My Second Grade teacher was Mrs. Lurlie Franke. She was tall, matronly, slightly heavy.set with jet black hair that was very long. She wore it in a bun on top of her head. She still drove a Model A Ford that looked very old to me in 1949, though it was less than twenty years old at that time. I remember her as very patient and kind. 

I believe this was the year of the “Dick and Jane” books though I may have read them the previous year. I do remember that there was an experimental group selected to learn Spanish. There was an area sort of roped off on one side of the classroom next to some bookshelves that were under windows. The selected students sat there during the lessons. I still have my Spanish-English dictionary, though I have no memory of Spanish. 

One day at lunch in the Second mates. Mrs. Tyler was not amused and continually grabbed the salt shaker away from me. After a few days of this, she sent me to the principal’s office. Mr. Nichols gave me a stern talk but I could tell he was suppressing laughter. I must have stopped but I remember trying it again at home from time to time for several years. Feels good! 

I remember one day in the lunchroom accidentally sitting on a piece of roast beef and it became mired in the cord of my brown corduroy knickers. I found this icky and it upset me to have to scrape it away. This turned me against roast beef for a while. 

I have two outdoor memories from this year that the high school was still there. 

One was a May Day celebration when they had us young kids, dance around a Maypole while wearing crowns made from flowers. It was staged in the front playground just behind the Girl Scout building. The May Pole was actually one of the playsets, a tall metal post with about a dozen chains hanging with grip handles on the ends. I was so embarrassed. 

The other was a ceremony of some type held in the football field. It may have been the same May Day event. I remember being mightily impressed by the marching band blasting and pounding their way past where I was standing. I had never seen anything like that. The next year the band was gone to the new high school. 

This is another installment of Don Harbor’s memories from his time at Shades Cahaba. He has graciously allowed me to post excerpts on the blog. You can hear my interview with him at

NOTE: The featured photo is not Don’s class but the 1928 Sophomore class of Shades Cahaba High School.