Graduated from Sallis High School in 1955 as Valedictorian of our class. There were only 8 students in the class so it really was no big deal. I remember giving the valedictory address. I had it memorized and delivered it so fast, I think no one heard what I said. I think I still have it somewhere. My classmates had teased me about not being valedictorian because they said Ruby Guess was smarter than I was….I kept typing as I recall. Then David Dodd (who just died in October of this year) asked me what I planned to do and I said that I was going to be a teacher. All of that group of 5 laughed and David said “How can you be a teacher? you cannot even talk plain?” I became that teacher and more. My bilateral lisp with a tongue thrust was finally addressed in Rehab when I was 30 or so in Huntsville, AL. I learned the correct placement of my tongue and my speech changed a little; however, the way I spoke did not define who I was or what I could do. Perhaps that is why I loved “The King’s Speech” so much.
I do not seem to have any photos tonight from my first two years in college, so therefore here is the one from when I was a junior in College; I followed in my brother’s footsteps and went to Delta State. I became a member of the first group of Delta Belles; worked in Delta Playhouse; wrote for the newspaper; was in the Wesley Foundation and I cannot remember without getting my annual down what else I did. I was voted the “Best Figure” on campus! Isn’t that a hoot? Who does those things anymore? I think I played more than studied, after all, back then we were supposed to find a husband, get married, have 2 kids and a white picket fence.
I made it to become a senior and to piss off all the athletes because I wrote an article which was picked up by the AP press how athletes were treated differently. They did not have to go to class or study. They were passed no matter what. At a basketball game they were all laying in wait for me and had made up about 3 yells all about how I had written them up. I had been given a part-time job as a PR writer for the college and covered the athletic program. My write ups for all the games appeared in all the big name papers back then. One might say that I was on the forefront of women sports writers even though I was not very good at sports. I could play golf; could not hit the tennis ball coming at me and of course, did not play football but understood it very well. I continued all the activities and was inducted into Alpha Psi Omega; did not win the election for the Editor of the Newspaper however, was President of Delta Playhouse, continued as a Delta Belle and to write a column…the one that got me in trouble with the sports guys; was elected as one of the 10 best dressed girls on campus; dropped out of student teaching because I was afraid I did not know enough to teach; therefore, I had to go to summer school before I could graduate. That summer I took one English course, swimming, tennis and golf. Fun Summer…However, I failed at obtaining a husband.
I was not in Who’s Who. I was considered as part of the faculty because I was paid to write news articles for the college. That disappointed me because I felt I earned that honor. So long ago and far away.
I was Editor of the first Summer Bulletin for the college and had a fun time. Then it was over all to soon. I went to work in Jackson, MS for South Central Bell in the accounting department. I had never had an accounting course in my life; found I could not sit in an office all day; therefore, I walked out and the next week went to work for the Adjutant’s General’s Office which gave a view from the windows and access to a lot of information going on in the world. Had I stayed with South Central Bell, I might now be as wealthy as my sister.
I did not go back to the Marine Corp either. I was in the Officer’s Training Class between my Junior and Senior Years in college stationed in Quantico, Virginia. That was fun except I failed to drill the troops correctly forgetting the command, “To the rear march”. I forgot which foot I was suppose to give the command on and almost drilled the troops into a ditch. The captain bailed the poor troops out and they did not let me do this anymore. I think I would have made a good Marine had I had enough sense to go back and stick it out. I was honorably discharged.
I wrote the newsletter for the National Guard; got to ride in a helicopter to the base in Hattiesburg, but alas, I could not take shorthand therefore, the kind General found me a spot at Pearl River Junior College. The young lady who was suppose to teach speech and English was killed in an automobile crash the first day of school so they desperately needed someone to teach and he recommended me so off to Pearl River Junior College. I was 21 by now and had the world in my hands…so I thought. How foolish young people are.Therefore, in September of 1960, I moved to Poplarville, MS and began my teaching career. I will stop here and begin again when I scan in the next photos.