Class of 1933 still gets together for old Bald Knob

By PHILIP CASE State Journal Columnist Published:

By all modern standards, their high school graduating class was small ... only 12, eight boys and four girls.

The year was 1933 and the country was in the depths of the Great Depression. Their school was Bald Knob High School ... not the one which is scheduled to be closed soon but a frame structure which predated that "modern" edifice.

"The world was different back then," said Emma Hoover, sitting with Stewart Miller and Bernice Moore in the living room of her Frankfort home. Along with Nina Graves, they are the four surviving members of the Class of 1933.

"Maybe it was better," continued Hoover, who's now in a wheelchair after a stroke. "But it definitely wasn't as convenient (to live). There wasn't any water or plumbing in the house and of course there was no electricity."

All grew up in the Bald Knob area which, as some say, is as much a "state of mind as a place" in northern Franklin County. Somewhat isolated now ... and definitely isolated when members of the class of '33 were growing up ... the hills and hollows surrounded and nurtured all who affectionately called - and call - it home.

Now in their late 80s, members of the class reminisce about their long lifetimes, far more than the biblical "threescore years and 10."

"Since there was no electricity," said Miller, "there was no radio or television or refrigeration. Now we get news from around the world almost instantly. Back then it might have taken six months if we ever got it at all."

The three laugh comfortably, remembering.

"Bald Knob was very clannish, a true enclave," Miller said.

"And I get mad when someone says something bad or negative about the area," said Susan Foster, Moore's daughter. "True 'Bald Knobbers' are very intense about their heritage - even if they don't live in the area anymore."

All have done well in the "modern" world, but remember the roots which gave them their values.

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