MARCH 26, 2015
Memories from my days in ‘Colored School’ in Louisa
Well, I was just thinking about my days at the Colored School, located at the end of Lackey Avenue in Louisa. You see now days I sort of get mixed up about the name I should call it. When I first came in this world in 1944 at the Riverview Hospital my birth certificate showed me as “Colored” and when I started school I had to check the Colored block on where you signed your name just inside the book that you was issued.
I started in at the Colored School, when I had to leave that school and go to the “White” School I was called “Black” and had to put a “B” in that block. Then when I got into High School I had to check “African-American” in that block at the library. So when some would ask me just what are you, well I would say, “that sort of depends on about the time you are talking about.” Most of them would say you are not an Indian I know, I would reply to then, if there was another school then to attend I guess I might have been one, if there was a block for it.
One thing to remember is that years ago the school books have a page in them where you put your name and grade. Just above it there were 2 blocks, one for Black and one for White, you checked the one that you were. All of our books came from the White Schools and were not in any good condition at all.
Of the mornings we would walk down the street to that school and our mother watching us from the house, once we got up the steps to the school we would wave at her and she would throw us a kiss, then we would turn and go in the door. Our teacher would be sitting at the desk and big stove in the center of the floor and would be adding some really welcomed heat. I sat close to the stove all of the time as I stayed sort of cold all of the time. We had a big sand box table that we could walk around and play in the sand with some of the toys in the box, I used a little yellow bull dozer all the time making roads in the sand, it was fun.
Our teacher was from Ashland and she rode the train up every morning and back every afternoon.
We were the only students that she had in the school. When school was out at 3:00 p.m. she cleaned around there some and put in a few more lumps of coal to keep the fire going that night. Then sometime she would walk up to our house and talk with my mother or sit over at Carl Butler’s grocery store till time to go to the train station. We would be walking home and our friends would be getting home to from their school and we would talk about what all we did. They would invite us to come up to their school and see what all they had to play with, but we were not allowed on the school property our parents told us. And they were not allowed to come into our school and see our big sand box table, never did figure that one out at all. But we were always told now that is the law made by the Federal Government and you cannot break that law, I heard that almost every week as I grew older.
Some of the kids would say where does your older brother go to school at, well he stayed in Ashland with Aunt Kate and my older sister was in high school in Columbus, Ohio. She stayed with my Grandmother Ewing there.
Once I would make it to the 6th Grade I would be going to school in Ashland at Booker T. Washington and staying with Aunt Kate…
Our father would tell us about when he went to that school with his brother and sister and a few others in Louisa, they had school plays and ball games behind the school all of the time. My father told me that I would go farther in school than he did as he had a job and could afford to send me. When he was growing up and his father was working for the Coke Plant and grandma was ironing and doing washings for others he said he had to leave school to work. At this time in Louisa there was not much for a colored person to do to make money, but seems like we always got by from time to time and the main thing we were happy.
Maybe one of these days I will complete a little book…