The Greatest School Year Ever

By Pam Brennan

When I was in the 9th grade in 1977, we had a massive snowstorm that kept us out of school for most of January and February. It started off as a typical school year, just going to school day after day. It had been years since we had a snow day off from school. When it came time to go back to school after Christmas break the skies opened up and the most we went to school for the next 2 months was 2 days a week. Usually it was only one day a week. This was back in the days when they didn’t have you make up the days at the end of the year or have 2 hour delays.

In early March I was waiting for the bus and no one else was there. This was unusual. A passing car stopped and told me that the wall had fallen at Central and school was canceled. I went home to listen to the radio and sure enough the retaining wall had fallen at our junior high school. Logan Central Junior High School was perched up on the side of the mountain overlooking Logan, West Virginia. It was built behind a massive retaining wall that was easily 50 or 60 feet high. We  were out of school for a week while they decided what to do with us. There was no way the wall could be repaired before the school year was over.

They decided to send us to Logan East Junior High School – our arch rivals. To minimize the possibilities of fights we started school an hour after the East kids did and we went home an hour earlier than they did. We also had staggered lunch hours so that we didn’t take lunch at the same time.

I think some of the teachers were more traumatized by the move than we were and we learned quickly how to take advantage of the situation. We were particularly thrilled when two of the teacher got into a fist fight! Boy, was that a story!

Some teachers padded our grades, saying we were traumatized and helped us by upping them a whole letter. (Not that it mattered to me. I was an “A,B” student anyway so that didn’t help me much.) We got every concession that a teacher could possibly give a student. Some didn’t even give tests for a whole month so that we could adjust to the situation.

Then in May there was a massive flood. There was about 6 feet of water in East Junior High School. It took a week for the river to subside and then another week for them to get the school cleaned up so that we could go back again.

By then there was about 2 weeks to go and school was out. I started high school the next year so I am not sure but I think that it took quite a while to fix the wall and the kids at Central continued to go to East.

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