In the fall of 1961 I started teaching third grade at Gorgas Elementary. It was 43 miles from my home to Gorgas so I caught a ride with Mrs.Edith Aaron and Mrs. Azalea Parsons at Northport for the rest of the trip. Mr. Floyd Handley was the principal and taught sixth grade, Miss Doughty taught second grade, and Mrs. Hosey, the wife of the pastor in Berry, taught first and completed the faculty
The old frame building was nearly empty since the junior and senior high students had been moved to the new Northside High School. I loved having a gym/auditorium for special activities and extra classrooms for recess on rainy days. The heating system was not reliable. One morning a drinking glass with a camelia froze and broke while we were bundled in our coats. The cafeteria was down the hill in a separate building.
The parents were very kind and helpful. Knowing that I could not go home on PTA nights they invited me to their homes for supper. I got to know the families and the community through home visits and the early morning gossip en route to Gorgas. I learned where many of the skeletons were buried, what groups were feuding, and whose grandfather had been a bootlegger. Time has erased all of the salty details.
Some of my students were Ken Swindle, Linda Watkins, and Pat and Paula Boone. My failing memory calls to mind faster, those who are current friends on Facebook. Maternity leave interrupted the 1962-63 term.
I have fond memories of the Samantha Community. Gorgas was a good school.