Mercer Elementary School sat on Quarrier St next door to
My First Grade Class with Miss Burke in
1957/58. I visited her throughout the years until her death
My Third Grade Class with Mrs Lampton
1959/60 (WONDERFUL teacher)
My Fourth Grade Class with Mrs Ferguson in
1960/61 (This is when things really got serious)
THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY
of my favorite memories of Mercer School was Miss Bessie Stewart
reciting the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Mercer at Christmas.
how it worked: Miss Stewart would call each class in one at a time. We
would sit on the floor and listen to the story. However, it
the little tree that she had decorated with hanging gum drops that kept
us quiet, no matter how many times we had heard the story. (and we
heard it every single year) At the base of the tree was a
area full of gum drops. After the story, we were allowed to
up all the candy that one hand could hold. (probably a great
to transmit disease) We loved Miss Stewart because even
she was made of old fashioned stern stuff,
we knew that given respect, she was both fair and kind.
other thing was Mercer at Christmas! We had a HUGE tree in
middle of the great hallway, beautifully decorated. Every
would surround the tree and sing a song. Naturally the sixth
graders were much better than say... the second graders, and we were
always jealous. Christmas in grade school was as normal as
As-Bs-Cs, and we had a completely different outlook on our
and authorities than most kids today. It was called...
The following article appeared in 1959. I would
in 3rd grade.
The Great Dynamite Disaster...
strangest story ever told from Mercer Elementary School has to be the
had a friend who's father was a gynecologist. ( both my friend one of
his sisters appear in one of the photos above.) We
second grade at the time, and my friend found a box of
"somewhere" in the house. ( His fathers office was also the
they lived in).
So my friend brings a box of tampons to school,
having NO idea what they were. He THOUGHT they were play
dynamite! To us, they LOOKED like dynamite
what with the fuse hanging out and all.....
So he passed out all the "dynamite" to about 6
of us and we started playing WAR on the playground at recess.
We threw the dynamite at each other
as far as we could, making loud explosion sounds when they hit the
ground. BOOM!.. we'd yell. This
went on for maybe 3 minutes when one of the sticks landed
directly at the feet of the fourth grade teacher.
got big as tennis balls and she grabbed the dynamite
and looked around to see who was involved in this disaster.
quickly rounded us up and marched us into the Principals Office.
After a short conference behind closed doors, she
Stewart came out with very grim looks on their faces. Miss
Stewart addressed my friend first: "YOUNG MAN, DO YOU KNOW
THIS IS?" ... she held the dynamite
under his nose.
"NO MAM!" my friend quivered. Then she
turns to the
both of us (she knew we were always the ringleaders) "DONT
EVER BRING THIS TO SCHOOL AGAIN! DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"
mam!" ... we said, our eyes pretty big too, because we had NEVER seen
Miss Stewart this upset! She addressed the other boys behind
with some warning that I dont remember, but I'm sure it was just as
forceful. We never talked about the "incident" ever again.
We pretended that it simply had never happened.
more was ever said by Miss Stewart, the teachers, or us. It
years later that I would understand why Miss Stewart had become so
upset. I'm sure today's teachers would have handled it
differently, but "back in the day", these things
something you talked about... nor used as war toys to blow your friends