I made it to Alderson again
this year, without the derecho. The 150th birthday of West Virginia
exhibit at the Greenbrier River Interpretative Center
was well staged and very interesting. I was amazed to see that it
recognized the original peoples and also
included the enslaved people who had a
big part to play in the forming of our beloved state. Thank goodness
we are past the era of Columbus "discovering" America.
My class of '42, which last year's derecho had deprived of our 70th
reunion, had a small 71st. Of our 32 graduates there were only 3 of
us reuniting--James Emerson Johnson, June Hogsett Hix and Mary
Margaret Steele Morgan.
I am realistic enough to believe, that at age 87, it was my last
visit to my birthplace, Alderson. But then, again, my former
neighbor, Bill Simmons, at 93?, was in great form and recognized me
before I even finished telling him my name!
The history of the first band and its outstanding creator, Mr.
Norman Hazeldine, was of great interest to me. I'm certain I
supplied some of the story. I was sorry we didn't have a "stand up"
accounting of all the alumni attending who had benefitted from his
outstanding tutelage forming the FIRST band. But we did have a
standup for everyone who had ever been a part of the band and that
brought lots and lots of people to their feet. I felt like cheering.
The band history, which was read, was followed by a video which
showed a great deal of work done by alumni who didn't get very much
recognition. Amazingly, there were pictures of Mr. Hazeldine but no
pictures of our first Drum Major, Harold "beans" Crawford, nor any
of our smashing 2nd Drum Major, Elsie Jeanne Scruggs, who was a
pioneer female Drum Major. (That is a quite different position than
the ensuing plethora of Majorettes who came after the pin-up craze
of WWII. That is probably enough editorializing.)
I am going to send the DVD to Phil Hazeldine, Norman's son, who is
so proud of his father and doubly proud of Alderson High School's
remembering and honoring him. I think part of the scarcity of early
pictures had to do with the Great Depression followed by WWII where,
in both circumstances, there were few cameras and little film
available. I do hope some more band pictures will be found and added
to the Memorabilia Room.
It was a great evening with perfect weather, good food and a great
MC who called on everybody, one way or another, who had some
association with AHS.