Postcards from the past
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.