Post­cards from the past

Record Observer - - Opinion -

A FEW YEARS AGO I was de­lighted to find two very old post­cards of the town of Cen­tre­ville in my “cubby” at the Li­brary the other day, but no one knows who put them there as there was no note in the en­ve­lope.

The card with this week’s visit was mailed from Carmichael, Md., on Au­gust 29, 1911, and the writ­ing has al­most dis­ap­peared, so I can only make out the ad­dressee who was Miss Mary Sparks of Queen­stown. (I will use the other card with next week’s col­umn).

As you note here, the streets of town had not even been paved in 1911; and we are look­ing north from a spot in front of the court­house di­rectly on Com­merce Street. On the left is the three­story Ar­ling­ton Ho­tel, where the BB&T Bank now is lo­cated. The print­ing at the top of the card even spells the town as “Cen­ter­ville.”

I hope this ap­pear­ance of the cards will re­mind who­ever left them for me in the Li­brary to get in touch so I may thank them. It’s al­ways a plea­sure to see these old post­cards.

••• PARKERSBURG HIGH ALUMNI Go­ing through the book­shelf look­ing for some­thing the other day, I ran across my copy of the Parkersburg High School Alumni Directory I re­ceived in 2012. I was a grad­u­ate of the West Vir­ginia school in 1942 af­ter get­ting a diploma from Cen­tre­ville High the year be­fore, af­ter 11 grades. Dad felt I needed an­other year of school be­fore col­lege and I lived with Grand­mother Tabler the next year while go­ing to Parkersburg High for 12th grade. I may be the only per­son around with two high school diplo­mas from two schools.

Any­way, what I was get­ting at is that we never had a year­book from Cen­tre­ville High while I at­tended, but I hope the grad­u­at­ing classes now have one to keep. I be­lieve we had 41 in my class at CHS, while there were over 500 in the 1942 class at Parkersburg. It was a huge school with a grand 10,000-seat foot­ball sta­dium at the rear where I watched ‘em play foot­ball that fall.

This alumni directory from Parkersburg High has 658 pages, list­ing classes go­ing back to 1902. It said the cur­rent build­ing was erected in 1917. One item for me that re­ally caught my eye: Sports Il­lus­trated mag­a­zine in 2006 rec­og­nized the high school as hav­ing the 13th best ath­letic pro­gram in the na­tion in com­par­i­son with pro­grams in 38,000 high schools. I do know that it had a great foot­ball team that I watched play home games in 1942 and re­call it won the state cham­pi­onship in 1940 and again in 1943.

I was for­tu­nate liv­ing with Grand­mother that year since she lived right across the street from the school and I didn’t have far to walk to class or to the foot­ball games in the sta­dium.

Oh, and an­other fam­ily an­gle I al­most for­got: Grand­fa­ther Tabler, who had died be­fore 1942, had served as Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools of Wood County, West Vir­ginia, which is the county Parkersburg is lo­cated in.

••• PLENTY OF LIMBS It is Mon­day when I write this col­umn and I spent the morn­ing pick­ing up tree limbs all over the yard from the storm Sun­day night. I hope you did not lose any trees, as I re­al­ize it was mighty windy.

Heaven only knows, we needed rain for our lit­tle tomato plants and I am sure the farm­ers wel­comed the rain, but we did not need the fierce winds. Guess I will have to get out the lawn­mower now and do the front yard since it had not grown too much re­cently.

Lester Downes and his crew comes around Mon­days to pick up lawn de­bris, but they came early Mon­day and I have piled all the limbs out by the curb, hop­ing they may come back again this week.

I just fin­ished writ­ing the col­umn when I was called by Ruth to the TV and saw all the dam­age on Kent Is­land that was caused by a tor­nado that ripped through the area Mon­day night as we were get­ting just rain and wind up here in Cen­tre­ville. I’m just so glad no one was killed in that storm that hit Kent Is­land.

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