JB Ellis Memories
JB Ellis . . . the name stirs up all kinds of memories for me. My mother, Virginia McCormack, taught first and second grades there for many years. Looking back, I think her tenure at JB Ellis was the happiest of her long teaching career in Logan County Schools. The teachers were all friends and the school enjoyed an active and supportive PTA. Although Cherry Tree Grade School was my community school, mother took me with her to attend first grade. I suppose she wasn’t ready to cut me loose on my own. It was a memorable year, to say the least. Being the teachers’ kid did not cut me any slack. In fact, I found my backside meeting her paddle several times during that first year of school. She showed me no favoritism in the least. In fact being the teachers’ kid was to my disadvantage. Others were quick to tattle if I misbehaved on the play ground. I recall that I once kicked down the rock walls some of the girls had constructed for they playhouse. You guessed it, they told Mrs. McCormack. There were fun times with my best buddy, Bobby Gene Ellis — times of spending the night at his house and also going home with Bubby (Noel) Richardson for a while when Mother attended school meetings. After first grade I would return to JB Ellis for the annual school picnic. It was fun to reunite with former classmates and, of course, to miss a day of school at Cherry Tree.
I recall the warmth of the pot bellied coal stoves, the smell of oiled floors, pencil sharpener shavings, the principal with hand bell signaling the end of recess.. The annual school carnival at the 16 Company Store Y were fun times for me. Mother always took care of the gold fish bowel. The school carnival was my first experience of eating sour kraut on hot dogs. Oh how I wanted to be the winner of the cake walk! I always envied that group of 5th & 6th graders that made up the JB Ellis chorus. The principal, Belva Nicholas, directed and my mother played the piano They were a group of gifted singers and I recall their rendition of songs like: “Cruzin Down the River,” and “Mocking Bird Hill.” With my interest in music, I longed to be a part of the scene. My mother would teach music for some of the other teachers and they would instruct her students in art.
I don’t know how many years the tradition of handing out silver dollars to students with perfect attendance was practiced. However, I do recall my mother polishing silver dollars at home in preparation for the awards to her students with perfect attendance. It made me wish I was attending JB Ellis and could qualify for this award for perfect attendance.
Bob Ellis (Bobby Gene) recalls the “Lukie Currys’” small improvised restaurant provided a pool table and offered a menu providing a kettle of soup made by Mrs. Curry; a hot dog, soup, drink and candy bar or 2 hot dogs, pop and candy bar for fifty cents. It was fun crossing the little bridge to access Lukie Curry’s.
I welcome contributions of any others who experienced JB Ellis School life.
J. B. Ellis Picture Gallery
You may also enjoy the Mud Fork Gallery.