First of all, I want to thank my sis Eileen for sharing these pictures with me. She took them when she and her husband, Randy went on a drive last week.
The subject of this blog is the old school-house in the photos. In its day, it was known as Sharp’s Corner School, located near the Skunk River Bottom in southeast Iowa, where my Dad grew up.
Dad and his siblings attended this rural school, one teacher for all eight grades. Of course, my siblings and I always heard the familiar story about how they (dad and siblings) walked up hill, both ways, through snow that was hip-deep! And, if it weren’t for the little mittens, grandma made for them, their little fingers would have frozen off!
As it turns out, dad was telling the truth. He did walk in all kinds of weather.
It was on one of these walks to school, on a cold winter morning, that a classmate hurled a frozen mud-clod at my dad, causing blindness in his right eye.
If you read, Corn Rose, the incident is woven into the story.
When I look at this picture, I am reminded of the truth…nature will take over and consume a structure once its left idle and vacant... like the hidden temples of Machu Picchu, this relic will be devoured eventually, unless someone steps in and tears it down.
My sis happened to meet the family who owns the old building and heard some interesting history about my dad and his days at Sharp’s Corner. They were kind enough to allow Eileen access so she could remove some trim and other pieces.
She’s promised to save me a few items. I’m not sure what we’ll do with them, but we can be very creative!
I love the decorative trim above the windows. Even in the state its in… a charm resonates.
I can picture nimble fingers and hands moving furiously across the blackboard attempting to solve an arithmetic problem, or repeat over-and-over, “I will not pull Mary’s pigtails!”
Made of slate, these boards weigh a ton. I was hoping we might save a piece, but my sis says they’re not salvageable.
No smart or white-boards in those days.
Can’t you just hear the laughter and glee of children that have gone before? Their voices carried on the breeze that flows through broken windows and decaying clapboard. And puffs of chalk swirling around the room when someone decided to clap two erasers together!
In 2005, my brother Phill, and I took a ride with dad. We watched as he walked through the tall grass and weeds…taking in the memories– looking, and touching the old boards…reminiscing as he took in this place of history, from his youth.
So glad we had the good sense to capture his image on that day!
Can’t wait to see what gems my sis retrieved!