Mrs Mildred Mizell
Eighth Grade, John J. Harris Junior Highschool, Folkston, Georgia
(We become like those whom we constantly admire.)
The most precise, conscientious, strict, and competent teacher encountered
during my school days was Mrs. Mildred Mizell. The learning situation with her was not significantly different than concerns with the school districts in which I taught for many years. It was a concern that our achievement scores were not as high as a few of the neighboring school districts. We, as students, were now in preparation for highschool. Those highschool instructors often claimed that we elementary teachers had not taught the skills those students needed. For years, I listened to those assumptions.
Continuing a struggle with mathematical reading problems and intrepretation, I found it difficult to find time to do the wide reading needed for gaining a high reading level. Reading and academics earned no higher than third place on my list of interests. Personal relations, popularity, and modern romances earned
first place with most of us.
It was the 1952-53 school term for Charlton County Schools. A man with the surname "Smith" was an elected superintendent. In its second year was the Charlton County Highschool Band, the junior football program, and television sets were available- Station WJAX located in Jacksonville, Florida broadcasting several hours each day. There was also a UHF station broadcasting from Jacksonville.(My dad,
R.I. Fulks, was one of the first televion viewers in the rural area.)
Considered important to recollect is that construction had begun in earnest on the
new Charlton County Highschool, its gymnasiuam, and its grounds. Its construction area already included the running track, baseball field, and a football field and
stadium. Junior high and highschool boys were required to walk from their old highschool one-quarter-mile, or
so, by what was swampy wetlands; and I walked with them. Carniverous plants, swamp lilies, cypress knees, and poisonous snakes were at times encountered along the road to Folkston's athletic field. Watching the new highschool asume its form was an exciting experience.(Folkston's football players bounced back onto their feet as beachballs when knocked down during games or practice. I watched Charles Jones throw three blocks during one play against a neighboring team. That was an outstanding and winning team; but so was Blackshear. That quarter mile walk and back to the old school was good physical training for us.)
That new facility under construction was surrounded by shrub pine, palmetto, swamp bushes, and some Spanish-moss ladened hardwoods. Diamondback and pigmy rattle snakes were in the area; making the legwork through tires a dangerous adventure. During night practice and actual football games, we were contantly on the lookout for poisonsous snakes. The noise associated with football games irritated those reptiles, and they'd come out sometimes to register their complaints.
Lamar Nasworth was a good friend of mine there in Folkston. His manner of walk
brought forth a stride of the alley cat in some of Walt Disney's movies for children. When I accompanied him on walks down the streets of Folkston, women and girls ran for cover. Important businessmen straightened their ties, cleared their throats and snorted indiginantly, "here they come again!" We weren't looking for trouble though. We were on our way to the main highway to watch tourist traffic pass by- bumper to bumper enroute for points in Florida- one of America's wonders.
One thing amazing about Lamar Nasworth was that he knew the year, make, and model
of most of the tourist vehicles we were watching. He could also tell one the engine
size, horsepower, special features, and mechanical reputation of many vehicles. There was a Willys, Edsel, DeSoto, Studebaker, and an occasional antique. Also a mechanical trouble-shooter, words such as thermostat, waterpump, transmission, and
u-joint became a part of my lifetime vocabulary. Lamar stood by and reassured those
who had mechanical problems with "we can fix it here".
Those many young ladies we encountered and loved are not to be identified by name. They were absolutely marvelous; so lovely as to send stars of Hollywood and New York into recluse. Dressed in jeans or pleated nylon skirts and blouses or mohair, those girls represented their times of youth marvelously. Those will again flash before our eyes when we die. With my "Einstein Machine", they can be brought
into ones memory immediately. Not deceased, not aged, gone but not forgotten, the memories of them are all needed to sustain them; not my memory. My consciousness does not belong to me; but in the mind of that which created us.
It was the year of the Charlton County Centennial, and Folkston, Georgia was a booming and prosperous farming, business, tourist center. Some residents were poor
while others were wealthy- a matter of good or bad fortune and destiny. The stories are written, and I cannot change even a small part. Even the decisions made were pre-destined.
Where's Mrs. Mildred Misell? She's just around a corner beyond my sight- very closeby. Thank you for working hard on our behalf as our teacher, Mrs. Mizell. I have many places to visit, and I'll meet you somewhere often.
End/November 26, 2010/ 2:P.M.