Community friendships

Growing up in a community full of relatives and lifelong family friends was special. Community watch was something everyone did without any kind of formal organization. You can bet that if we’d gotten out of line, our parents, and anybody on their party line, would have known about it before we got home. I don’t remember that really happening, though. I grew up with a lot of good kids!

Belonging to 4-H was a big part of our social life. Harriet Toothman, our 4-H leader, was a major positive influence on the young people in our community. She gave of her time, her home, and her heart, and we all love her to this day. We picked up garbage, played softball, rode on the 4-H float in parades, played games, ate snacks, and proudly exhibited our projects at the fair each August. The fair and 4-H camp were our summer highlights, and our softball team was the best, although my personal contribution to the team was limited to cheering for the other players. I was more of a “help to design the costumes and parade float” kind of member.

My costume for the parade float “4-H Around the World”, complete with a grass skirt from the South Pacific and a toilet paper leí and flowers!

My favorite community activity now is belonging to the CEOS club, which used to be known as the Homemaker’s Club and the Farm Women‘s Club. I’m not sure why the name changed but Community Educational Outreach Service is hard to remember and I have no clue what it means. Nevertheless, the women who belong are wonderful, kind, and caring, and boy, can they cook! Prior to Covid, we had potluck lunches after our meetings and I can’t wait till we can do that again! I dream about the homemade bread, peanut butter fudge, coconut cake, and salads that accompany the main entree, which is hostess choice. The club focus is on member education and community service, and we contribute to a large number of projects. Our main fundraiser has always been making apple butter. Sadly, most of us are getting too old to handle the heavy kettles and the huge pots of homemade applesauce needed to make it. I’m not sure if we’ll ever make it again.

Being from Bunner Ridge was not necessarily a good thing when our little country school was closed and we were shipped off to town schools. One high school teacher in particular liked to belittle us. I can remember her handing me back a paper and telling me to write it over so that someone from Bunner Ridge would be able to understand it. Never being one to keep my mouth shut, I smiled, then told her, “Somebody from Bunner Ridge wrote it but if you’re having trouble understanding it, I’ll be happy to explain it to you.” I must have taken a few too many steps beyond normal on that occasion because I ended up walking all the way to the principal’s office!

5 thoughts on “Community friendships

  1. Patti Adams

    I always loved 4-H, and the activities we did. It’s strange that you mention high school, and the experience you had. Here I thought that only the Catawba kids were belittled. Before our little country school was closed, our 6th grade class had the highest scores in the county on the standardized tests. Of course, no one else ever heard about it! Our teacher was so proud, that he took his own money and treated us to a pizza party. So much for big schools being better than small ones!

    Liked by 1 person

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