written by Florence Tibbs in 2010
Yes. I can remember my school days at GHS were happy days, and I look back on them with sweet nostalgia. I can remember it was always exciting to hear the first ring of the outside school bell for the upcoming year. The first time I heard it in 1942 I thought to myself, ‘how neat’! We had just recently moved to Gorin, and to hear the bell was a new experience for me and I loved it!! Little did I know that sound would later become endearing to me. The bell was located high in the steeple of the building, and when it rang it could be heard throughout the community.
The first day of the school year was always an exciting one! The excitement of seeing your school friends, finding out who your teachers would be, and what subjects you would be taking was a definite concern. Of course selecting the best seat in the study hall also took time and a bit of extra special expertise. Once these situations were taken care of, it would be time for an official ‘call to order’. It was then that Mr. Morlan, our superintendent, would come from the office, step up on the raised platform at the front of the study hall and ring the bell. The school year was now officially off to an exciting start!!
Yes, looking back in a reminiscent manner, those were happy, fulfilling days. —-First of all, however, before going any further I want to recall the dedication of our superintendent, our faculty, our school officials and other involved school workers. Everyone gave of their best. This is a humble and well deserved ‘thank you’ to them.
At GHS academic knowledge was of the utmost .importance, but sports also played an important part in our development, our school enthusiasm, and our school loyalty. We had track, baseball, and basketball. These sports of course were considered extracurricular activities. And yes, our clay outdoor basketball court was a slight handicap, but it didn’t deter us from having a winning team. In my senior year of ’45 our team played twenty-eight games losing only seven of them. Our team won third place in the Scotland County tournament, second place in the Wyaconda invitational, and we won the sportsmanship trophy in the La Plata invitational tournament. Chester Tibbs, Hollis Boyer, Junior Russell, J. W. Joy, and Wallace Norton were some of the members of our team. Ruth Eoff and I stitched big gold lettered “G”s on our black sweaters and self declared ourselves as cheer leaders. Mr. Morlan was not only our superintendent and teacher, he was also our sports coach. He was a very busy person!!
This particular remembrance is rather an odd one to recall, but I remember hearing the thumping sound of a basketball being bounced against the floor in the boys locker room before an afternoon practice. I can also recall the hype, the cheering and the excitement of the crowd at the home games, especially when we would be playing Rutledge AND WINNING!!!
I also can remember the pre-game snake dances. The band would lead the snake dancing pep rally participants down the hill to the main street square. (A strong rhythmic beat was always provided by the drum section of the band.) Upon arriving at the square, the band would enthusiastically give it’s best rendition of the school song, and then the vigorous cheering would begin for our GHS Bulldogs. This activity would usually take place on a Friday afternoon prior to a scheduled game that evening.
Not only were we sports oriented, we were also active in drama and music. It was always satisfying to hear applause after successfully presenting an all school play or rendering an outstanding band concert. We had a little talent, or so we liked to think. Anyway, we were proud of whatever we did and we had the support of our teachers, our families and our friends.
I can also remember having several scrap metal drives. It was wartime and we wanted to be patriotic. We also had special days we brought dimes to school to buy victory stamps. Those stamps were saved and later converted into a war bond.
We had our fun times too. Halloween parties were always fun. And who can forget the antics of a few goblins on that occasion? I lived across the street from the school, and can remember one year the settee from our front porch was put on top of the windbreaker entrance of the school. Uh huh! My ‘special friend’ never admitted to -placing it there, but he was the first to offer to bring it down and put it back on our porch the next morning.
Another time, a school play had to be postponed three times. After preparing it three times and successfully presenting it, the cast decided they needed a day of relaxation. SO we spent a school day fishing at the Canal. My Mom wouldn’t let me go unless my sister-in-law Bonnie went with us as a chaperone. It was fun and our chaperone enjoyed the outing too. I swear that’s the only time in my school career I ever played hooky. I remember we had to make up time by staying after school to make up for the time we skipped. Luckily we didn’t get a bad grade in deportment.
Reminiscing back, I remember that we had our school dances in the study hall. (Somebody must have been very busy moving desks at that time.) We also had nice Christmas parties. I remember receiving a treasured cross necklace from my ‘special friend’ after one Christmas party. As I recall, 1 also received a kiss on the forehead, my very first kiss from a boy! He later wrote a poem about it. I guess he was pretty impressed too. Another poem soon followed entitled “Super Duper Flo”.
One of my greatest ambitions while attending GHS was to make good scores on my typing speed tests. I can still hear the noisy typewriters as we took the tests. I remember the heavy touch needed to press the keys down. I also can remember being asked to enter a county contest to be conducted by the school system at Memphis, Missouri. The subject for the contest was to write about ‘What it means to be an American’. The critique given by the judges after my presentation was that my material was good, but my speaking voice wasn’t too audible.
A remembrance of great importance to recall concerning school days spent at GHS is hearing the voices of fellow students in class as they expressed their thoughts and opinions during discussion times.
Who could forget the ‘buzz’ conversations after reading the ‘happenings’ reported in the GHS HIGHLIGHTS school paper? Can you recall the hushed whispers that circulated in the study hall when the teacher would leave to answer the phone in the office? Should we ever forget the scent of cinnamon balls in study hall? – NEVER!!!
I can remember the day we received our new band uniforms. How proud we were of them! We were assigned an outfit. We donned them and proceeded to the steps of the elementary school building and had our picture taken. The picture was taken by a professional photographer, no less.
This incident I want to relate now has a very special meaning in my memory bank. It happened the day I was introduced to someone very ‘special’ in study hall. It was at the beginning of the school year. This person’s name was Harold Tibbs. Harold’s brother Ches introduced us. We didn’t realize it then, but the future for us was starting to unfold. Something clicked between us, and here we are still sharing those same intense feelings sixty-eight years later.
The seniors always had special occasions to celebrate their graduation. They would go to Kahoka for a skating party, or go to Memphis to a movie and have dinner. The thrill of the year for them was when they received their class rings. I remember when our class went to Keokuk, Iowa to have our senior class pictures taken. My Mom had purchased a new blue suit with fur cuffs for me to wear. I felt like a movie star.
With this memory I conclude the ‘Flashback Memories of GHS’. The following bit of prose put into poetry form express my feelings for the class of ’45 and their cherished alma mater.
A TRIBUTE TO GORIN HIGH
And the class of ’45)
Sixty-five years have come and gone Since graduation day.
We pay homage to our GHS and to the class of ’45.
Within those numbered fleeting years; Many things have taken place.
Your hallowed halls have crumbled; Your walls no longer stand.
The sands of time cannot erase
The years we spent within your halls. Those years were filled with memories, The happy, The special, The treasured kind.
Now, in tribute, let us tip our hats
To the site on which you stood.
We honor and respect you,
Our alma mater, our cherished Gorin High.
In afterthought, two other memories stand out very clearly in my mind. The memory of hearing the song ‘Largo’ being played as the the processional for our Baccalaureate Services, and the memory of hearing Mr. Frazee, the chairman of the school board, read the names of the graduates at the Commencement exercises. When my name was called, I walked with pride across the stage, shook his hand, and received my diploma!!