Post Oak Memories
of
Everett Ray Smyth
Who attended 1st & 2nd grade during school terms: 1940/41 - 1941/42 - 1942/43.
Note: Due to number of missed school days E. Ray attended the 2nd grade twice.

My 1st grade teacher was Mrs. Mars. She taught the lower grades and Mr. Mars taught the upper grades. I forget the exact split of the grades.

Although she really got on to me one day for kicking by feet under the desk, I really was fond of Mrs. Mars and nearly cried when I learned she was leaving.

A photograph of Mrs. Mars and me standing on the south steps of Post Oak School may be viewed by Clicking:..   HERE

My Dad happened to be on the school board and I can remember us not having very good seats for the swings and the boards kept falling out and there were not enough boards for all the swings so I told my classmates I was going to tell my dad about the seat problem which I did and daddy got us some brand new boards cut with notches to keep the boards in the swing and I was a big hero with the kids.

That only lasted until the day I wet my pants when I waited too long and didn't make it to the out house in time. I returned to the room and all the kids started laughing and making fun of me. I was too embarrassed to stay in the school room and went out side and stood in the sun to dry my pants. Come recess time it had dried some and we played and I went back in to class.

The school bell hung above the coat room in the south entrance of the school and it was fun and you felt important when the teacher allowed you to ring the bell at recess time. We had to take turns and we argued who could ring it the loudest.

One of my classmates was Earlene Larance and her mother cooked for the school lunch room and I can recall one winter when her mother walked through the woods and pastures through 1 to 3 feet of snow to get to school because she didn't think the school bus which she normally rode would be able to make it.

They lived over on the Albany highway about opposite and west of the school house and it is of some distance which I would guess at being about a mile through the woods.

In the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade room which was the west room, there sit in the corner a large round coal burning stove and I can remember us crowding around Mrs. Larance as the teacher sort of helped her get her gloves off because Mrs. Larance hands were about frozen and I can still see her holding her hands out to get them warm with the teacher, Mrs. Woods telling her she should not have walked through the snow like she did because they could have made it and besides the school bus did make it's run ok.

If I recall correctly the snow and cold didn't faze Earlene because I don't recall her being around the stove.

It is the gathering around the stove that stands out in my memory.

I was in a school play one year and rode standing up on the back of a tricycle all the way around the stage. I had a loaf of bread I was suppose to carry but, come the night of the play I had wore out my loaf of bread practicing and the bread wouldn't stay in the package So, on the first night of my acting debut I was missing one of my props. I figure that's why I never made it to Hollywood.

Interesting to me that I remember well the fact, there was no electrical power in the Post Oak area in those days. But, for the life of me I don't recall the lighting used in the school house and I am confident the play was conducted at night time as stated.

I remember well being over at Sue and Clyde Mims after dark and them having a coal oil lamp sitting in the center of the table.

Our house was high class and had gas pipes coming out of the ceiling with gas mantles and a small globe over them. You simply turned on the gas petcock type valve and lit the mantle. The natural gas was supplied by the oil wells on the lease.

I also remember having the coal oil lamps in the cellar of the school house when several families would all gather at the school's storm cellar to spend half the night in the cellar.

Having the lamps in the cellar is easy for me to remember because one night my little sister Iva commenced screaming and crying all of a sudden and we figured out she had reached over and touched the hot globe on one of the lamps.

Usually we only had one lamp on in the cellar but, on other occasions I can recall having two. One up front and one in back.

One night while in the storm cellar we had a huge amount of rain and water got to coming into the cellar under the door and it flooding us out.

Fortunately by the time water had gotten about 4 to 6 inches deep in the cellar the storm and rain had slowed so, we all left and went home. Next day the cellar had over 2 feet of water in it.

I can remember one terrible storm when the wind was blowing real hard and a couple of the men folk were hanging on to the cellar door to make sure it didn't blow open.

Most farm houses in those days had their own storm cellar but, we and a few others around Post Oak did not and so we gathered at the school.

I didn't exactly understand it all back then but, I recall our parents going to the school house to vote on election day and seems like it was sort of a gathering day for the community. At least I recall us being there for a long period.

Could have been due to my parents becoming friends with the couple who replaced the Mars which was Mr. and Mrs. Woods.

I had Mrs. Woods as a teacher in the 2nd grade two years running because my grand father Cobb died and I missed a lot of school then. Next, I had the measles and one other child hood disease during my first crack at 2nd grade. Mrs. Woods told mother she hated to see me held back but, I just missed too much school and it was best for me.

The Woods had a boy older then me and he got me in trouble at one of the political elections.

Mr. Herrington lived on a farm on the same road as the school about 1/2 mile south and somebody had made some kind of remark in front of Mr. Woods boy that made him think Mr. Herrington deserved a flat tire.

Later, Mr. Woods boy said come and help me and showed me some big tacks he was going to put under Mr. Herrington's tires.

We were in the process of doing this when Mr. Herrington showed up and wanted to know what we were doing and why.

Well all I was doing was helping and I didn't know the why.

He told my parents and I got my butt beat when I got home.

Mr. Woods told my dad he didn't whip his son because he considered it more the fault of the adult that suggested it in front of his son then it was his boys fault.

I thought I got a raw deal. My dad thought differently.

The school bus ran a counter clockwise route from the school which made our house the last stop in the morning and a very very short ride to school.

This made our house the last stop on the route home in the afternoon and well over an hour's ride to get home after school was out.

So, in the afternoon I could walk home much quicker then taking the bus. However, I often times would still take the bus and ride the complete full route just for the adventure and fun of it.

Mr. Woods drove the small red box shaped school bus and he would often times take Lula Francis and Fredrick all the way home down the farm lane and then circle round through the woods and come back out on the main gravel road over by their grand father Lieb's farm.

Mr. Woods would also take along his small dog who would sit in his lap with his head out the window.

After we left the Albany highway and got on the Bluff Creek Ranch Road, They kept their eyes on the look out for Jack Rabbits which would jump up and take off as the bus approached.

If a rabbit didn't run too far from the bus before he stopped, Mr. Woods would stop the bus and let the dog out to go chase the Jack Rabbit.

We were subject to stopping 3 or 4 times to let his dog chase Jack Rabbits but, we didn't mind a bit because we were having fun too.

Another feature of the bus ride was meeting the Albany School bus at the entrance gate to the Bluff Creek Ranch out on the Albany High way. In the morning it was to let the high schooler's get on the bus to go to high school in Albany and then in the afternoon the high schooler's got on the Post Oak bus to go home.

One of my final memories of the Post Oak school building is the fact that after the new addition was added around 1938 or 39 they painted the shingle roof all red so the complete roof matched.

Over the years as the roof faded there was a large and complete outline of the United States right in the center of the roof.

I can recall coming down the road from the J. P. Vicker's oil lease with my Dad in the jeep and pointing that out to him. Now I am pretty sure that was in the jeep and if that is correct it would mean the school house was torn down after 1947 because the jeep was a 1947 civilian model.

I learned in 2003 that after the Post Oak School House was torn down in the late forties that the Methodist Church in Lueders, Texas ended up with the Post Oak School bell hanging in it's belfry.

"I think I shall one day go ring it again". So say Ray on April 23, 2007

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