by Verlee Chambers Dauma
I graduated from the eighth grade at Cedar Grove School about four miles north west of Gorin in 1935. I was 13 years old. In order to get our graduation certificates we needed to go to graduation services in Memphis. The roads were very muddy and we could not go, so my certificate was mailed to me. My classmates were: Ivan Findley, Gurden Daniels, Russell Kraus and Paul Gates. There was one more boy but I do not remember his name.
In September of 1935 I started to Gorin High School as a county girl, nearly scared to death as everything was so much bigger than anything I had experienced before. I was now 14 years of age since my birthday is in July. The school was SO BIG!. I thought the building looked like a medieval castle.
School in 1935 was so different from today. The only sports program we had was boys and girls basketball played on an outdoor court. My parents would not let me play basketball but I loved PE when we did play. When the weather became unsettled, basketball season was over. In the spring we played softball, sometimes traveling to other nearby schools. I played and they called me “South paw” because I was left handed.
I remember Halloween parties where we had lots of fun. Some of the games were so scary. We had skating parties, someone had a bob-sled and when there was snow on the ground we would pile on , as many as it would hold and go flying down the hill starting at the Methodist church and ending downtown, almost to the railroad track.
One of my favorite teachers was Mr. Curtis D. Morlan. It was believed that he was part Indian and could show up in the study hall before any one knew he was there. He taught the four years I attended high school. He told me one time that for a farm girl, I did not know a lot about farms. I think that was in reference to different breeds of swine. To me, a hog was a hog! Other teachers I remember were; Corrine Smith (later McMurray) Mr. Hedges, Bernadine Miller, Miss Cox, Charlotte Musgrove, Mr. and Mrs. Paxson. I liked them all.
Sometime during the four years of high school we published a little school newspaper or bulletin, “Hilltop Highlights” Arthur S. Huff and Margaret Meyer were co-editors and I was art editor. I still have some of those school “ newspapers”. We also published a Year Book our Senior year. It was pretty primitive now that I look back. The pictures were pasted in and a lot of them have come loose. I still have mine.
My girl friend was Martha Davis, daughter of the minister of the Methodist church. One time Martha and I played hooky and went to the movies at Memphis…. with her father, which did not keep us from getting into trouble. I do not remember the name of the movie nor the punishment but I am sure we did not like it. But, Martha and I were lifelong friends that only ended at her death.
There were school plays and musicals produced. One of the programs we did had a Hawaiian theme, we sang, danced and wore grass skirts. Fun! We were involved and happy. I loved school and was always sad when school was out in the spring and could hardly wait for fall when we would be back in school.
People moved in and out of the school district, we lost friends who moved away, but new ones came and became friends. One newcomer was a boy from Greeley, Colorado who came at mid-term to finish his senior year. His name was Harley Dauma and he later became my husband, friend and love. We had 70 wonderful years before he passed away.
Even though the Gorin High school building is no longer there I am sure it lives in the hearts and minds of every student that attended school there. I know it does mine.
Graduation from Gorin High School in the spring of 1939, 76 years ago saw 26 young people graduating, the largest class to have done so in Gorin. Those were: Martha Davis, Geraldine Hustead, Margaret Meyer, Virginia Frazee, Mary Schell, Madeline Monroe, Verlee Chambers, Dorothy Parrish, Dorothy Corbin, Evelyn Corbin, Melba Ammons, Arthur Huff, Charles Kapfer, Melvin Brown, Russell Kraus, Frank Trent, Bob Trent, Wayne Swearingen, Harley Dauma, Vane Kutzner, Paul Davis, Gurden Daniels, Clark Ewing, Harry Jeffries, Harold Hustead, and Paul Gates. We were full of excitement, dreams and hope for the future, none of us knew that World War II loomed in the future.