Former Blanco High School students have many memories and tales of their educational years. Stories are being sought by former students of Blanco High School. If you have a story to share, please submit it to Blanco Renovation Committee, 814 11th Street, Blanco, Texas,78606.
This first story was written by the Blanco High School Renovation Committee’s chairperson, Dr. Shirley Beck. It first appeared in the 1995 BISD Reunion Report. Dr. Beck has granted permission to share it once again.
At the beginning of the 1951-52 school year when Joyce Berger West and I were seniors at Blanco High School we were often asked to answer the office phone, run errands to the elementary school, or do other tasks around the school.
In those days there was no support staff for the administrators and teachers – no secretaries, aides, or special teachers – so trusted and willing students were often pressed into service.
Mr. Hellums who had the triple roles of school superintendent, high school principal and math teacher was understandably pressed for time in his busy day.
One Monday afternoon in late September, he sent Joyce and me to the Blanco Bank to deposit $751. I remember the exact amount because neither of us had ever seen that much money before and Mr. Hellums made it clear that he expected that money to get to the bank pronto, every last penny of it, and us back in school in record time to boot.
Since neither Joyce nor I had a car, Ebbie Gourley generously offered the use of his old Ironsides, some heap he drove from Rebecca Creek ranch. For some reason only a teen-age boy would understand, Ebbie had switched the gear shift to the left of the steering wheel which made shifting gears something like backwards as well as upside down from the regular gear arrangement.
Joyce was the driver with me as co-pilot of this contraption that Ebbie called a car. He helped us get started down the street and off we went to the bank with a fat money bag. We crept off the hill into the town square and pulled in nose first at the curb in front of the bank – a BIG mistake. In we flew and delivered our treasure to the teller who soon sent us on our way.
We were so pleased with ourselves and so filled with our importance. We just knew that Mr. Hellums would be so pleased with us. Then disaster struck. To back away from the curb and drive back to school required us to get Old Ironsides into reverse and then some forward gear. Where the heck was reverse? Before long a small crowd of men had gathered to offer advice and assistance.
One after another took his turn moving the gear shift this way and that but without success. Precious minutes passed. Mr. Hellums was probably thinking we had gone on a teenager’s dream shopping trip with the school funds. Finally, by sheer luck, reverse was found and the car edged away from the curb. Then the search for a forward gear was underway.
Success at last! Back we crept to school. A fifteen minute trip turned into more than an hour. We slipped into the building, hoping Mr. Hellums would not see us.
I remember placing the money bag with the bank receipt on his desk and scurrying down the hallway to our next class. Of course he was watching for us.
What a ruckus that man could raise when he thought some kid needed it. The general gist of this admonition was that we had run our last errand for him.
We thought he meant forever, but he really meant for the next few days as we were soon on the road again, although never, ever again in Old Ironsides!