1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Remembering Ike and Bess
Herman King 2008

Johnny McCurdy's article about the Mitchell's brought back fond memories. I liked all my teachers in the Class of 49, but Mary Bess was my favorite. When a professor came around to recruit me, he said my principal gave a glowing recommendation and since I never took any classes from Ike, of course he was repeating Mary Bess. I always got good grades from her and she never punished me even when I deserved it. There was one time in particular when I deserved rebuke, for stupidity if nothing else. We had to give a certain number of book reports. I loved to read but sometimes ran out of time. Occasionally I would make up a novel and "report" on it. But on the occasion that I'm remembering now, I took a short story and expanded it as a novel. Stupid me, I picked one by Edgar Allan Poe. I should have known Mary Bess would not be taken in. She made me do it over but didn't punish me. (If it had been Mr. McVeigh, he would have flat out given me an F along with a polite but caustic tongue lashing. Lucky for me, I had chemistry not English to Mr. McVeigh)! Mary Bess even seemed amused by my attempted deception. I really loved that woman. She and Ike attended all our reunions. They both aged gracefully. I thought Mary Bess in her maturity looked like Kathryn Hepburn. Ike wasn't a bad looking guy either, though I thought he looked a little like the "man in the moon." Of the 1949 Alderson High School faculty, the Mitchell's ranked near the top. and in contrast to later years at different schools, despite their niceness, there was no lack of discipline at AHS.