1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


 Massey’s Death by Drowning
John McCurdy 2008

The light of the September moon coming thought the window must have awakened him, He hadn’t been sleeping too well anyhow, not in the two years since the Missus passed away. Without her nothing seemed to go right and it seemed that all the air in the world was being used up and there just wasn’t any left for him. His eye was hurting, didn’t seem to be getting any better, no matter what remedy Dr. Mahood tried. It watered continually and hurt and itched something fierce. “Might as well get up, and read or something until I get sleepy”. he thought.

It was warm on the front porch, the town was quiet, up toward the hill to the north someone’s milk cow, probably the Steele’s he suspected , was mooing for her recently taken away calf.. The warm days wouldn’t last much longer, already the local high school and the colleges football teams had had a game or so in town and even one away game, he attended the home games, always had liked football and the games took his mind off other things seemed like.

This depression was a real worry, things hadn’t been the same at the bank for about four years now. Lots of folks were between a rock and hard place, jobs were scarce, money was the tightest he’d ever known it to be.. He hated to turn town someone when they really needed a loan to get over a hard spell, turning old J. T. down was especially hard. They had been friends and lodge brothers for how many years?

But doggone it the stockholders were making noises about the poor performance of the bank and he just could not let his judgment be swayed.

Maybe a glass of milk would help, and then he remembered that the Smiths had to sell their cow and no one had been contacted to bring him any milk, have to talk to Tom Simmons tomorrow he thought.

He sat at the kitchen table and wrote, “Cannot stand it any longer, Do not grieve over my death. You will find my body in the Markley swimming hole.”

Dressing he silently left the house, walking along the deserted streets the thought of more pleasant days flooded his mind, his marriage, the children, the church he loved so well, the dear friends who soon would be carrying him from that very church .

Down the incline of the bank to the river, and then further and further out into the dark, welcoming waters.

“I’ve found him“, the voice of “Brick’ Lobban yelled, “you boys get a hold of him“, Hubert Simmons and “Pike Fletcher helped pull the now cold body from the beautiful Greenbrier River. A event that would haunt then for many years..

The death of Mr. Massey caused a run on the Alderson National Bank and was the final straw that caused it’s collapse.

For A. H. S. Ever Always - In Every Way For A. H. S.