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Martinsville High School Alumni
Class of 1972 Message List
view from another Side - 2
12/08/06     russ nester  (1972)      russnester@msn.com
Anne and the rest. I have enjoyed reading your stories of those years and they seem to have been sensitive to all of us. And it is touching to know that those friends and foes of that period still carry this luggage. For me, not from Druid Hills or South Side but the North Side, we were the ones I believe Anne was speaking about in her clothes and stuff discussions. You may have been sheltered, but I believe I would rather call it "planed" is your life. We all were put together but brought all different childhood lives,historys and stories to the table. Things that you didn't see were poverty, but then it really wasn't catagorized as such. Just "didn't have much". Many of the children on the North Side had little and I would say few of their parents had elementary school education, much less high school. But that being said, it was a good place to grow up and my fondest memories are those that were before high school. By the way, none of us at that time had anything, so we were not aware that we had nothing. I am sure that you will recall my family was very large with lots of brothers and sisters. We were lucky to be in the haves section of the have-nots area. LOL. I remember once that a girl from a family that lived across the street came over and asked to borrow my mother's hair brush. My sweet mother loaned her the hair brush but asked her to keep it. But you see that these were some of the folks that lived around us, we didn't make fun of them, we felt for them and really tried to help them as much as we could. And perhaps some of the clothes that were being warn that you saw may have came from my mother giving away our old clothes. But I promise you, they were very clean old clothes. My grandfather was the Sherrif in Fieldale for a number of years, so us ending up on the North Side (Jones Creek) is I guess another story. But I am happy for that and it created an unsustainable drive that I carry with me today. I am proud of our Uncle and Cousin that followed in my grandfather's footsteps.

But as you can tell by my words, like John Wells, it was not a race issue for the children of this area, it was more desire for acceptance into the world of the havers. At high school, to the best of my memory, all the kids from my part of town tried to fit in. Sure there were a couple of exceptions, but that was true in all the "Sides". But some really couldn't. To much dispareity between the haves and the have nots. And for the fighting thing, if it happened it was not a black/white thing or a white/black thing. It was a white/white thing or a black/black thing. Mark Cartright and Joey Hundley (God Bless His Soul) about killed each other in a locker room one time. But lets take that for example; had these been the fellows from the have nots - they would have been expelled, probably forever. I guess, luckily, those guys probably just got a talking to. I would even venture to say that had it been two black guys fighting for the kill, they too would have probably recieved a "don't do that again." I hope all this doesn't ruffle any feathers. Thanks be that my life has turned out pretty good and my endevors have been relatively sucessful. Had it not, I may not be able to remember this time with such a smiling face.

Good luck, best wishes and Merry Christmas to you all, every one of you. And a special Hello to all my childhood friends.

Russ Nester

ps: if my writing is not up to snuff, I don't blame my high school english teachers, especially sweet Mrs. Richardson who was truly a wonderful teacher and lady.

if someone edits this writing, please do not remove or change the truths or the intent. thanks
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