I am 72, but remember Pettingill School. I lived on College Street, between Russell and Pettingill. The bus carried some of my teachers and they would walk by the house. I remember waiting for teacher Nellie Nicholson to get off the bus; I and others would walk with her to school. We would pass by Miss Holgates’ house, she was principal then and also taught second and third grade.

I loved Pettingill. There was jump rope, hopscotch, marbles and other games in the schoolyard. When the bell rang, two children would hold open the doors while the others lined up to go inside.

There were Christmas parties. Mothers would bake and students would give a performance. Emile Cloutier and I sang “White Christmas.” We would emerge from the cloak closet in the back of the classroom and practice.

Miss Farley was the penmanship teacher. We would have to sit and hold our fountain pens a certain way and practice staying on the lines with circles and up-down strokes.

We had a bird walk, meeting early in the morning, with Miss Holgate. We walked to Davis Mountain, had our breakfast and listened for birds.

If a student broke the rules, there was the ruler on the hand or paddled over the teacher’s lap. We called it getting the strap; we could hear it in all the classrooms.

When I think about my time at Pettingill, it is always with wonderful feelings of many happy times.

Beverley Clough, Auburn

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