally figured out where the doorknob was and came in the below-freezing room...his hair stood straight up from the gale blowing through and we were all blue..."Mann!" he said. Another time John opened one of those same windows and jumped out,landing in the bushes in front of Fannie Carroll Legg's office!! lol

Thu Jul 13, 07:15:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

Sweet Mr. Heidel! High school memory--10th grade, 1960--he brought a snake to the classroom for an experiment--don't know what kind of experiment or what kind of snake--it didn't matter to me, a snake's a snake--on the front row and the snake lept from his grasp and I'm on the 4th row!! I backed up that far as the snake landed on the floor in front of my desk! Gee-wasn't science grand!!
Bogie

Thu Jul 13, 08:33:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Shuford! Now there was a teacher to remember. I really feel bad for the way we did that man. He would come to class with bandaids all over his face from razor cuts and ALWAYS had his pants unzipped. We would pass a note around the room that said" Your fly is open" and he would read it and step outside and zip.

One day I was walking into class and I fell down. I started to get up and Jan said No, stay down and Joe Ed picked me up and carried me. Mr. Shuford said Put her down this minute as he clapped his hands together. Gene France would look at us and roll his eyes as he felt sorry for Mr. Shuford. Jan told Mr. Shuford my leg was broken and she, Joe Ed and I left the room. A few minutes later we all walked back in. I mean we would have fake fire drills and tell Mr. Shuford the alarm went off and he would say No it did not. We would say Mr. Shuford you are going to get in a lot of trouble if we burn up in here and convince him and the whole class would go outside. Mr. Hawley would see us out there- the only class in the school and Mr. Shuford would get in trouble. I saw him about 7 years after we graduated at the Manor House with Aubry Jolley and some others. I still cant remember why he was with them but he had not changed a bit. I wonder where he is now. Any more stories about Shuford? Jan, remember the one of trying to fix him up with Lynda when she came home from college? She got so mad at you???

Fri Jul 14, 05:29:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Sula said...

Paul, since you moved away you might not have know this: Mrs. Patti Harrington, our Class of 68 Senior English teacher, later divorced and her husband, Jiggy, married Linda Rauscher Hodges (our gym teacher). Patti re-married to Carroll Cloar (1913-1993), a nationally recognized American artist (who grew in around Earle, Ark) and lived in Memphis. His art is in the collections of the Hirshorn, Whitney, The Met, MFA-Boston, Library of Congress. His work is a distillation of his personal Arkansas boyhood experiences around Earle in the early twentieth century. He was also a degreed English major from Rhodes College. You can google Pat & Carroll Cloar for more info.

Sun Jul 16, 08:05:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had one teacher in 10th grade, he taught math, and we heard he stayed just one year. Bless his heart! Wonder why? What was his name? Mr. Miller? Anyway, Cheryl T. and I would switch names everyday so for 2 weeks he couldn't figure out who was whom! As if that wasn't enough I wore a back brace at the time and it had a large screw holding the neck piece together. I would take the screw out and drop it on the floor then tell Mr.(?) that Cheryl had to go with me to the restroom to put it back on. We would stay out all period! Mr. Montgomery, the principal, would see us walking the halls and just look at us and shake his head. The most annoying to him I'm sure was humming with our mouths closed. Just one monotone, low, buzzing, humming sound. He would walk around the room trying to figure out where the noise was coming from and as he walked to my side I would quit and someone on the other side of the room would begin humming. Who could ever forget Mrs. Chauvan? She is still one of my favorite people. Mrs. Wheeler, typing, was nice too. Then there was Kinky, the music teacher, and Mrs. Wilson, the english teacher that is infamous for saying, "...they were puur." "What Mrs. Wilson?" "Puur" "What?" "POOR DAMNIT POOR!!!"

Sat Jul 22, 01:07:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Butch Ford, Class of 1960 said...

I've got to make some comments about some of the really bad teachers we had. The school was a good school. Some of the teachers they hired that we had to endure make me wonder how so many of us did well in life. A few of them lasted a year or two, but a bunch of them stayed on forever. The irony is that many of them didn't even have college degrees and, probably, most of them weren't even certified to teach the courses we found them in. I will also be the first to state that I was FAR from being a good student. Barely got out of the place. I graduated with exactly sixteen credits and that included two half credits in choir. OK. I hope I don't step to hard on anyone's toes. If the shoe fits....

The Bad:
MISS GEE: the one year marvel in Plane Geometry. She must have weighed all of 75 lbs. I don't think she stayed more than one year in any of the fifteen or so schools she held a job. I remember Moose asking a question about ASS in class. The initials were supposed to be ASA or SAS; You could walk toward her and she would back up till she bumped into the wall. Her favorite thing to say was. "I don't know how I can make it any more understandable." She couldn't and didn't.

MISS ENGLES: (sp.?).10th Grade World History. Her class consisted of writing her notes on the board and we would dutifully copy them into our notebooks to be memorized (I didn't, of course.) I have a blank space in my world history knowledge. Was she the one that kept rearranging her various straps in front of class? She kept the same book in her class for years so she wouldn't have to compose new notes. Lazy comes to mind.

DEWAYNE "BLINKY" COUCHMAN: actually taught chemistry. He damn near blew up the front of the class when he allowed some kind of chemical to make contact with water...the combination of which would be explosive. Henry Heustess nearly got beheaded. He also coached junior high 7th grade football. He would get flustered and not be able to understand what was going on when there would be 14 or 15 players on the field on one side and 8 or 9 on the other. A genius.

JOHN HEIDEL: yes, Bogie, he was a nice old guy, probably sweet. However, he was just too infirm to be teaching junior high school and dealing with the shenanigans that kids that age will do. The humming thing with that Shuford guy someone talked about, Heidel was bombarded with humming, books dropped flat to make a loud slam, someone swiped his grade book, and absolutely nobody took him seriously.

KNOX MARTIN: 7th Grade World History. His propensity to pick his nose and examine the product; his rediculous pronouncements of several words; his strutting around up front with his fist propped on one hip. Phil Hicky sat behind me in class making fun of everything he did. I learned nothing in that class, too.

There were many others who were not good teachers, but the above were the bad ones I remember. There were some really good ones, too.

MR. BRATTON. nuff said. I never took a class from him. His courses included stuff like Solid and Trigg, Physics, hard stuff. I ran from that kind of thing. I never would have gotten out of FCHS. I did take Coach Devazier's Bidness Math class.

VANCE SALES: Civics. probably one of the best teachers I ever had. I still remember the information he passed to us converning government and parliamentary procedure. A pretty good high school B-team football coach, too.

OPAL STEWART: 8th Grade English. Miss Sopal was terrific. Only thing, she tried to make us memorize poetry. I never did get beyond the first two lines of "If."

MISS DAVIDSON: American History. The way she kept thowing tests at us every day or so flat made you learn that stuff. The only class I ever cheated in. Honest. I copied off Rush Harris. She caught it because he missed the same one I did and he always did better than me. When confronted, I fessed up. She handled it well and I did much better after that.

MISS WALL: Senior English. My God, was she tough. At least, her English final was. I remember that 110 out of 131 failed the final exam. It was an absolute disaster. Mostly about Shakespeare. One of those tests that asks you to name the play, the act, and who said it. Funny thing. When I went to Arkansas State that fall, I was among a very few entering freshmen that scored high enough on the entrance exam that I didn't have to take first semester Freshman English. I must have learned something.

BRUCE SLAUGHTER: 9th Grade Algebra. Coach Slaughter did real good, even without the pointing finger on, I think, his right hand. He always used to point at the blackboard with the next finger. To a bunch of ninth graders, that was flipping the bird. He didn't take much stuff. I remember him beaning Ollie Warren dead center in the forehead with a piece of chalk. Ollie always sat in the back...wouldn't you know it. It made a sound like thumping a ripe watermelon and left a perfect red circle right between the eyes. I'm not sure who was the most shocked. I didn't have his daughter Ann in class, she taught girl's PE. All the guys liked her.

Now, I'm drawing a blank. Most of the elementary teachers I had were pretty good, especially Mrs. Ridgeway. She actually read "Tom Sawyer" to us every afternoon for about an hour. If we behaved, she read the book. If not, she wouldn't. I loved that reading time. She put a lot into it. Mrs. Hudspeth did, too. Mrs. Bean was good. Stern, but good. Miss Douglass wouldn't let me be called by my nickname and made me pick one of my given names. I've been saddled with it ever since. I haven't forgotten or forgiven.

How about more from you studious types who actually learned something.

Sun Jul 23, 03:32:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alice Anne DeRossit was the best teacher ever. She made history come to life and one of the only teachers I can remember that all the kids liked. Miss Engles would get on my nerves! SHe would say Memphis Egypt not the Memphis in Tenn but Memphis Egypt! DUH!

Mon Jul 24, 05:38:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Isom, the Art Teacher at FCHS during the late 60's and early 70's was an amazing man and the first African American teacher I ever had. He was an artist in his own right - having held several one man shows in New York of his own work, but he was also the most gracious gentleman - rising above the ribbing and teasing of the bullies in our class, who had obviously taken Art because they thought it would be an easy grade. What I learned about art and art history from Mr. Isom did not really begin to resonate with me until I moved to Europe and visited the Louvre in Paris in the mid 70's and I recognized artists and intimately knew their paintings - amazing for a girl from east Arkansas.

John Isom taught school during a time of much civil unrest in our town - in our world and he showed me and others what real grace and dignity is all about and for that I have always been in his debt.

I can not decide what I learned most from this man - art or life, but I value both tremendously and I will never forget him.

Thu Oct 25, 12:39:00 PM 2007  

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