A wood rocking duck
In the early years of my childhood, during the year 1948, my father had a home built which was located at the end of the dirt road leading off Beatty's Bridge Road. Before reaching our house was the home of my father's oldest brother and his family. On the other side of the dirt road, across from my uncle's house was the pasture which belonged to my grandfather. In the pasture were several horses, one being a reddish brown color (Charlie) and the other a greyish white (Nellie). There were also hogs and piglets. A cow was sometimes kept there, but most of the time it was kept behind the home of my grandfather.
Going to school could be a chore. I do remember having to walk the dirt road to the highway to catch the schoolbus which took me to school in the town of Atkinson. Of course, this was in good and bad weather. In rainy weather it could be quite messy as the road was filled with mudholes and it was slippery. The school was the same school my father, his siblings and many other cousins, etc. had attended. It was a brick school and was built in 1924 when the old wooden school that preceded it had burned down.
My first grade school teacher was Mrs. Kennedy, as I recall. I do believe one of the reasons I remember her is that she corrected me one day in class. I had a stomach ache and it hurt. She asked me what was wrong and I told her that my "belly" hurt. She sternly let me know that my "stomach" hurt not my "belly" as I was not an animal. I don't know which hurt more, my stomach or the correction made by my teacher in front of my peers. I left that school during the school year as we moved to New York City.
Jobe C. Metts
D. G. Shaw
I returned to Atkinson in the summer of 1957 and returned to Atkinson School in the 7th grade. Mrs. Alice Hill Murphy was my teacher. My other teachers from the 8th grade through the 12th grade were: Mr. Doc Simpson, Mr. Jobe Metts, Mrs. Ruby Moore, Mrs. Sophie Floyd, Ms. Maude Burns and Mr. Fred Foyles. Our principal was Mr. D. G. Shaw.
Home in 1957
Home in 1980's
When we returned to Atkinson, my parents were having a home built, within the city limits.
It was a small ranch style home, white
cynder block. It was located on two acres of land which my father purchased from Bill Bradshaw and was located
just before the Free Will Holiness Church. I recall the Aaron Pridgen family lived across the highway and the "Dickens" family past the church and on
the other side of the highway. Before our house was the "Wells" family. Going further towards Atkinson was the "Bradshaw home and across the highway
was the "Warren" family. Across from the road from them was the "Robert Woodcock" family. To the left of the "Warren" family was the home of
"Fannie Woodcock" and to her left was the "John Robert Hawes" family. Across the highway from the "Hawes" was a little house that my Granduncle,
Allie Barnhill, and his granddaughter lived in.
My mind was filled with such things as "playing" and the big decisions were "what to do next". Luckily, I had my brother. sister and cousin who lived down the dirt road before our house. An uncle, who was just 3 years older than I lived with my grandparents just down Beatty's Bridge road. I remember we use to break the tall "dog fennels" which grew in the field between our two houses and build teepees and such when we played "indians and cowboys". Down at my grandparents we would sneak to the creek and play in an old canoe and in the water. Sometimes we would sneak over to the pond of my grandmother's first cousin, Jefferson Horrell, and go fishing. The pond was on the other side of the creek and not too far away. I remember getting caught by Ms. Hazel, his wife, and getting a bit of a reprimand as the fish were really too small in there and also, we didn't have permission to be there.