My Third Grade teacher was Miss Barbara Manor. Miss Manor was a tall, strikingly handsome woman with long jet black hair worn in either a pony tail or in a bun on the back of her head. Unlike the other teachers, Miss Manor dressed in stylish, though conservative, clothing. She walked very erect like a fashion model and did interesting things with her hands as she talked. She reeked of elegance. I was madly in love with her. 

One of the biggest events of my life up to this point was the purchase of my first pair of blue jeans and of Keds tennis shoes. Up until this year I had worn green and brown corduroy knickers and some sort of clunky brown shoes. I hated these pants and shoes with a passion. I have never owned anything made with corduroy since. 

Around 1950 Day-Glo colors began to appear on various consumer items. My mother bought me a pair each of Day-Glo green and orange socks. I was so proud of them! I would have her stand on the front porch and watch me as I walked up the hill towards school. “Can you still see me?” I would yell as I progressed until out of sight. 

I had three pretend girlfriends that year: Janet McAllister, Nancy Harned, and Nancy Ann McNutt. 

Janet McAllister lived near me on Hollywood Boulevard and we would sometimes walk home from school together. She was a beautiful brunette and very friendly. I sometimes carried her books all the way to her house, then turned around to walk a block back to my own home. 

Nancy Harned lived on Roxbury Road just two houses south of the old Homewood Library on Oxmoor Road. She was tall with a prominent nose that gave her a distinctive profile that captured my little heart. I often dreamed about Nancy. 

Nancy Ann McNutt lived in the last house on Poinciana Drive before the entrance to Lane Park and Shades Valley High School, just a block from my house. She was a tiny girl with freckles and reddish hair she wore in two long pigtails. She sat in front of me part of the year and was very talkative. 

Our desks had an ink well in the upper right hand corner. We would dip a quill pen into the India ink and practice writing cursive script sentences. One day I dipped one of Nancy Ann’s pony tails into the ink. Neither she nor Miss Manor were amused but I think Mr. Nichols in the Principal’s office had trouble stifling laughter. The second time I did it he was no longer amused. 

Shortly before the end of the school year we had a class photo taken with us all sitting on some steps in the rear of the school. I still have an 8” x 10” print with the names of each student printed with pencil on the back. Other than the yearly school portraits this is the only photo evidence I have of my school years. 

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: This photo is actually of Don in the third grade. He is the boy on the right in the plaid shirt.