by Katie Ouilette
WALLS will now let faithful readers know what had been told about Redington-Fairview General Hospital’s being all that people should be grateful for. So, now, faithful readers, WALLS has spoken, and thanks go again to CEO “Dick” Willett and all staff members and volunteers at RFGH for the caring they exhibit in everything they foresee and do.
O.K., let’s switch to education. Rather, WALLS is repeating what was written a bit ago, namely, ‘’What goes around comes around.” Well, WALLS isn’t sure this subject of ‘education and money’ will come around, but those who were in school in the ‘40s, as Katie was, feel that this solution may have merit. Those were our World War II years and all students in Garfield and Lincoln schools in Skowhegan were given small American flags to wave as soldiers marched passed them on Water Street. Yes, those uniformed soldiers had marched from the VFW Hall on Main Street and were headed for deployment to war and our, then, passenger train would be waiting for them at Skowhegan’s Train Depot on Court Street.
But, what about the budgets for the schools? Well, we of Skowhegan and Madison learned the art of being very frugal in those years. Jean Finley and her family had moved from Pittsfield to Skowhegan and the frugal school boards of Skowhegan and Madison had hired her dad to be superintendent of schools in both towns. Oh, that was just one of the differences that we lived with in the ‘40s. The frugal school boards also had the sharing extend to the sharing of school music teacher, yes, remember Mr. Baraket? The towns also shared our school nurse Mrs. Wise. Oh, and lest we forget that Miss White became Mrs., since female teachers were to be their “students’ mothers” prior to World War II! We also were placed in two-grade rooms. Eight of us in the fifth grade shared the room with Mrs. Lewis’ foruth graders and, likewise, the eight of us shared Miss Weston in her sixth grade and the other desks in Miss Weston’s room were occupied by fifth graders. Well, do you faithful readers think this was a good idea? Frankly, some of the students in a lower grade learned from listening.
By the way, we Skowhegan students were all eager to get to junior high school on the island in Skowhegan. Yes, that building, once, housed Skowhegan High School, but a new high school awaited, when we were ready for it……..yes, the first Skowhegan High School was on Willow Street.
What happened to them? Well, the Skowhegan Junior High on the island burned down and the villages have replaced old Skowhegan High, but the memories linger on.