1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Graduation Day

James Thurmond - March 11, 2013

I was thinking about July 4th this year when the class of 1953 will be celebrating our 66th  year since we graduated and I was remembering my diploma being delivered during a movie at the Alderson theatre.  Our principal, Mr. Mitchell called me into his office one day in late May to tell me that when all the diplomas for our class arrived mine wasn't included.  For some reason they didn't send it and it was being reordered. 

Know one but Mr. Mitchell and I knew that the diploma I received along with my classmates that wonderful day did not have my name on it.  The diploma belonged to someone who for some reason didn't graduate with an earlier class. I have that diploma in my bookcase along with the one I received later.  

Some time during the summer of 1953 I was attending a movie with my girl friend Barbara Mallette, (she later became my wife for 35 years) when Mr. Mitchell came down the isle and asked  me to stand up for a few minutes.  The movie was on but Mr. Mitchell handed me my diploma, congregated me, shook my hand and started clapping.  Every one in the movie that day stood up and  joined in. I always thought it was very special of him to make that effort when he could have taken it to my parents house.  He was a good man that I respected and a friend.

Another story about Mr. Mitchell and the 50's; I had an old coffee grinder he wanted and he brought a civil war musket to school one day to see if I would trade with him.  I still have the coffee grinder. Today that would bring in a swat  team to surround the school.


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