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A Rose by No Other Name: My 1st grade teacher

Gore Springs School and Grenada Lake Reunion: Y’all Come!

Mary Jo Dyre, April 6, 2019

Yes, the annual Gore Springs School and Grenada Lake Reunion is coming up around the corner on Saturday, May 4, 2019, beginning at 10:00am. As Joy Marter Tippit always says in her invitation, “Bring a covered dish, if convenient, if not, come anyway.” I know for a fact that my brother Arnold Douglas Dyre promoted and attended this annual, back-to-his-roots pilgrimage for many reasons, and the good food he knew was “a given” at such an event, was up there at the top of his list for reasons to show up year after year. If you join us for no other reason than you need a rib-sticking, belly-warming meal with a fried pie on top, please plan to come on out.

As a member of the last first grade class at the Gore Springs School, my memories are not as vast as those of my siblings that collectively spent many years within the halls of this now restored and much-needed Gore Springs Community Center. However, my memories are no less powerful. To have experienced the revered Mrs. Rose as a teacher who pushed the doors of learning wide open for me, in the midst of every school day to also laugh and dream up childhood mischief with longtime friends such as Shirley Marter and Sandra Stroud, all make for powerful early education and treasured experiences. Each and every time I step into what was my first-grade classroom, my mind is flooded with the details of where my table was, where my coat hung in the cloak room. It takes only moments to sense Mrs. Rose by my side, working with and encouraging me, her young, left-handed writer whose brain was so full of thoughts, if only she could master getting anything down on paper.

Rumor from a reliable source has it that Ben Shaw will more than likely be singing and playing the piano at this year’s May 4th event. The other two Shaw “boys” will also be there. Although these two brothers claim they no longer sing. I, for one, am betting if you stand close enough, you will catch them keeping beat to their brother’s music and maybe even singing along.

Jimmy McCaulla, sometime back, was able to add Elizabeth Locke Eldridge to the Gore Springs, Grenada Lake Academy Reunion membership. Elizabeth is a Winona resident who writes musicals and directs plays for Hill Fire Productions through the Montgomery Arts Council. Much of Eldridge’s work is based on “tales of the folk.” Elizabeth will be joining us on May 4th, for what better place to gather the best of folk traditions and stories than a Gore Springs and Grenada Lake Academy Reunion. Indeed, the Gore Springs community has exceeded its share of talented, creative, and inspiring people. Of course, I have heard my brother and Ken Shaw both expound on the theory that there just has to be something in the Gore Springs water that produces some of the prettiest woman these two ever laid eyes on. Water will be free and flowing freely at this reunion. Just sayin’.

Having roots in a community is a treasure. I encourage you to find your way back to your roots for this first weekend in May tradition. If you have never attended, start to do so this year. Consider extending an invitation. Cast your nets wide. In short, we must bring people into the ranks if the concept of an annual reunion within the setting of the historic Gore Springs school building is to survive. Please, find your way home.

Mrs. Rose, the face I remember from 1st grade

For more information, see FB: Gore Springs and Grenada Lake Academy Reunion or FB: Joy Marter Tippit.

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