An Old Look At An Old School

GREENE COUNTY - The old South Elementary School near Paragould will be torn down next year to make way for a new Greene County Tech school.

I visited the old school today to visit with a couple of guys who go way back.

There is no mail being delivered today, the flagpole stands silent in the fall wind and the doors are locked.

The old  school outside of Paragould has been silent for nearly ten years, the only signs of movement are the whirlybirds spinning in the breeze and the bells that still ring calling the ghosts of former students to class.

James Branch is a true Greene county native as a kid he lived a mile up the road, but he was to young to attend school here with his brothers and sisters.

Branch:"They would walk to school each day and I would sit on the porch and cry cause I couldn't go with them.

Branch is torn between progress and nostalgia; "well I've kinda got mixed emotions, about it, I realize that there's got to be room to grow. It's got memories, that's the main thing, my wife graduated from here in 1940."

Branchs father taught at the school  back in the 1930's, riding a horse to school.

Branch,"He rode his horse out here to teach school every day, and he would tie his horse to the trees out here. "

As we walked through the building, Branch commented on the condition of the building.

"I'm really surprised that its in as good condition that it's in now, because its stood here since 1933."

One of the two largest buildings on campus is the old gymnasium. It is probably showing it's age the most. I talked to a person today who had very special memories about when he taught in this building. Keith Davis works for the Greene County school district as maintenance superintendent but he started out teaching here in the eighties.

Davis,"It was wonderful.Just a local feeling the gym as you see here now is the old style gym with bleachers right on the court short court, and i am sure back in the days when it was Greene County High, they had some mighty fine basketball games in here. "

Davis showed me where he fell through the floor in his old office after the building had been abandoned and though he feels sad about it's demolition he looks forward to the future.

Davis, "It probably needs to be downed just for the future of our kids and what they will gain out of this space down here where south elementary sits."

The old school is slated for demolition in March of 2008 but Davis is hoping small things like bricks and cornerstones will be incorporated into the new building.