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  Martinsville High School Alumni
Class of 1972 Message List
view from the other side - 2
02/04/07     Kathy Pitts Dorough  (1972)      kpdorough@yahoo.com
First, I need to correct myself - I said, 'John Childress' when I meant Johnson Childress - class of '71, and member of the 'Mod Squad' student body president. Like I said, my memory isn't quite what it used to be.

Russ, you were dead on it when you talked about what was going on around us. I remember the Wampler family having to move, because Mr. Wampler was the ONE and ONLY voice on the school board who supported desegrating the schools when the new high school opened. The pressure from the community was too much, and he moved the family to Pulaski. I didn't know it till just last summer, but the folks that built Carlisle had offered Dad a job to teach there, and part of his compensation was going to be free tuition for all three of us to go. (Quite frankly, I'm glad Dad turned it down.) I also remember Bonnie Finney's dad shipping her off to boarding school, up on Skyline Drive, rather than have her go to an integrated school, although he did relent & let her come back for her senior year. There was a lot of stuff going on around us.

I also think the divisions of which side of town was the 'right' side had to do more with the entire factory mentality than it did where one actually lived. When we joined Lynwood, they took great pleasure in explaining to Mom & Dad that it had been started by DuPont because neither Forest Hills nor Chatmoss would accept the engineers from DuPont as members, simply because they worked in a factory. And, if you look at it, Martinsville looks a lot like the typical mill town, with workers' houses closer to the factory, and owners out in the 'suburbs'. (I used to love when we had company - invariably, those factory whistles would start blowing at 7 a.m., and you could hear our guests being blown out of bed by them. ) That sort of mentality seemed to permeate everything. If you look at the current debate in Martinsville & Henry County now over schools, it's the same. They badly need to combine the city & county schools in order to save some money & combine their forces. But the entire community is in a huge uproar over territory and the result is that good ol' Mavahi is now a school with a dwindling population that has a hard time making AYP, and the county is being served by Bassett & Magna Vista. Ah, well. . . the more things change, the more they stay the same. But, on the positive side, we had such talent and some great teachers who made such a different. And a building that, by today's standards, is still state-of-the art. I don't think anything that happened up the road, at T.C. Williams ('Remember the Titans'), was any more special than all the things that went on at Mavahi - but the movie would take too long to make.

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