"Graduating from My 8th Grade"
About 14 Years Old
I had made it to the "big time". Graduated from grade school and heading to high school. Monegaw had no high school, so all the kids who went, had to go by school bus to a neighboring town named "Roscoe". Roscoe was about 6 miles by road, and 4 miles by boat down river, from Monegaw. This high school had electricity, but that was about all. It had no running water which meant no "indoor toilets", had no gym, had no lunch facilities, and it was a bare-bones school if ever there was one.
A few days before graduating from the 8th grade, all three of us 8th graders were scheduled to ride the bus to the high school for "orientation". J.D. and I were all dressed up in our finest overalls, clean and ironed shirts, and probably had even polished our shoes. "Dewey" Weant had on her finest, also. We were headed for a new experience and wanted to look our best.
A couple of miles out of Monegaw lived a boy we hunted with named Frankie Wayne Keeton. He went to a different grade school, but was going to Roscoe High School with us three from Monegaw. The bus picked up us three Monegaw kids and then picked up Frankie Wayne. There was no good place for the bus to turn around at his house, so it went on down the road about 1/4 mile to turn around. In making the turn around, the bus backed into a soft spot and got stuck in the mud. All the kids got off the bus and were pushing it, helping the driver get un-stuck. We got the bus onto solid ground, but I had the misfortune of being right behind the rear dual wheels, and it threw mud all over me, from head to toe!
Frankie Wayne offered to stop back at his house,
and let me change into some of his clothes and wash up some. We did
stop, but his mother said all she had clean that I could wear was an old,
patched, pair of overalls that looked like they were about ready to fall
apart! So, I went to "orientation" looking like a bum, and made a really
nice impression on the other kids at that school. I was the laughing
stock of the day. I was embarrassed to tears, and did not know how
I could face those other kids when school started next fall. It turned
out, that my worries about that were for nothing - my dad took a teaching
job in El Dorado Springs for the next year, and I had to move out of Monegaw,
and forget about Roscoe High School. That was much worse than having
mud on me, and wearing clown clothes to orientation!