1928 - Alderson High School - 1968

 

Spring: Pertaining to the season of spring.
Dan Duff 09

I love spring and a lot of people would agree with me. It is a wonderful season when we come out of the doldrums of winter and its endless bleak days to sunshine and seeing new sprouts popping through the ground and the buds sprouting on the trees. It is a time when we all kind of stop for a moment and take stock of our selves and our lives and look for some new beginnings and new growths.

My thoughts always take me back to my early childhood in rural West Virginia. The air was filled with the smell of spring flowers and of newly plowed earth. It was time to plant new seeds for a new harvest. Gardens of lettuce, onions, corn, potatoes and tomatoes. Rows aplenty not just for eating through the summer but for canning to survive another winter. Work was hard and long, but the rewards were sweet when it was time to sit down to that first dinner boiled new potatoes and green beans.

It was time for a new graduating class to walk down the lawn of the high school while the band played Pomp and Circumstance. There, dressed to the nines, in suits and formal gowns thee new graduates would become a may court of dignitaries for the day, complete with a king and queen. Mrs. Keadle, our musical director, choir director, band master and choreographer, would work her annual miracle of getting every class from first grade through juniors in high school to play their roles in bringing off a day of music, song and dance with the junior girls crowning off the festivities by doing the dance of the may pole.

It was a time when young girls planned their weddings, young men contemplated their future and parents readied themselves for their fledglings to fly from their nests. Many of the graduating glass would be packing up to move to a bigger town for jobs. Some headed off to visit relatives before starting college in the fall and others would go back to the farm where they would work for their parents and eventually take over the farm when the parents became too old to work the fields.

After the flurry of all the activities everyone seemed to go into their own places with the streets deserted except for the weekends and the first thing you knew the long dog days of summer would creep in to bring the activities in town almost to a dead stop.

Life seemed so simple then. It was so simple that a lot of us just knew that given the opportunity we would be the ones to go out and change the world. We would be the ones who would implant all the new ideas. We would create a new and better place in which our children would grow up. Our world would be a lot better than the one we left. No more back breaking days of hoeing corn and eking out a living tilling the soil for a Sunday dinner of chicken and dumplings. We would have a world of building and directing. We would wear shirts and ties and have steak and lobster when we wished.

Some of us achieved the status. Many of us did not. Year after year we said to ourselves would be the breakaway year. The year we reached our goal. Our success was so close, sometimes you could see it coming on a Monday morning. While all that was going on another spring came and past and we did not plant and we did not hoe. We strived each day to get a few dollars ahead and when we celebrated we would go into the new fancy super market and look at all the fine vegetables and fruits on display and we would buy a few and take them home and cook them and have a nice dinner. But it seemed that for some reason they did not taste as good and sweet as those we harvested from our own garden. They did not have that savor of foods that we grew and tended and picked with our own hands.

Here it is another spring and my mind goes back to those early days so many years ago, when we did not know it, but all the wonderful things we hoped to achieve was right there in front of us, and we didnít see it.