By Carter E. Anthony
In the fall of 1961, we entered our junior year in Greenville High School (GHS). At the time, it was considered the most stringent year in all of high school.
Our courses were extremely difficult and the extra-curriculars for a junior were extensive.
However, as we found all through GHS, our teachers were excellent, caring and helpful.
It’s hard to single out the most difficult course that year.
Not in any special order, we had Miss Hinton for Solid Geometry and Trigonometry, Mrs. Kierce for American History, Mrs. Champion for English, Mrs. Morton for typing and for a few of us, Mrs. McGowin for Latin II.
If you couldn’t get Solid Geometry and Trigonometry, it was your fault.
Miss Hinton tried so hard to get both of those subjects into our heads and offered further study at her home after school.
There could not have been a better history teacher than Mrs. Kierce. We spent more time on the Civil War than on any other part of the country’s history because she said it was the turning point in the history of our country.
One morning in Mrs. Kierce’s 8 o’clock class, our dear departed classmate, Paul McIntyre, came sliding into his desk next to me at the last minute.
He said, “Carter, what is the answer to question number 11?” Mrs. Kierce loaded us up with homework.
I said, “Wait a minute McIntyre, I’m supposed to be asking the questions, you always have the answers.”
Paul said, “My daddy put in chicken houses. I was catching chickens until four this morning.”
For once I had the answer for Paul. I’m guessing 11th graders don’t have to catch chickens anymore.
Mrs. Champion may have been our most enthusiastic English teacher.
It’s easy to remember her walking around the perimeter of the classroom, textbook in her hands as she shouted the theme of a literature story or read verses from poems.
Jo McGowin came to us from the wonderful old Screws family in Montgomery after marrying Claude McGowin.
We often met, all six of us, in good weather on the top steps of the stadium and covered family and dating matters before “veni, vidi, vici” came up.
And there were those few of us boys who took typing from Mrs. Morton. We also had her for Latin I in the 9th grade.
She was extremely thorough in teaching each subject; she had a wonderful, out-going personality and a great sense of humor when grading my papers.
I was honored to be elected president of the junior class.
Given our junior class course work, being the class president, attempting some athletics and a most important social life, I had a full plate.
First up was the sale of magazine subscriptions to pay for the junior-senior banquet.
How many of the fine citizens of Greenville bought not-needed magazine subscriptions to support a student and the junior class?
Not long after magazine subscription sales began, Mrs. Kierce told me in no uncertain terms that our sales were terrible and to do something.
I was scared to death of her. I called a meeting of the class in the gym with Mrs. Kierce and Mrs. Mallette, our sponsors, in attendance. Our production picked up.
Next up was the junior class play requiring nightly play practice and then the production.
The name of the play, a comedy, was “The Perfect Idiot”. It was directed by Molly Sarver, a recent graduate of Auburn who taught English and French.
The leading roles were held by Nancy Butler, Paul McIntyre, Dickie Horn and Richie Hartley, each of whom was Hollywood material in their own way.
I fit my roll well as an old man named Mr. Latherby. My 15 seconds of fame came when Dickie pushed me down supposedly into a large easy chair but I missed it.
I couldn’t even hit the chair but it was another comedic moment. As time has passed, my suspicions have grown because Dickie enjoyed my missing the chair too much.
It was a great play and we had a good time putting it on.
Finally, we had the junior-senior prom, “A Roman Holiday” which was hugely successful and fully paid for by the slow-selling magazine subscriptions.
The seniors were honored by the juniors. The sophomores wore togas, served and were picked on by the upperclassmen. After the dinner, we had a fine rock-n-roll band and dance.
I had a part in all three of these functions but the teacher sponsors selected my junior classmates to head up and manage them.
As expected, they did a great job and everyone had a great time. Thanks to Mrs. Kierce and Mrs. Mallette for their guidance. What great memories!