1940s - Memories of Mascotte Elementary School - Bristo Hyers McGregor
1940s - Memories of Mascotte Elementary School by Bristo Hyers McGregor "The Mascotte Elementary School of 1st through 8th grades, was a beautiful, concrete building. It had a wide side walk. Up at the front it had a space where we girls played jacks, a game with which we sat in a circle, throwing a small rubber ball, while scooping up jacks, 2, 4, and up to 10. Oooo, we were good! The boys kept marbles, which were very important in the game. We also played jump rope. "And don't forget the boys, which were strong, that lived out in Bay Lake area, Tuscanooga, Carter's Island, Sloan Ridge, and Villa City. These guys would dig tunnels (not too long) and we'd crawl through them and out. We little girls enjoyed all of that. Even when the boys pushed us off the porch. Did you know that's because they liked us? "We had a baseball field. Then a softball field. Bleachers for on-lookers. "I do remember Carlos Jones, the local bus driver, along with Rovan Watson. "Mrs. Dixon taught several generations of 1st and 2nd grades. Both classes - One room. Likewise, Mrs. J.C. Cowart taught 3rd and 4th. "You know, I have to mention "Whistling Dixon". His wife was the 1st and 2nd grade teacher. Mr. Dixon wore western type pants, that rounded out on each hip, and lace up boots. Quite a looker, we thought! "I especially enjoyed the teacher, Mrs. Bruner. Her class was grades 5th and 6th. She would look at us and say, “One day you will be thankful I’ve made you learn tables, state capitals, and such.” Mrs. Bruner was the best! Every day, she’d let us eat apples in class, while she read a couple chapters, after lunch, from an interesting fiction book. She had one daughter, Beverly, who asked if I'd spend the night. I did. My teacher crossed the long Howey Bridge over Lake Harris. As we went inside, her husband was playing the piano. Very impressive. While waiting for supper, Beverly and I played, drinking lemonade in little tea set cups. Then, much later, while living at Mascotte, near Lake Jackson, lightening killed my teacher. Her home was close to Glenn and Joan Jones, who everyone respected. "Now 7th and 8th grades, as I said, had one teacher - one room, were taught by a most interesting lady, Joyce Pennington. (Her husband was an early Groveland constable and her sister owned Cherry's dress shop in downtown Groveland.) She had us walking with good posture. Keeping our knees clean in short dresses, while singing and preparing for our little graduation. "On the Big Night, we girls pin curled our hair. Our teacher warned us to take the bobbin pins out a couple hours early. I didn’t and sure enough, my hair jumped up short. (An automobile accident claimed the life of Mrs. Pennington.) "The ferns and flowers used to fix a pretty stage were furnished from the Mallard family. Mr. Mallard was employed at Leesburg at a hardware store. The backseat of his car was welcome for the young or old to ride to town to shop. Each morning, he slowed his car , as not to leave anyone. Sometimes, us girls, we'd go take in a cool movie. Just don't run late! "At graduation, I was chosen to present the Class Will: "We the graduating class of 1949, do here-by bequeath, to our honorable successors, our multitude of virtues and our Godly vices. If we commit crimes, we are sorry. Sorry we got caught. Now: I’ll pass to Tommy Baker, Philip Gano’s gentleness. Mable Lee Thomas gives a beautiful hand writing to Mildred Fender. I, Bristo give my music ability to Cora Lee Howard. Emogene Watson leaves her smartness in books to D. W. Lucus. Leroy Drawdy leaves his best seat in class to J. T. Bates. Glenn Jones, a best all around student, goes to Squeaky Stewart. "Emogene Watson was a straight A student and she tutored the slow students. "Our last grades, 9th through 12th were at Groveland High School." ------------- "The yellow school bus was driven by Rovin Watson from Tuscanooga. My sons, the McGregor brothers were raised out there. Terry, Dennis, and Hollis pulled pranks, like hiding in back of the bus in the morning to give him a scare. Mr. Watson caught on fast!" ------------ Bristo's stepfather, Norman, was a preacher. He also manufactured cypress lawn furniture and shipped it from the Groveland Train Depot. He was forced to stop as the trees became protected as part of the habitat of an endangered owl.