Walking out of the milelong Cane Branch Hollow with the creek in the middle of the road, I carried my shoes until I got to the mouth of the hollow and put them on. I then walked the mile on the railroad tracks to Burdine School.
All the boys wore tennis shoes the year round, and when we played sports on a hot day the stink from those old shoes when we went back to our classroom was unbearable for everyone.
Before we had indoor plumbing, the old outhouses were turned over on one Halloween night. We suffered a couple of days, along with the teachers, until they were repaired.
The teachers told us not to drink any water.
I went to Burdine Grade School for eight years, walking the eight miles round- trip and never missed a day or was late for class. Even though I was very shy those were the best years of my life. I had many lifelong friends.
When I started high school in Jenkins, it was like going into another world for me.
My 27 years in the military and working here in California all these years, I miss those beautiful mountains back home and all my friends.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.