Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of reminiscences by Dorothy McQuary Callaway on the former Lilac School. A c c ording to Dorothy
McQuar y Callaway, her life at Lilac School provided a modest curriculum, “readin’, writin’ and arithmetic.”
Many of the Lilac school children were the first in their families to complete seven school grades. However, some students went on to complete 11 grades, and even a few to get a college education.
Dorothy looked back, referring to herself, in the third person, as a little girl:
• “She learned to follow rules and take turns at the water fountain.”
• “ Students learned to create a better life and to become someone that commanded respect.”
• “She walked two miles to school in the rain and mud.”
• “ The teacher rang a hand bell to announce the start of school and to call students in from recess.”
• “Being assigned as the ‘teachers pet’ for a day of school privileges.”
• Eating sausage and biscuits out under a tree at lunch.”
• “ Watching boys climb up a ladder to pour water in the indoor water tank that led to the faucet inside the building.”
• “Writing on the blackboard as a reward for ‘being good’.”
• “Having only one ball to play with at recess, using a board for a bat and bricks for bases.”
• “Brother Sid teasing her about holding hands with Weldon during recess games.”
• “Friday’s ‘ Show and Tell’ program.”
• “How being taught at home by her daddy that rewards came from honest work.”
Pupils at Lilac school were a diverse group. German kids learned to speak English at school.
In those days there was no welfare, thus there were really poor kids in school. Their families were sharecroppers and didn’t make much money.
Dorothy attended school the first and second year at Lilac and her father transferred the children to Friendship School, bec ause t hat school had 10 grades. A fter t en f ull y ears, she transferred to Sharp School where she graduated in 1939.
Dorothy’s memories are best said by her: “Only in retrospect have I realized that we were living the good life, and in our innocence, we never knew it.” Now I know.
Thanks Lilac School! You done good! firstname.lastname@example.org