Jewel Batman Howe
I do not remember the house I was born in, my Mother said it the creek was out and the doctor could not get there. Possible some where close to Little Blue Creek. We lived on the Henry Balding place two different times, when he was Sheriff we walked to school.
I got my first and only whipping when I went to school there. I really didn't deserve it. The kids in front of me were related to the ones in back of me. They shared their crayons and things. The one in front of me laid the crayon box on my desk. I put them over my shoulder to the one back of me. Not a work was spoken. The teacher saw it and gave me a whipping. I always was afraid of him.
We used to play crack the whip. The one on the end got the worst of that game. I remember the revival at the Chapel that lasted 6 weeks. Rev. Fred Ault was the preacher. He stayed a while with Ben Batman, and then came to our house. My father (Ernest Batman) was saved in that revival. I can still see the seat turned backwards where they knelt in prayer. The church was full of people.
The Chowders that they had at the Chapel; The Big Kettle they used came from the Balding place. Roberta Pastel Wright came to the Union Chapel area. She visited the schools and lived with Ben Batman and Lela, Clifford and Clinton Byrd. She has always been thought of as a part of the Batman Family. We moved away when Henry Balding moved back to his farm after his second term as Sheriff was over. We moved to the farm between Corydon and Lanesville, then to Palmyra. Then we moved to the old home place (Ben Batman's) and Ben Batman moved to Grantsburg. My Dad (Ernest) owned the place at Grantsburg and they traded places.
We walked to church at the Chapel; others would join us along the way, pretty soon we would have a crowd. My Dad (Ernest) had a truck. He would put the side boards on, stop at the Chapel and get a couple seats from the church. We would then go up and down the pike and pick up people. The older people set in the seats and younger ones stood around the sides. We'd go to Mifflin Tent Meetings or Eckerty Camp Meetings. We would sing all the way there and back. Those were great times.
I married Harvey Howe in 1942. He is a minister in the Church of the Nazarene and we have pastored churches in Illinois and Indiana: the last being in Fort Wayne, IN. We are retired but still pastoring. The church is small and they use retired preachers to fill the pulpits. We have been at this pastorate in Fort Wayne since 1970 except for 2 years spent in Fort Myers, Fl taking care of my parents until they passed away.
We have 6 children, 4 boys and 2 girls, 15 grandchildren, and 9 great grand children. All our children and grandchildren live in Fort Wayne or within 1 hour of us except for 4 of them. We celebrated 58 years together October 17, 2000. Harvey is 80 years old and I am 78 years old. I like to crochet, sew and quilt. Harvey likes to do wood working projects. We also baby sit for a great granddaughter who is 2-1/2 years old now and is a great joy; keeps us young.
Ernest Ray Batman, aka Junior
Let me introduce myself. I am Ernest Ray Batman, but you would know me as Junior; Junior Batman. My father was Ernest, too, and my mother was Marie. I have two sisters, Jewel and Velma and a brother, Wayne. Ben Batman was my grandfather, and Minnie Batman was my grandmother. We called them Pa and Ma. They lived across the road from Rob and Hattie Cole. Pa often filled the pulpit when there was no one else to preach. He also took care of the gas lanterns that provided light for the church. (Electricity had not yet come to the Chapel). After service he would take the gas lanterns home with him, make sure the mantles were in good shape, fill them with gas, and bring them with him for the next evening service. As I remember there were two lanterns that could be suspended from the ceiling on long wire hooks.
Even though we didn't always live in the Chapel community, our family had deep roots there. That was where my dad and all his brothers and sisters grew up. I was two when we moved to the Henry Balding place, from near Leavenworth where I was born. (Roberson School was in the southeast corner of that farm.) When I was five, we moved east of Corydon; where I started school. Then we moved to Palmyra, and just before I finished the fifth grade we moved back to the Chapel. Dad bought the old home place from Pa, and we lived until we moved to Ramsey when I was sixteen.
Union Chapel was the first church I attended. I don't remember much from those earlier years; only that we played around the big oak tree in front of the church, and that Wayne and Betty would sit on the running board of Leroy Robinson's car while we waited for our parents to finish visiting with their neighbors after church. And I remember going to church with Ma and Pa when we came for family reunions.
Union Chapel was everybody's church. Doctrine didn't seem to matter, if you lived in the community it was your church. On Sunday morning, families and friends gathered for Sunday school, and if there was preaching they stayed for church. Hattie Cole was the Sunday School Superintendent, and Grandma Miller taught the little kids. I have fond memories of Grandma Miller with her big sunbonnet and a dress that nearly touched the floor, teaching from a little story card. I don't know who played the piano, or if we even had a regular pianist, and who led the songs, but I remember that "slow" was our style.
Dad used to say, "We drag the songs to death at the Chapel." The middle-aged and older men and women sat facing each other on the two rows of pews on either side of the church. (In the winter the stove was in the middle between them.) That way they could see each other, keep an eye on their kids, and observe everything else that went on in the church. With a slight movement of her head, Mother could call me from anywhere in the church to sit with her when I was misbehaving.
I don't think there ever was an appointed pastor at Union Chapel, but we did have special speakers every now and then. Sometimes it was a local pastor who came for Friday or Saturday night services on a regular basis, or a traveling evangelist who would offer his services for a series of meetings that we called revival. I don't know who gave permission for these special services, but I am sure someone had been given that authority. Occasionally someone slipped in without permission and filled the pulpit. That probably was the case when a man from another community led the prayer meeting. He wasn't a regular, just an occasional drop-in; usually he only stayed a little while and then left. Dad always said he came just long enough to see who was there so he could visit their hen houses when he would leave. Dad would go home to keep watch over our turkeys. But one week night, he came professing religion, and asked to lead the prayer meeting. He gave a little exhortation and then sang his famous song, a part of which went like this, "Kiss my wife and little children. Tell them that I was killed in battle and have gone to Heaven." I always thought he had been drinking too much of his "favorite recipe."
Perhaps that was what made the Chapel unique; you were accepted on your testimony. Evangelists sometimes stayed at our house. Two that I remember were Fred Ault and Harvey Howe. Fred got a rash, what we refer to as the seven-year itch, while he was there, and Harvey got my oldest sister, Jewel. I can vaguely remember the "chowders" held in the woods next to the church. I suppose they were fund-raisers. The woods were an ideal setting for the event, and the big kettle from the Balding place was perfect for making chowder. After the chowder was over we took the kettle home and used it to scald hogs at butchering time.
Once we used it for a baptismal fount to baptize hens we couldn't keep from setting. That was a favorite memory for me. We kids marched around the big kettle singing, "Shall We Gather at the River", and Loren Wright, who was staying at our house, did the baptizing. Like some people I have baptized it didn't do any good; those old wet-setting hens went right back to their empty nests.
Yes, there were rowdies at the Chapel. All the young men hadn't gotten old time religion, and besides there were others from neighboring communities. Most of the time they stayed outside and looked in at the windows, but if they come inside; they sat in the middle section behind the stove or on the short benches on either side facing the front. If you look you might still see their initials carved on the benches, or a trace of tobacco juice that missed the open window. You never knew what they were going to do.
Sometimes they shouted "Hallelujah" through the open window or made other noises to disturb. Once they jacked up the preacher's car, put it on blocks of wood so he couldn't move it, and then waited in the darkness to see the fun. Lewis (Glen) Smith was one of those rowdies. He and his friends walked in from a community near Mifflin to attend the revival. Evidently no one was being saved, so the evangelist made the announcement, "If there is no one at the altar tomorrow night, we will close the meeting." Now, Lewis and his gang didn't want to see the revival close. It gave them some place to go, and besides, they enjoyed walking the girls to their home. So Lewis and two of his buddies decided to go to the altar the next night just to keep the revival going.
However, the next day the Holy Spirit began to work on Lewis' heart, and by the time he and his two friends went to the altar, he was under deep conviction for his sins. His buddies all moved up to watch the fun, as Lewis pounded the altar trying to convince God that he meant business. When Lewis got religion, he tried to persuade the other young men to do the same. As he moved toward them, they hit the doors on either side of the church anxious to get out of there. Lewis Smith became a preacher and has pastored in Frankfort, Indiana for many years.
Vacation Bible School was always a favorite time at Union Chapel. All the kids in the neighborhood came; some even came by wagon. (Somewhere there is a picture of the VBS children around that wagon.) Always there was a closing program to demonstrate to the community what we had learned. On one occasion, I had intended to say the books of the Bible, but Rev. Husk, the director, gave that assignment to Betty Robinson. I wasn't to be out done, so I went home and learned them backward for the program the next night. Rev. Husk was impressed and gave me an invitation do it again for the closing program at Grantsburg the following week.
Like I said, when we moved back to the Chapel, I was completing the fifth grade. It was mid-April and I had only a few days left before school was out for the summer. I attended Robinson School for the next three years. During that time I had two teachers, Helen Miller and W. W. Jones. I believe it was Helen's Miller's first year teaching. She was a good teacher, but a strict disciplinarian. I have had contact with her in more recent years. She attended one of The Wesleyan Churches in Anderson. An impression Mr. Jones made on me was the saying; "Your penmanship and your fence rows indicate the type of person you are." I tried hard to develop my penmanship, and worried about our fence rows, because he passed our farm coming and going from school.
One morning, W. W., as I called him, was up front at the table on the south side, preparing for the day, when he felt a sneeze coming on, "A-choo!" He grabbed for his handkerchief, but it was too late. His dentures were already lying on the table in front of him. Before you could say, "Roberson School", he had grabbed them and put them back in his mouth; we didn't say, "God bless you!" We just giggled.
Remember the epidemic? It was a romantic epidemic, so highly contagious that few escaped. With so little to keep you occupied while the teacher gave attention to other grades, it was no wonder that our minds turned to girls and love. It spread through the school like wildfire, and before you knew what had hit you felt an urge to write a "love note." I may be wrong, but it seemed that almost every girl, who could write, wrote a note to almost every boy who could read, announcing her love. The boy would respond with such sincere nonsense as, "I have loved you from the moment I first saw you" and "I love you more than any other girl in the school."
Mr. Jones was devastated. It went against His philosophy which was that "love and learning did not mix; you can not keep your mind on your lessons and girls at the same time." He predicted failure for anyone caught in this romantic web, especially me. But there didn't seem to be a thing he could do about it.
However, something had to be done, so he enacted a law, "Anyone caught with a "love note" will be whipped." That was a somber day at Roberson School. Life, as we had come to enjoy it had come to a standstill! What were we going to do with all that extra time while Mr. Jones was giving attention another class? How could we keep from venting the love we felt in our hearts? That special someone had to know! (Most of the time it was more than one.) But "love" is greater than "law", and we found a way.
After school was the key! We could hurriedly write a note, and slip it into his or her hand as they left the school grounds. So one evening just before this certain girl got on her horse-drawn bus, she handed me a note. Immediately I jammed it into my shirt pocket, took it home and read it, and forgot about it. That is, I forgot it until the next morning when I was running up the hill to catch the waiting bus. Without missing a stride, I took the note out of my pocket, put it under a rock, and continued up the hill. It was under that rock for several days, until her father happened to be going up that same hill, kicked over that same rock, and found that note.
I don't remember what the note said, but her father did. To this bashful boy, his teasing may have been worse than Mr. Jones' switch. He informed me in front of my father that if I dated his daughter he and her mother had to go along to chaperone, and I might as well get a car that would accommodate them; either a sedan or one with a rumble seat.
Then Jackie Goldman got into the act. I wouldn't say he cured the epidemic, but what he did went a long way. It was just a normal day of school, the lunch pails were on the shelves in the cloakroom, and the big water jug was half-empty. We had come storming in from noon recess and taken our seats when Mr. Jones barked out the commands, "First grade reading, stand, pass, be seated." The first graders responded like little robots, and were soon sitting on that long recitation bench monotonously mouthing their words while the rest of us were busy with whatever we did when Mr. Jones gave his undivided attention to First grade reading.
Suddenly, there was a shift in procedure; the first grade was no longer doing reading. I don't know why it happened; perhaps they were not reading as well as they should. Anyway Mr. Jones had turned to an extra-curricular type of teaching. He was manipulating the young minds of those first graders, inoculating them from the "epidemic." I can still hear him, "If you don't get your mind off the girls you will be like Junior Batman." Then it happened! Jackie responded on cue and was finger pointing. He was discovering the secret world of our love-note writing to Mr. Jones and the rest of the school. I can still hear him saying, (Can I give names?) "And Betty loves, and Erma loves; and Norma Jean loves; and Joyce loves" Jackie spared no one.
He had paired us off! By this time the eyes of the whole school were on Jackie, and he was enjoying it. Even Mr. Jones seemed unusually jovial. But when Jackie had exhausted his knowledge of in-house lovers, he went in another direction. "And Mr. Jones they say that you love and he gave the name of a woman who lived in Grantsburg. That could have brought the house down if we had dared, but we didn't. Now you have to understand it was the excitement of the moment that caused Jackie to turn from truth to fabrication; from the believable to the ridiculous. But in my opinion, Roberson School had reason to thank Jackie Goldman; he had made the epidemic manageable. I do not remember feeling threatened by Mr. Jones' law after that, and come to think of it, I don't remember getting any more love notes either. If we would have dared, we should have given him a "Hip-Hip-Hurrah", but the moment was too sensitive for that.
Also, that was the year the school burned. It was early spring; there were six weeks or so left. (Wayne and I were janitors at the time, but we didn't do it.) Now Mr. Jones had a real problem. How could we have school without a building or books? Then someone suggested Union Chapel Church, and old school books started coming out of closets. But that really wasn't a good solution for the four of us in the eighth grade. We had to pass a "state test" on the books that had burned. You can blame it on the "epidemic fiasco", or on the absence of approved text books, but the entire eighth grade failed. Evidently Mr. Jones must have thought that the "epidemic" was over; to my knowledge he didn't mention the fact that, just as he had prophesied: Junior Batman had failed.
Now I need to be honest. Mr. Jones was really a good teacher who cared about his pupils. When he contacted the County Superintendent of Schools to plead our cause he didn't even mention the difficulty he had had trying to keep us focused, only that the school had burned. On second thought, maybe Mr. Jones' motivation was that he just didn't want us around for another year. Nevertheless, the Superintendent showed mercy and allowed the four of us to graduate. Leavenworth High, here we come!
Graduation from the eighth grade was a big thing in 1941; after all that was as far as most of our parents had gone in school. There was a commencement at the Community Building in English for all eighth graders in Crawford County and I had to have a suit. Mother solved that problem by buying a suit John Goldman had out grown. We marched from some place downtown to the Community Building to receive our diploma. Hey, where is my diploma? I think I got one, but I don't remember ever seeing it. Surely there was more to it than just reading our names. But here is the story I like to tell my grandchildren. "I failed the eighth grade, but made honor roll the first six weeks of high school."
But "the Chapel" was more than a little country church where neighbors met to worship. It was more than a one-room school down the road where their kids went to school. "The Chapel" was a community. It was a community of good honest, hard working people wresting a living from small Crawford County farms. It was a community of families helping each other, worshipping together, socializing with each other, and getting more from those relationships than they did from the land. It was a wholesome community in which to raise a family where people were respected and your word was your bond. There was no need to lock your door, guard your hen house, or even be afraid to share your concerns.
To me living in the "Chapel" community was:
Hearing Floyd Knight whistling as he came around the barn to visit my father and then seeing them lean against the fence whittling as they visited.
The best jowl bacon I have ever eaten as we shared a meal at Ollie and Frances Belcher's home.
Eating apples, from the cellar, and popcorn with neighbors who stopped on their way home from church. The shortest distance from the church to their house was the path past our house, down the hill, across the branch, and up the next hill.
Working for Rob Cole, and helping him in the threshing ring. Remembering the good meals Hattie prepared, and the fear I felt when Rob started talking about me staying with them.
A "Wedding Shower" at the Reasors and watching the adults see who could put a pillow case on a pillow the fastest. Remembering how difficult it was to get in their hammock.
Falling in the branch while trying to catch a "crawdad" to take to Millard Knight, and having to stay in bed at his house while my clothes dried.
Ethel Wilson's molasses cup cakes given to hungry boys chopping weeds out of their corn.
Dad had always said he wouldn't feed his kids sorghum molasses; he had to eat them so much when he was a kid. After that "cup cake experience" we had sorghum molasses at our house.
Helping Mr. Eastridge hive a swarm of bees, and discovering that I could pull the stingers out of his glove, and use them to sting Wayne. (Or was it vice versa.)
Warming ourselves around the stove at Oscar and Rosie Hammonds while Halloweening.
Remembering how we had tried to slip past when we discovered that Oscar and Rosie were having a family controversy. Oscar saw us when he came out for work, and thinking we were their kids demanded that we get in the house. Fearfully we obeyed, but can you imagine their surprise when Rosie discovered that there were four kids by the fire instead of three. I can still hear Rosie saying, "Oscar, these are not our kids! There are four of them!"
Tobacco juice in my face when Oscar Hammond took us in his truck to Floyd Knobs to pick strawberries, and spit out the window.
Truck-loads of people, in Dad's truck, going to tent meetings at Mifflin, or Camp meeting at Eckerty or Ramsey.
Sneaking sauerkraut out of a big stone jar in Luff's cellar.
Justice Butts' mountain that he had to climb every morning to catch the bus. It was the real mountain he referred to when Mr. Jones asked, "Has anyone seen a mountain?"
Hearing the click of receiver on the party line when our phone rang.
Being tempted to read other people's cards, or find out who had written to them when I went to the community mailbox at the intersection of the Chapel Pike and road State Road 37.
Buying groceries from the Huckster's Wagon, and selling him eggs and ginseng.
To me "the Chapel" was popguns, slingshots, string balls, homemade sleds, and hoops off wagon hubs you guided with shaped wires. It was outdoor toilets and Sears & Roebuck catalogues.
The Chapel was a neat place in which to grow up. Its influence is felt world-wide, but thank God for those who have stayed to continue the Chapel's influence. As a child, I do not ever remember planning to leave, nor do I remember planning to stay. I knew that my love for farming was strong enough to keep me there, but in my heart I knew that God had a plan that might take me away.
Now let me share what God had planned for me. I attended Leavenworth High for two years before we moved to Ramsey. In 1945, I graduated from New Salisbury High School, now North Harrison, spent a year managing a turkey farm for Martin's Hatchery, and a year in the army.
After being discharged from the army, I enrolled in Indiana University. With a course from the extension center in Jeffersonville, credit for physical education from my army experience, and by testing out on certain subjects, I had hoped to enter as a second semester freshman. My plans were all in place, but when I was converted at Ramsey Camp in August they changed. Instead of going to Indiana University, I went to Frankfort Pilgrim Bible College. Instead of becoming a CPA, I became a minister. I also have an undergraduate degree with a major in English from Taylor University, and a graduate degree in counseling from Butler University.
In 1948, I married Ada Mae Johnson from Clarksburg, Indiana. We met at Bible School. (Isn't it amazing that as far as I know none of us married any one we wrote notes to at Roberson School, and we thought at the time it was true love.) We have five wonderful children, three sons and two daughters. Ron is an architect in Anchorage, Alaska; Mark is General Manager for U S Golf Academy and Swan Lake Golf Resort in Plymouth, Indiana. Kevin is a CPA, and business manager for Storey & Needham Funeral Homes in Marion, Indiana. (Kevin was a twin. His brother Kent died at two weeks.) Both Mark and Kevin have served on the general and district levels of The Wesleyan Church. Mark was General Publisher and Kevin, Assistant General Treasurer. Both are on the District Board of Administration in the Indiana North District, where Kevin serves as District Treasurer.
Barbara is a schoolteacher by profession. She has taught high school English and French. Currently she is working as a "developing editor" for New Riders Publishing in Indianapolis. Beth and her husband were youth ministers, but now he is farming with his dad near Terre Haute. She is Executive Editor for the Indiana South District paper. We have 13 amazing grandchildren.
My life has been full, and "the Chapel" has had a part in what God has helped me to become. We retired in 1993, after twenty-five years in the pastorate and seventeen years as District Superintendent of the Indiana Central District of The Wesleyan Church. In retirement, I am active in the local church, do pastoral supply, and have formed a fellowship ministry for retired ministers and their spouses called ARMS (Active Retired Ministers & Spouses). We live in Frankfort, Indiana, and go to Ft. Myers, Florida for three months during the winter, and no, I am not skinny anymore.
PS: I visited the Chapel this summer for Russell Goldman's burial, and tramped through the cemetery where my Grandparents and my sister Thelma are buried. I was pleased with the way both the church and the cemetery are being taken care of. But I was concerned about the broken headstones. Did we break any of them when we played there as kid?
My name is Wayne Batman. I was born on the Henry Baldwin farm. That was the farm where the Roberson School was located. When I went to the Roberson school, we lived on the Ben Batman farm located on the Union Chapel road.
My Mother's name was Marie and my Dad's name was Ernest. My sister's names were Jewell and Velma. My brother's name was Ernest R. or Junior. We moved to Ramsey, Indiana in 1943. I went to High School at New Salisbury High School. I worked a number of years for Martin's Hatchery driving a semi truck hauling chickens to various places in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. I served two years in the U.S. Army with eighteen months of it being in Fairbanks, Alaska. After my time in the army, I worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a Rural Mail Carrier for forty years, retiring in 1997.
I married Leanna Davis from Ramsey, where we still live. I am a member of the Unity Chapel U.M. Church where I still sing in the choir. We have one son, Bruce Wayne who lives in Dallas, Texas. He is married to Daisy Durrett from Louisiana. We have two grand daughters, Anna and Alyson.
I have fond memories of our years at the Roberson School and the Union Chapel Church. Some of the teachers were: W.W. Jones, W.W. Myler, Sally Goldman and Helen Miller Benham. I remember the ball games with the string ball and the home made bat, elderberry pop guns, sling shots and drop the handkerchief. I will never forget Oscar Hammond and the mule drawn school bus. Wayne Batman 1575 Hwy. 64 N.W. Ramsey, IN. 47166
There were four of us born in the Ernest and Marie Batman family. They were: Jewel
Batman Howe, Velma Batman Snyder, Junior and Wayne. We had one sister, Thelma, who died in infancy. I am Velma, the youngest daughter of Ernest and Marie; granddaughter of Ben and Minnie. Neither my parents nor my grandparents had much in the way of worldly goods, but I did have a wonderful heritage in that I was brought up in a Christian home and under the influence Christian grandparents.
I attended Roberson School, and then graduated from the Leavenworth high school. Following graduation I worked in the office of Clover Valley Hatchery in Ramsey until I went to college. While in college I met John Snider who, later, became my husband. He was the choir director at the college where we attended. We were married on November twenty-first, nineteen and fifty-two. We have two grown children, Mervin Snyder who teaches music the Cincinnati, Ohio area and Sharon Snider Forbess who at present is a stay-at-home mother. Earlier, she worked as a secretary for an insurance firm in Fort Wayne.
John and I have lived in Anderson, Indiana since our marriage and have attended the Central Wesleyan Church. John has worked as program director at a local radio station and music director at the church. He retired as buyer for Food Marketing Corporation in Fort Wayne. I worked for Werner Press, the publishing company of the Anderson Church of God, until my retirement. When I was a child, we lived in what was known as the Henry Balding place. In fact, I was born in the house that is still a part of the farm. After several moves to other areas, we located in what we considered the "home place" which my grandfather owned and where he lived.
My first impression of school life was not a pleasant one. If I remember correctly, I started to school just a few months before I was six years old. My first teacher, Mr. Jones, made it an almost every day practice to use, what seemed to me, a switch big enough and long enough to be a young tree on some of the big boys in the school. He called them to the front of the school and initiated the procedure in front of the entire student body. As a young child I was very frightened. I cried every morning when I had to go to school. Mother walked with me to the end of the lane and insisted that I go the rest of the way with my big sister, Jewell. Friends are a treasure, and it seemed that we were all friends in those days. One of my memories is making dishes and various things from mud with Ferris, Farrell and Joyce Roberson at the end of the lane leading to the Roberson family home when they lived on the property adjoining the Balding place. We had so much fun and I thought we were very creative with the craft until our parents decided that the mud was much too distasteful to accompany us home every day.
A marriage in the community was accompanied by the usual practice of a "shivaree." That prompted Jewell, Ferris, Ferrell and me to have a mock wedding. I can't remember who played the minister performing, but we must have had an audience, because we were given a shivaree. There are so many good memories of those we played with, shared with and probably cried with, like the Mills, Hammonds, Luffs, Robersons, Knights, Rolls and many other families who had kids our age. We went to school together, to church together, played together and spent time in each other's homes.
Some of the memories of Roberson School include the recitation bench. When the teacher said, "First grade stand; pass", we would march to the front and stand until the teacher said, "You may be seated". I remember the chalkboard and I took my turn dusting the erasers. In my mind I can see how the desks were arranged and which desk I occupied.
We all took our lunches in sacks or lunch buckets. In the spring and fall we ate outside; then skipped the rope, played ball, hopscotch and other games till the bell rang. Helen Benham also taught school at Roberson. This was her first experience at teaching. I was in the seventh or eighth grade at the time and I greatly respected her. Some of the kids were purposely dropping things on the floor, so she made a rule that any one dropping anything on the floor would be asked to stand by his desk for a designated amount of time. A small piece of paper accidentally fell from my desk to the floor and Mrs. Benham had me to stand by my desk; I was embarrassed and I felt it was unfair.
Later, she explained to me that she knew that didn't throw the paper on the floor purposefully, but she was obligated to stand by the rule that she had made. I respected her for doing what was she knew was right, even though I was embarrassed. I remember a day when Helen wasn't feeling well, so she asked me to help her with one of the classes; my first experience at attempting to teach! I hope you weren't in that class. Helen taught later in the Anderson school system.
Some of my memories of Union Chapel were of my grandfather, Ben Batman, walking to church carrying a lantern or two, which were used for lights, the only lights in those days. He made a fire in the stoves and seemed to be master of ceremonies and preacher in the earlier days. My Sunday School teacher, Martha Miller, made a great impression on my young life. We knew that we were loved, and each Sunday she gave us a colorful card with Bible pictures, a Bible story and a memory verse to take home, a memory I will never forget.