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Yesterday, Chelsea School, Chad

Story ID:5867
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Hemet CA USA
Person:Chelsea Kansas Student
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Yesterday, Chelsea School, Chad

It was like Yesterday, Chad,

District No. 10

Chelsea school holds many fond memories. The first grade I think that my teacher was Miss Blaney, a round faced small lady and she had a job a real hard job.

There were about fifteen students, Junior Hunt, T.W. Holderman, John Turner, Sarah Turner, Doris Cook, Melda Welty, Jesse and Lawrence Ray, and others I have forgotten about. T.W. and Junior hunt kept the teacher in tears. Anything to agitate her and she would cry. These guys were in the eighth grade, were big farm boys, and were always in trouble.

This was about 1931 and 1932 when I started to school. Doris Cook saved me from the big guys and when we walked home she saved me from Irving Buchananís bull.

In the morning, we would cross the pasture and Doris would get a big stick to take with us. When we got to the other side she would lay it down and that night it would be waiting for her. She would pick it up and she would leave it at the other side.

We had some real bad dust storms we would have school outside because the dust was thicker on the inside than out. We would set with our wet handkerchiefs over our nose and mouth and when they would turn black from the dust we would rinse them out and start school again. It seems funny now some of the pages of our books had dirt in them and when we would put them up for the next class, the dust would fly.

Melda Welty and I were the only ones that spent all eight years in Chelsea, Dist. 10. Many of the kids would graduate or move out to another district but there were always two of us in No. 10, Melda Welty and Monte Manka. Several times over the years until my little brother Leslie started to school there would be just two students. The farmers would move in and then when March came around most would move looking for a better farm to survive on.

These weren't called sharecroppers but you might say they really were.

John Sontag and his sister Barbara and brother Merwyn moved in and I fell madly in love with Barbara. Merwyn graduated and then Billy and Bobby Brant moved in with the Redd brothers Keith and Sheldon. I really hated to see Keith Redd move
to Cheeryvale because he was my best friend.

Another bunch moved in The Turners, Clifford, Howard, Lewis, and George. They were named so their Initials spelled a word. Example Lewis Earl Turner LET, Howard Otis Turner HOT, and Clifford A. Turner CAT.

They had a sister but she was much older than I and you never had anything to do with the older kids.

The fact was they wanted nothing to do with you.

I was in all the school plays and was Hansel in Hansel and Gretal it was really dumb but my mother said it was cute.???

We had our tragedies also, my little brother was killed in 1941 and Mary Vidrois was killed when she picked up a blasting cap that was left by the railroad crew. She was killed when she picked at it with a safety pin. It blew two holes in her stomach and she died before they got her to the hospital. Mary was killed in about 1936.

There were Julia and Gilbert Fowler who lived in the church parsonage. Ernest Cundell who would take live 22 shells and fire them with a rock on the culvert at the north west corner of the 120 acres of the farm across from the School house. Luckily neither one of us got hurt.

Miss Sager was my eight grade teacher, she being a Quaker never put up with any foolishness and I really liked her.

I graduated in 1940 at a school house up by Cassoday and there were five that graduated. Fred Stackley, Melda Welty, Monte Manka and Barbara Sontag.

When I was in the fifth and sixth grade the neighbor on the north side of the school would give Miss Vestring a bundle of 5 foot switches to be used on us.

His daughter was such a prude and he thought we were heathens. I never was whipped but several were I got one whipping but it wasn't by Miss Vestring but another teacher that I have forgotten her name. I haven't forgotten the name of the switch giver that was Lyman Haver, and his daughter was Kathryn Haver.