Presley Family History & Genealogy

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Presley Last Name History & Origin

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Updated Nov 04, 2019

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Member since 2002
Portia Cloud-Banach
Portia Cloud-Banach
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In the first grade mom would take me out of the holler every day for school. She got the school bus to pick me up and drop me off at the bridge leading to Stretch Neck Holler where we lived.
My left leg was weak from the Polio I contracted in 1949 at 11 months old. Mom would hold my hand so I would not fall if my leg got tired and bucked at the knee. The first winter when the holler got hard to travel from snow and ice mom would keep me home. I missed half that winter but my teacher passed me to the second grade.
After a few years I would walk out of the holler for school with my brothers and I started walking to Jones store and wait for the bus with the other kids. The bus kept dropping me off at the big bridge after school. Sometimes we would charge one thing extra to go with our sandwich at Jones store. Almost everyone in Dizney had a credit tab at Jones store. I used to love getting a bottle of RC pop with a bag of peanuts. I would pour the peanuts into the soda. It tasted so good.
The Dizney grade school building was in the shape of a horse shoe or U. On the inside of the building was a covered porch that went from one end to the other. On rainy days or hot lazy may days we would stay on the porch for recess. The building faces the paved road and the buses picked up and dropped off the kids there. There was about two acres of land that the building sat on. There was a large area for the boys to play baseball, there was a play area with swings, merry go round and seesaw. Behind the building out of site were two toilets. One for the girls and one for the boys.
90% of the studients were extremely poor. They were lucky they had clothes and shoes to wear to school. The 10% who were middle class certainly did stand out in the crowd with nice clothes and shoes, school supplies their parents bought. I am sure there were those envious children, myself included.
The majority of families could get ADC food from the county once each month. For lunch we took bologna or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The bologna came from Jones store. The peanut butter from ADC and the jelly was home made.
The teachers had to get to school early when the weather turned cold and have a fire built so that each room was warm when the school bus arrived. Each school room had assigned one of the boys to fill up our water buckets in the morning from the well on the property. Coal and wood had to be brought in for the pot belly stoves. Each room had a water bucket and a dipper. Everyone used the same dipper so colds were spread swiftly in the winter months. There was no insulation so we kept our coats on some days.
There were three or four rooms for classes and one room for storing supplies and one room for cooking. There had to have been an outside building where the coal and wood was stored too, but since that was the boys job, I don't remember see it. Each room had at least two very large black boards. One black board could cover over half of one wall. The pot belly stove was usually located in the center of the room close to one wall and the children would pull their chairs up and circle the stove for reading circle when it was cold. There usually were two grades per class room.
Our books, pencils, paper, erasers and anything else needed was supplied by the county. Parents could not afford to buy supplies for their children. I remember in the fifth or sixth grade that our teacher had a box that had a gel type base for her to make copies of her/his ditto pages. The teacher would put a master page on the ditto maker and the form would imprint itself and she would put blank pages on the gel face down and close the lid and when she took the paper off she would have a work sheet. She would have to make work sheets for every child and for every subject she taught.
In the 1950s there was no separation of church and school so we were required to memorize bible verses every day. Just before school ended for the year a traveling evangelist named Mr. Pinkey would visit the schools and the students in every grade who memorized the most bible verses would win a prize. It was like a holiday when he came. There would be games, food and we would have such a good time. He brought the photographer that took the outside picture of all the children and teachers in the school and saw to it that every child got a copy of that picture.
Once a year we had another visitor. Nurse Boggs of the County Health Department. Had we known when she would show up everyone would have gotten sick for the day. When she arrived, word spread like wild fire. She would somehow know what shot each child was due to get. I always got so scared that I had to go to the outhouse a couple of times. My little brother would cry and shake like a leave. Not only was Ms. Boggs, mean and grouchy, her shots always hurt like the dickins. The screaming and crying probably could be heard for half a mile away.
We had field trips on the school bus. I remember going to the coca cola plant and bread plant in Harlan. We would get free samples when the tour ended.
In the early spring one of the many wild foods that were picked to supplement the food supply was wild onions or garlic. They were called ramps. They were cooked until tender with bacon fat and eaten with pinto beans. When poke salad season was due each teacher told his class that if anyone came to school with ramps on their breath they would be sent home. Kind of tells you just how bad ramps smelled.
We did not get the best of education. When my family moved to Louisville in 1960 me and my brothers had a very hard time getting passing grades that first year because the school system was so far ahead in every subject. Two of my brothers ended up going back to Dizney to live to finish out High School. They both were football players for Evarts High School.
Jan 10, 2007 · Reply

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