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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dusting Party: Getting The Douglass Schoolbooks Ready For Sale!

Nobody ever thought they'd ever see their old school books again.

It makes sense.. you graduate a grade in elementary school, and move on up to the next grade. What good would your old school textbook do you?

"It's the history behind the books," says a former Douglass School alumnus. "Those basic school books taught us about life.. our teachers helped us interpret them."

And those books are not lost to the ages.


Several members of the Douglass Alumni Board of Directors gathered to dust off many of the old books, getting them ready for the first Douglass Book Fair, to be held the weekend of Friday and Saturday, August 8 & 9, 2008. No book will be sold for over $1.00, and most are in good condition. Proceeds will go to the Douglass Alumni Association General Fund, to support programs and expenses of the association.

Many familiar school books, from 1st grade, on up to the 12th, were discovered in the second floor lockers of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Community Center, formerly the Douglass Elementary-High School building on Louis Street in Kingsport. The books, which were packed away in the lockers because building custodians did not know what to do with them when Douglass closed in 1966, were caked with 42 years of dust.

Caked.. but not BAKED.

Board members Andra Watterson, Dawnella Ellis, Kathy Evans, Louetta Hall, Ozine Bly, and Lonnie Cox dusted and polished each book as best as possible, moving from box to box. There are English books, Poetry and Prose, health, science, French, social studies, geography, geometry, math, arithmetic, spelling, U.S. history.. you name it, the class is represented.

What makes the books so valuable, is one other item in them.. the name of the former student or students who used it. Thanks to Dawnella, many of the books are now catalogued by a list of some of the names in the books and the type of book it is, some of them including messages, that made the school unique to that particular person. Unfortunately, some of the students are now deceased, but they might hold significance to survivors. If your name is listed below, we have your or your loved one's school book (THIS IS ONLY A PARTIAL LIST):


William McMiller, Shirley Lollar, Larry Bowditch, Charles Green, Horace Thomas, Michael Lee, William Neal, Betty Jo Smith, William Adams, Hope Davis, Isaish Daniels, Pauletta Crockett, Betsy Ann Summers, David Cash, Irene Maxwell, Martha Clark, Linda Maxwell, Mary Ellen Cox, Phyllis Young, Lewellyn Jarecka, James Leeper, Leroy Marble, Charles Lollar.


Regina Bond, Isaish Daniels, Horace Thomas, Hope Davis, Glenda Deadrick, Ann Cole, Carlos Morrison, Butch Foster, Loretta Williams, Ronald Ruffin.


Leon Simpson, Sylvester Huff, Lucious Stewart, Linda Miller, Lillian Underwood, Naomi Vinson, John Scroggins, Shirley Lollar, Mary Ellen Cox, Marie Simpson, Velma Grissom, James William Treece, Eddie Jackson, Ruben Adams, Elizabeth Maxwell, Irene Simpson, Ray Horton Jr., Horace Thomas, Shirley Ann Lynch. Raymond Releford.


Frank Horton Jr, Samuel Grinnell Stokely, William Gray, Kernes Jenkins, Yvonne Reese, Andra Watterson, Betty Turner, David Spears, Ruth Vinson, Deborah Delaney, Geneva Ross, Donald Perry.


Loftus Smith, Robert C. Deering, William Gray, David Releford, Ronnie Releford, Ray Horton Jr., Charlotte Young, John Delaney, James Miller, Jimmy Young


Walter Turner, Annie Jeffers, Kathy Norwood, George Smith, Shelia Pierce.


Vera Stokely, John Earl Sensabaugh, Veronica Pierce.

Some of the books have messages in them, too. "Linda Eller Loves Butch Foster very much & won't admit it," "This book belows to Mack Ellis, not Alvin."

More names will be added soon.

Again, THIS IS ONLY A PARTIAL LIST of the names and personal writings in the books.

Again, the first Douglass School Book Fair will be Friday and Saturday, August 8 & 9, 2008 in the Douglass Ball Field and the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Community Center, during the CBS Youth Explosion Concert. No book will be priced over $1.00, and first-come, first-served. Reservations can be made for each book, but arrangements to get them is at the buyer's discretion.

Please support your Douglass Alumni Association in this historic endeavor, as we strive to keep the name of our fellow school alumni alive, and we put some still-vital school books back in the hands of the students and family who learned the skills of life from them.