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My child used to love school but, that has all changed once the new principal came to Farmville Middle School. What in...

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

I left “Dixie” at age 12 and I still remember the hard-packed red clay school playgrounds. If you’ve been receiving Social Security for a few years, you’ll probably recall some of the popular games during recess:

Kick ball, dodge ball, roll at the bat, mumbley peg (yes, some of the boys carried pen knives), marbles — for “keepsies” when the teacher wasn’t looking — the serious players had dirt-stained knuckles; lighting strike anywhere matches like a cowboy; fishing for camel worms with a weed stem down his hole; standing in a dust devil that whirled across the playground; catching bumble bees in a holly hock flower and chasing the girls with it; tying a June bug’s leg with a string and letting him fly in circles.

Sometimes, the principal would pass out dried peaches from a cardboard box — government-subsidized, healthy snacks. After school we’d play baseball in a vacant lot. The brand new baseballs from Woolworth’s were 25 cents each and looked good til they were hit a few times and became lopsided — I believe they were made in Haiti and filled with sawdust. The made-in-USA balls were much better quality, but eventually the hide came off and they had to be wrapped with tar tape — really difficult to see in the early evening.

The girls participated in some of the team sports with the boys, but preferred swinging and jumping rope to the boys’ games. I never saw a boy that could jump rope like a girl, and I mean that as a compliment to the girls.

They were good times and a welcome break from learning the three R’s. Hey, we also practiced penmanship, as in cursive! We had no smart phones and had to memorize the darn multiplication tables and learn how to divide. Of course, homework was laid upon our weary minds. We thought the summer would never arrive, then, finally it was “School’s out, school’s out — teacher let the mules out!”

Ben Bankard

Greenville

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Letters

February 21, 2019

As a student at a large university, safety is always a priority to me and my family. While it is hard to protect a campus where people have access to come and go, it is not so far fetched to take measures to protect K-12 school systems considering they are smaller and more controlled.

While adding…

February 21, 2019

No, Mr. Baldree (Public Forum, Feb. 17), “We the People” did not elect the Donald. “You, the 3 million-plus fewer voters than voted for Mrs. Clinton,” put this running national joke and “minority” president in the White House.

And no, Mr. Baldree, after Mrs.…

February 20, 2019

Want to live a healthy life lasting 500 years — or longer? That possibility, the increasing role of artificial intelligence (e.g., battlefield robotics, self-driving cars, and — yes —supposedly emotionally sensitive companionship dolls), genetic engineering and tissue generation…

February 20, 2019

We as a community paid tribute to a true American politician — a man who served God, family and community. As the wife of a reservist currently serving his eighth tour, I am extremely grateful to have had Rep. Walter Jones in office.

Known as fighter for the servicemen and women…

February 20, 2019

As I reflect on my time with Congressman Jones, my thoughts are with his family, which to me also includes his staff. I had the honor of working for Congressman Jones for 14 years and I watched him up close serving the people of the 3rd District.

Although important, what has been shared over the…

February 19, 2019

Pitt County Schools is moving forward with efforts to make local schools more secure after introducing measures in May 2018. A letter was sent out Feb. 13 from Superintendent Ethan Lenker to parents to inform them of the progress made.

I have read the letter and there are 12 security additions…

February 19, 2019

The construction of an apartment complex will be possible thanks to a rezoning of Fire Tower Road. That sounds good on the surface, and it has many benefits, but it ignores the long-term issues — traffic and crowding.

Greenville city planning has more than likely pondered these issues,…

February 18, 2019

I urge Rep. G.K. Butterfield to vote no on bill H53/S52. This bill has already been presented to the legislature (H575) in 2017. It was not passed then and should not be passed now. It is obviously a method to curtail the rights of people to their reproductive health.

Reps. McElraft, Turner and…

February 18, 2019

Well folks I was going to focus my writing on just art matters. However, after listening again to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s street sweeper speech I’m inclined to combine the two.

Firstly if you have never heard it, just search MLK street sweeper and be prepared to be uplifted and…

February 17, 2019

I read with interest Ralph Tyson’s letter (Republicanism betrays the people, Feb. 7). He stresses “We the People.” Correct, and we the people elected Donald Trump — get over it!

He goes on to say Republicans are not constitutionalists — why don’t you…

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