Remembering good old Davie High days
Published 10:35 am Thursday, March 7, 2019
A visit to the old Davie High School site on Monday brought back a lot of memories – some which can be printed here and some in which details are best left alone.
After all, it was the 70s.
I honestly do not remember my first day at Davie High. I’m sure I was scared half to death because I had been warned about those seniors who when the class rings came in, liked to use them to thump the heads of freshmen. I may have been thumped, but again, I don’t remember.
I do remember the principal, Jack Ward.
At the time, he wasn’t my favorite person. Looking back, it was mostly my fault. It didn’t help that his middle initial was “S” and we would use that when calling him by his full name. Say the full name quickly a couple of times and you’ll get the picture. He took it in stride.
I remember when Mr. Ward made me turn by “Bullshirt” inside out. Sounds harmless, right? I think it was the photo on the front of the shirt showing a bull doing what bulls do when they’ve eaten too much hay. No suspension, in school or out. Just turn your shirt around.
Mr. Ward got on my nerves talking about my appearance – my hair, in particular. It was long and he didn’t like long hair on boys, and he minced no words in telling me so on almost a daily basis. I didn’t cut my hair; and he didn’t stop telling me I needed to do just that.
When I moved back to Davie County in the mid-80s, Mr. Ward was still here; although now, he was a kind gentleman who loved to tell stories. He was probably just that all along, but back then, I was a student and he was the principal. We both had our parameters. He became a good friend, and gave me the feeling that he would take up for me even if I let my hair grow long again.
People look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I never learned the letters of the buildings. Each building was called “A” building or “B” building and so on. By the time I graduated, I could take you to any teacher’s classroom without a thought. But I couldn’t tell you the building letter or classroom number.
One day, in that last building towards the Moose Lodge, I was talking during Marion Pitts’ English class. Apparently, I was talking louder than I imagined because Mr. Pitts advised me to go to the office. It was the final class of the day, and when I went out the classroom door, there was the door to leave the building. My car was parked on that side of the building, so I just left school. I’m not sure if anyone even knew, because not a word was ever said.
Like I said, it was the 70s, and occasionally, police officers would appear on campus and usually, an arrest or two would be made for marijuana possession. One day, there was a program in the gym featuring working drug dogs.
Believe me, it made a lot of people nervous. One young man, who will remain nameless, decided he wasn’t going to get caught so in front of the entire class (The teacher had stepped out for some reason.), he slipped a “joint” into the teacher’s pocketbook. The dog didn’t sniff it out, but imagine how that teacher felt when she found it inside her purse.
I remember Mr. McCarthy, when writing on the chalkboard about an assembly that afternoon, paused long enough after the first three letters of assembly to make us all laugh.
I remember Mr. Barger during homeroom, chewing tobacco and spitting into the trashcan beside his desk. If you talked during homeroom, you went to the front where he had drawn a circle on the chalkboard, put your nose in that circle and held it there until the bell rang. Mr. Barger was a great guy, really, but you did what he said or paid the consequences.
Those letter buildings are all gone now, and the site is being transformed into a new county park. But for those of us who went to school there, the memories remain, a bit clouded, but they still remain, even if we don’t know “C” building from “D” building.
– Mike Barnhardt