I was fortunate enough to attend David C. Barrow School from Kindergarten through the sixth grade in the 1950s. It was a wonderful place staffed by wonderful teachers, an outstanding principal, Mrs. Rosa Tarpley, and devoted custodial and lunchroom personnel. I have fond memories of classes with such teaching legends as Mrs. Claire Rutherford, Miss Rebecca Fowler, Mrs. Margaret Callahan and Mrs. Mildred Cochran. They were grade teachers, and those who ended up in their classrooms for that year were so lucky.
But I also have the fondest of memories of the two special teachers who taught art and music. Miss Bertha Ison (music) and Mrs. Jeffie Rowland (art) would conduct their magic with us in the two areas beyond the core cirriculum of reading, writing and arithmetic! Those classes were given only a couple of times a month, but we all looked forward to singing after listening to Mrs. Ison’s “pitchpipe” give us the correct note, and art class was always an adventure. I think my favorite part of art was when we got to work with modeling clay. Mrs. Rowland would bring a big vat of clay into the room, and we all were able take a big glob to our desktops which were covered in newspapers. There we would sculpt items such as small pots, snakes, plates or whatever our imaginations would allow. The finished objects were then painted and fired in the portable kiln by our instructor. It was always exciting to see the colors emerge after firing. I still have a paperweight of a boy I made for my Daddy’s desk.
My memories could fill a notebook: singing Christmas carols
in the hallways before dismissal for vacation. Collecting foodstuffs for the
service staff, the best hot yeast rolls in the world, dancing folk dances on
the playground on May Day, classroom cloakrooms where coats were hung, starting
the day with the Lord’s Prayer and Salute to the Flag, chalk and blackboards,
the completion of the “new wing” which provided classroom for the seventh
graders, playing kickball at recess, the monkey bars…the list is endless.