by Rita Hooper
At a loss for words this week, so I’m digging into the archives.
The Reveille was a newspaper in Hannibal a very long time ago. The name was revived for a brief time in the 1970s by the Hannibal Historical Society when the Society published a newsletter containing information of their activities, interviews and stories of interest to the folks in Hannibal.
So herewith, I print excerpts of an interview with Minnie Humphrey Perkins. Some of my readers I’m sure will remember that the Perkins family grew some of the best tasting corn in the area. They lived on upper Church Street.
“I never started school until I was eight years old, and then I didn’t want to go, but my mother said if I didn’t, the man would come and get me, and that frightened me enough so I went…hadn’t been to school but a few days, and I loved it so much! If I could get any child that didn’t know as much as I did, I would get them on the recitation bench. We walked to school with neighbor children, if we had any. The road was always rough and we plodded along. Sometimes we’d throw stones and fill up a hole. We carried our own school supplies, which included a reader, a math book after we got to third grade. There was no help from the school. We carried our own lunch in a lunch bag, and I remember if we got a loaf of store bought bread we kept the wrapper and would carry it back home for future use because there was no waxpaper.
“The school was at the end of Humphrey Road where it joined onto the Sterling Station Road. This is where I went through the 7th grade. Each morning we would sing 3 or 4 songs, and the teacher would read a little bit from the Bible and we would all say the Lord’s Prayer and salute the flag. During Thanksgiving and Christmas time we usually had a little program. At the end of the year, we had a picnic, and each parent would furnish a covered dish and sandwiches. We always had lemonade or something like that. The parents would be invited and a couple of times we had the picnic in a small woods out back of the school.
“While going to school, of course we had lots of fun. We played hide and seek, Anthony, Anthony over, and during the winter we rode downhill. One of the boys across the road from the school had a democrat wagon, and they had taken the box off so there was just a center post from wheels to wheels. We would all get on the center post, and he would steer the contraption down the hill, with a rope tied to each of the two wheels. We made a little pond in the winter and skated on that. The teacher always trusted us, seems so. We were allowed to do things that now they’re skeptical about allowing children to do.
“Minnie went onto High School in Fair Haven and went on to become a teacher. These are some of her experiences while teaching! We would start our morning exercises, them start with first grade reading and end with the upper grade math just before dinner. After lunch we would have our social works and language. We always had recesses and hour at lunch. I would always go to the playground and play with the children. I love baseball, and we always had a team to play that. Other times I would play Anthony, Anthony over or hide and seek with all the children.
“We always had a first aid kit at school, and the children were taught to take care of all the little ailments with bandages and a little mercurcrome, different salves, things like that. I remember children having pink eye. We ‘doctored’ pink eye ‘til we were pretty well over it. Then one little girl started the epidemic again. She came to school with pink eye, expecting to be doctored. The rest had more or less gotten cured, so I told her she had to go home. She wouldn’t go so I carried her and she kicked me and screamed all the way, which was about ¼ mile across the lot. Another incident I remember up at the stone school- one of the boys found a whole bunch of little snakes that had just hatched out. They stuck them in one boy’s pocket and he was afraid to take the little snakes out of the pocket, so the teacher had to do it. They were the size of a good big angleworm.
“After teaching 19 years at rural schools, I obtained a position at Hannibal Central. Here I taught first grade for two years and third grade for 20 years, when I retired in 1969.”
I hope this has jogged some memories for a few of my readers and maybe even given somebody the idea to interview some of our long time residents — people are precious resources and they can leave a legacy long after they are gone!
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The Ecumenical Key Council, representing the churches of Hannibal, Hannibal Center and Martville areas will be holding a bake sale today, Saturday Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Village Market.
Money raised at this sale will be used by the Resource Center to help with their Thanksgiving Baskets and for the Christmas Bureau.
The Hannibal Fire Company breakfast buffet will be tomorrow, Sunday 0ctober 28 at the Hannibal Firehouse, Oswego Street, from 8 to 11 a.m.
Southwest Oswego Methodist Church will be breaking forth in concert Sunday afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m. Money received will be donated to the Senior Nutrition Program and the Blizzard Bags Project for Meals on Wheels.
At 2 p.m., ”Lost & Found,” the Praise band for First U.M.C., will be performing. As a side note, Gale Cacchione, a vocalist with the group, is a second-grade teacher at Fairley School. At 4 p.m., “Theophonics,” a six-person a cappella group from Liverpool, will be presenting. Ron Hurne, formerly a vocal music teacher with the Hannibal School District, formed the group in 2007 with Shawn Freed.
This concert is also supported by the Lake Effect Cooperative Ministries of the United Methodist Churches. Donations of canned goods and money are appreciated.
Cabin 3 Youth group is hosting a concert tomorrow Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. at Lakeview Manor in Fulton. The “Small Town America Tour” features music by Seventh Day Slumber, The Beautiful Refrain, and Blank Pages as well as a testimony from Joseph Rojas.
When I was in Texas, I noticed the Christmas decorations were being put up in the stores. When I got home, I had a note in my mail from Sharon Figiera, asking me to put a notice in on Christmas Bureau applications.
I guess Santa and his reindeer are planning on stopping by Hannibal this year. Don’t any of you mess up his plan – you better behave.
Christmas Bureau applications may be picked up in the School Nurse’s Offices or at any of the Hannibal Churches. Deadline is Dec. 7. No applications will be accepted after that date. Anyone who would like to help out in any way is asked to call 546-7916.
The menu for the Senior Meals program this week is Italian sweet sausage with peppers and onions on roll, baked beans, kernel corn, orange juice, and cookie on Monday and ham steak, scalloped potatoes, green beans, fruit cup on Wednesday.
Friday’s menu includes tuna salad sandwich, homemade soup, juice, and cookie. Wednesday, they will have their Halloween party. You are invited to come in costume if you dare!
Call Rosemary at 564-5471 to make your reservation.
The Jammers will be holding forth at the American Legion this Monday beginning at 7 p.m.
TOPS will meet at Our Lady of the Rosary on Wednesday at 5:45PM.
The Hannibal Methodist Church hosts a free chili and soup lunch Thursdays at 11:30 a.m.
Corey Welling is a graduate of Hannibal Central Schools and is in need of a lung transplant due to cystic fibrosis that he has had since he was 6 months old. He is now 27.
It is through medical advances that Corey and others like him have been able to live. He will need to be air-flighted to New York City within two hours of being notified that there are matching lungs for him.
A benefit will be held for him Nov. 11 at the Crazy Gator in Fulton. Music provided by DJ Chikara and the Claydo Ridge DJ’s.