2012-09-26 / Columns

Moments and Memories of WHS

By BENNETT WELCH

1952

Whitesburg High School students join with other students in a big state wide essay contest on a great subject: “What My Community Needs”. Awards will be made for the best essays from Letcher County. The following essay was one that was written for this project by James Crase, age 14, of Roxana, while a student at Whitesburg High School in January of 1952:

My community needs so many things it would be almost impossible to name all of them. In the following pages I will name and explain some of the most important needs.

The most important need of any community is a good road. My father moved to this community over twenty years ago in a wagon over a narrow rocky trail which crossed the Kentucky River three times. Today that same trail is still in use. This seems to indicate that this community has been neglected by the county offi cial concerned with building roads. Everyone knows that without a good road (or at least a road which may be used at all times) a person will not enjoy the privileges enjoyed by more fortunate people today.

Children of my community have long distances to walk to school. This certainly does not encourage any desire for an education.

The nearest grocery store is one and one half miles away, the nearest church one mile away, and the nearest school one and one half miles away. Surely the most important need of my community is a road.

The next most important need of my community is a good school building. Our school is very unhandy because part of the playground is used for the road. It is unhandy for practically all children because of its location. It is uncomfortable because of its poor heating system and injurious to the eyes because of poor light.

At school we learn to enjoy life and prepare ourselves for a better life. We learn to read, which is very important. We also learn to write. Most important of all we learn to meet other children. I cannot imagine going through life uneducated. A school is the foundation of life. If the children of my community get a good foundation they need a good school in which to acquire it.

My community also has many religious needs. A church building was erected recently but it has proved far too small for the attending people to be seated. Too many people fail to attend church every Sunday because many would not be able to find a seat.

A church building should be established in a suitable location where it could be reached easily. A church should have a plentiful supply of seats for everyone, also a ventilating system and places where pure water may be found. A church should also have restrooms and places for children to play.

A church where people may attend may change their lives entirely. Thieves may become respectable citizens. Attending a church certainly cannot hurt anyone, but it may help them in some way.

The teen-age boys and girls need a building where meetings such as pie suppers, dances, and club meetings could take place. Many of the young people of the community would be at these meetings where otherwise they might be doing unlawful things such as robbing or stealing. Some boy or girl may be doing something that would ruin their lives entirely. This would not happen to any community with a recreational center.

My community also needs a hospital very badly. Many accidents and sicknesses occur each year. This shows that a hospital is needed greatly. Several lives could be saved if the patients could reach a hospital in time.

(The above article is from the January 3, 1952 Mountain Eagle.)

Note: James D. Crase is the son of Ted and Ida Crase of Roxana. He was the valedictorian of the class of 1954. He received his B.A. degree from Berea College in ’58 and his medical degree from the University of Louisville in 1962. James served two years with the United States Navy (1967- 69). He has lived in Somerset since 1969 and has practiced medicine for 40 plus years.

Barbara Lewis in recital here

The music department of Whitesburg High School will present Barbara Lewis, pianist, assisted by Nadine Combs, vocalist, at the Whitesburg Grade School auditorium tonight May 15, at 7:15 o’clock.

Due to the consistent high quality of her work, Miss Lewis, pupil of Mr. Hugh Adams, will be the first pianist presented in a junior recital at the Whitesburg school.

A member of the Whitesburg band and glee club, Barbara has many varied musical interests and extracurricular activities. In addition to band, glee club and chorus participation, she has performed at clubs, contests and festivals.

During the past year, she has served as organist at the First Baptist Church, Whitesburg, Kentucky. She was accompanist for the ballet at the Middlesboro Festival.

(The above article from the May 15, 1952 Mountain Eagle.)

Reception planned for juniors, seniors

The Whitesburg Jaycettes have extended an invitation to the juniors, seniors and teachers of those classes of the Whitesburg High School to attend a reception at the Quillen Building following the Junior-Senior Banquet Thursday, May 8th.

Junior and senior class students, their escorts, dates, and parents are invited to the reception, which will be chaperoned by the Jaycees and Jaycettes.

An orchestra, composed of local talent, will be on hand to play for the occasion. No charge will be made for admission.

The reception will be held on the ground floor of the Quillen Building, where the Whitesburg Bakery was previously located.

Did you know

Nadine Comb’s true love is Harold Ison. Rosa S. King loves married life. John Hall’s nickname is ‘Hootman.’ Norman Polly’s heartthrob is John Ramsey. Jimmy Bert is engaged to be engaged to Shelia. Doug Polly’s only interest is himself. Jack F. is working the hardest of all seniors to get the trip to Washington. (Might it be because a certain girl is working there?) Buddy F. is lonesome for the eighth grade. Mary T. and Lavanelle B. are strong believers in the Army. Doris Jean Stallard wants Ralph O. again. Anita Don still loves Roe Adkins. Doris Ann Adams is “date-bait.”

The Bachelor’s Club

A new club was added to our school this year — the Bachelor’s Club. Mr. Collins, being our only bachelor teacher, was chosen to be our sponsor. There are now 30 members (or bachelors we should say) in the club, and all seem to be interested (and plan to prove they can leave the opposite sex alone. By Bronston Clay.

(The above article from the October 1951 Black Kat.)

Christmas in the air

The band presented a most colorful Christmas program in cooperation with the Rhythm Band and Ballet class. The Christmas story as told by St. Luke and St. Matthew was read by Gloria Holstein. The band, directed by Bronston Clay, responded with the familiar carols, which accompanied the scripture text. “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly” was sung by Nadine, Janice, Jimmy Bert and Gay Banks accompanied by Barbara. The ballet pantomimed to “Silent Night” and a gay frolic to “Jingle Bells” gave a lively lift to the holiday spirit. Soloists from the band were Douglas Blair, Don Hughes, Wade Wampler, Bert Francis, Arland Hatton, Nadine Combs, Jack Hammock and Jimmy Giles.

Letters to Santa: Dear Santa: I have been good all year waiting for this occasion, so I can ask for this one thing dear to my heart. What I think is the most wonderful gift would be the daughter of Mamma Lora and Pappy Bill Fields. She is the baby of the family and will probably be hard to get. But please, please try. J. W. Combs.

Dear Santa: We are two lonely little girls. One of us is 17 and the other is 19. We want two certain boys. One is J.B. Noble who is 5’9” with brown hair and eyes, and the other is Douglas Roberts, who has brown hair and big blue eyes. Deliver J.B. at Mayking to Mrs. Fugate’s baby daughter and deliver Douglas to Mrs. Auton’s girl at Whitesburg. Two lonely hearts, Vina Fugate and Katherine Auton.

Dear Santa: I know I am too big to play with dolls so how about sending me a certain handsome soldier for Christmas, and I will send you an invitation to the wedding. Desperately, Nadeane Amburgey.

Dear Santa: I have been good these past few weeks so please visit me Christmas. Here is what I want: A million dollars, a new car, a wardrobe of new clothes, and please bring a boyfriend —and let him have blond hair and blue eyes. Maryleen Polly.

(The above article from the December 1951 Black Kat.)

The Black Kat Staff for the 1951-52 school year consisted of the following: Editor-in Chief Jan Combs; Exchange Editor Donna Tolliver; Business Manager Doug Polly; Joke Editor Jack Fairchild; Sports Editor Bronston Clay; Reporters Eddie Holbrook, Nellie Gibson, Ellena Adams; Mimeograph Operators; Watch Bird Shirley Fields; Artists Ralph Palumbo, Helen Polly; Typists Carolyn Minton, Rosa Sue King; Advisor Mrs. Stephen Combs.

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