Tragedy at Dora Grammar School
It was just before our Christmas break the
year I was in the 4th grade when traggedy almost struck Dora Grammar School..
Mr. Evans, our prnicipal always addressed the kids in the auditorium before
class and this day appeared to be no different. The morning was cold and
clear and the janitor had stoked up the fire in the old boiler room to kick
up the heat in the radiators which were the only source of heat for the
school. The chemney was belching smoke like the furnaces at US Steel. Then
all of a sudden a thunderous crashing sound rolled through the auditorium
and it had come from the back of the stage only a few feet from where Mr.
Evans stood. He had been principal for ever and he never got rattled, but
he was rattled that morning. When we went outside we saw where the chemney
had collapsed through the roof and it was a miracle no one was injured.
Had the wind been out of the north, several of us could have died. As I
remember, we got out a few days while the county
made repairs to the school.
|The picture above was taken in 1921,
but when I went to the grammar school in the early 50's, there was a flagpole
in the front yard and a swing set that would take you a good twenty feet
off the ground when pushed by a one of the larger kids. Jackie Ellengburg
was a good foot or two taller than most of the rest of us kids and he could
push you so high on the swing set that you practically needed oxygen. I
know for a fact that if you jumped out of the swing at the top of the arc,
you'd definitely need a parachute. I seem to recall a large slide in the
front yard too, but I can't be sure.
In the back yard of the school, there was a baseball field and on Saturdays
in the summer, you could go down to the school and watch teams play. Dora
had a semi professional team that was really good. I remember one Saturday,
Bobby Gant knocked 4 home runs in one game. One ball went all the way across
the creek in center field. I've never seen a ball go that far. I also saw
a guy sitting on the sideline bench (no, there were no dugouts) get whacked
by a line drive baseball. The ball hit him directly on his left eye and
it knocked him out cold as a tater, as my daddy used to say. When I wiggled
through the crowd to get a better look, I could see marks on his face where
the threads of the baseball hit him. He came to shortly afterwards and wondered
what all the fuss was about.....until the feeling came back into his face.
I don't think he even went to the doctor.
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