Senior Focus


As I Was Saying
By Opal Toney

School Days...

School has started! Buses go by early in the mornin’ stuffed with kids.
Later, in the afternoon, they will come back by with only the driver aboard.
That tells me he has delivered them back to their homes.
I wonder what kind of day they’ve had–especially the young ones that are just beginnin’ a new adventure in life.
And I think of the ones who will be goin’ their last year.
When I started school, I walked a mile and a half, with my brother, sister, cousins, and many others.
Well, the boys didn’t walk, they wrestled, climbed trees and at times, tried to catch a jack rabbit on the way. Some of our classmates lived beyond Lacy Creek–and that was a long way. They too walked, and some rode horses.
We made it by the time the big bell rang, or we would have been tardy–which wasn’t good–at school or at home.
From day one, I loved school. I may not have learned much, but I enjoyed every minute of it. Well, most of ‘em.
After a heavy rain mud would be ankle deep. Daddy would hitch up his team of mules and take us in the wagon, pickin’ up other kids on the way.
Uncle Mack sometimes came by on his horse. I would ride in front of him in the saddle, and his son rode behind him!
Yes, at times it was a struggle to get there but again, we made it! And several years later both of us graduated from Mabank High.
And today, that cousin’s son is our School Board President!
Another memory that’s still vivid in my thoughts is the day Daddy took me to school on his horse, Ribbon, who by the way, had a broad back.
The weather was dreary, it was gettin’ close to winter.
By the time we got there my legs were cold, stiff and kinda spraddled.
Daddy helped me down and went on his way back home.
I started toward the schoolhouse, stumbled and fell into a big mud puddle. My teacher was also our neighbor, who lived on the hill up the road from us.
She cleaned me up the best she could. Then she told me to sit in a chair by the big wood stove and dry out. I can’t remember for sure but I think I fell asleep.
But I do remember what a good teacher she was–and she later married a cousin of Mama’s.
How I wish I could look out the window this morning and see a puddle of water and fresh rain fallin’.
Who knows? I might run out and jump in it! Anybody want to join me?
As I was saying, school has started...and so have memories.






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