🎋Life Moments🎋… by Larry Fields
June 7, 1960, was the date of our Grundy High School graduation. We were nearly 200 in that classâ€¦
It was a misty, rainy night as I drove Dad’s 1949 Packard from Harman to Grundy with Dad, Mom, my Grandmother Annie, and Trudy and David all aboard. The car was packed, and so was the Auditorium.
When we arrived back home to Harman, none of us were prepared for what confronted us when we opened the door to the house. As soon as somebody turned the lights on, Giant Waterbugs(at least three times the size of a roach) went scurrying everywhere: floor, couches, cabinets, etcâ€¦ We lived next to a creek, but we had never seen anything like the invasion that took place that night.
All of us began killing as many as we could get by stomping them or swatting them & then sweeping them up. Finally, with no more Waterbugs, we went to bed, hoping and praying that all of our invaders had hidden in the walls or returned to Bull Creek, just across the road from our house. Sleep was hard to come by as we all tried to forget a shared nightmare.
Myself, I was doubly burdened with what I was going to do with my life. I was considering joining the service, but Mom & Dad didn’t want that. I could just continue to work at the Harman Mining Company Store. I sure enjoyed that!
Alas, about two weeks later, I received a letter from my good friend, Willard Owens, asking me to come join him at Hiwassee Junior College in Madisonville, Tennessee. Willard had graduated from Grundy in 1959 and then attended the college’s summer session after spending a year working for the FBI in the fingerprint division but deciding he needed a college education.
His letter asked me to enroll for the 2nd Summer Sessionâ€¦” You can be my roommate,” he said. (I had never had one of those.)
Truth to tell, it seemed like a great idea, but only because my Mom & Dad wanted me to do this & a few weeks later, they took me to Claypool Hill on a Sunday morning to catch a bus for an 8-hour trip to Madisonville, Tennesseeâ€¦
It was expensive even then to attend college & I did apply and receive a National Defense Loan, which entailed that I would only have to pay half of it back if I taught school for ten years. Paid it back & taught school for 36 yearsâ€¦LOL
I was upset when I got off the bus & had to walk about two miles on a dusty road to the college campus, dragging a trunk behind me. Did manage to catch a ride for part of the journey thoughâ€¦LOL
But when I finally found Willard, I wanted to kill him. He locked me in the room and made me promise to stay at least one night. Really though, it was a no-brainer, for I was exhausted & a long way from my bed at homeâ€¦
Fortunately, I said I would stay one night.
Could you imagine me walking back down that dusty road dragging a trunk, trying to thumb a ride to Harman? Me neither!
And it did turn out to be a most enjoyable two yearsâ€¦And Willard became my roommate for four years of collegeâ€”the last two at ETSU.
Eight years after that graduation on June 7, 1960, I married the beautiful Sandra Kennedy Fields at MMS Chapel on June 7, 1968.
Hope yall enjoyedâ€¦