2013, Sahalie Publishing

2013, Sahalie Publishing
256 pages, over 100 pictures

Limited edition...

The Brass Bell can be purchased online at Sahalie Publishing and Amazon.com.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In the Beginning

The little chair came from the original Cherry Road School. In 1925, Marion Parsons, with the aid of two women working in her father's cherry orchard, transformed an old farm building, a chicken coop, into a temporary classroom. With money raised by the first school board (Trustees) headed by Judge Farnham, a two-room building was constructed on the current location the following year. By 1926, the number of students grew from 11 to 50.

The nine-acre tract belonged to her father, Willis Parsons. It was a sprawling and beautiful cherry orchard where Marion had played as a child, and where the new school was built of cinder blocks, steel, and bricks. Soon the cherry orchard was a playground for the children of the growing neighborhood. Pieces of the farm were sold during The Depression, lot by lot, tract by tract, and over time, a neighborhood was born.

Ten years later, there were close to 300 K-8 students at Cherry Road School. Over the years the little school grew in size and in stature. There have been eight additions to the original building, a new gym/cafeteria in the 1930s, a new wing in 1947; in 1953, 21 classrooms were added and a formal playground installed. By 1957 there were 800 students. As time passed, the district reorganized the school. Teachers from the olden days retired, moved on. Marion retired in 1952. But there are many Cherry Road alumni who remember those times. They remember Miss Parsons, a most unforgettable person; they remember the extraordinary teachers who made a difference in their lives.

The book in progress, The Brass Bell, will keep Marion Parsons, and the teachers who worked by her side, alive for the students who spend their days in the slightly more modern chairs at Cherry Road School.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Tribute to my Uncle David Cole

I'd like to dedicate this blog to my Uncle David Cole. He was the Nephew of Miss Marion Parsons, my father's older brother, and my hero. My father and his older twin siblings, David and Helen, grew up in this house on Cherry Road, just two doors away from Cherry Road School. When they were kids, it was just their house, the school, and a couple of other houses on Cherry Road. After all, it hadn't been that long ago that Cherry Road was simply the cherry orchard, part of my great grandfather's 60-some acre farm that took up the area from Parsons Drive to Maple Drive and down way past what is now Cherry Road School.

My Uncle David died on February 22. Why was he my hero? I can't tell you specifically, in a word. He was a hero in my life because he let me know that he loved me. He showed up at moments and times that mattered. Like all of us, he wasn't perfect, but the things he did that were good left lasting impressions on the lives he touched. He was the principal of an elementary school, like his beloved Aunt Marion. To many, that's not such a big deal. He didn't ever make a million dollars and he didn't write a best-seller, but he touched a good many lives and he left his mark on the world. He did the right thing. He followed in the footsteps of the person whom he knew he could trust to set the best example.

Many years ago I wrote him a letter and asked him to share memories about Aunt Marion. He sent back a light-hearted story about how she was once asked if she prayed in school, and she replied, "Only when no one is listening, sometimes on my way to school." He also told me that not a week went by when he didn't think about her. Now that he's gone, and it's hard to believe, not a week and sometimes not a day goes by when I don't think of him.

He and his twin sister Helen were in the very first class at Cherry Road School, the class that convened in the chicken coop.

He and I shared a deep love for our Aunt Marion. I'd like to dedicate this blog to his memory.