Old Folks Day at Massey’s
On the 25th of July, the old folks held their annual meeting at the Massey school house down in Johnston County. It was the day set apart by the old pupils of the school to renew old acquaintances and have a good time acting and playing the games of 50 years ago.
They met early in the morning with old fashioned tin buckets or baskets filled with green peas, apple dumplings, huckleberry tarts, and an abundance of fried ham and corn bread, with here and there one of the best melons that a boy ever did eat, and with several other common but mighty good things.
Now, remember, said the invitation, that everybody goes to school that day and if he forgets his dinner he will take part in the games only as every family takes its lunch out around on logs and under trees as they did 50 years ago. At 10 o’clock sharp we play an old game known as round town, using a cotton ball made from an old worn-out sock with a small piece of rubber in the center. The bat will be made out of some old barrel stave that once held the sap of the long leaf pine. After this game we will pay bull pen, roly-hole, marbles, run foot races, jump jim crow and skip the rope. This rope will be furnished by John Wiggs. We will use our old-fashioned brier with the thorns removed. All old fiddlers (and young ones too) are especially requested to bring their fiddles to make music, as there will be an old-fashioned Virginia reel conducted by Mrs. Lanes and others.
Last year we left out a large part of the program as the boys were in the trenches, and we couldn’t make merry while they were in so much danger. Mr. Jasper Wiggs promised to speak last year but was in France. He landed in New York a few days ago and is expected to be Patty on the spot. He is an old Turlington Graded School boy and one of the county’s best speakers. We don’t know what his subject will be. We will have short talks by all the old teachers who taught at this place, but they will be limited to 10 minutes. Some of these old teachers are 80 to 90 years old.
Remember, everyone is invited to come from all over the county and take part in the games, but nobody will win a prize, but those who are 45 or 50 years old. We give prizes to the best fiddler, dancer, rope jumper, foot racer, jumper, jimcrow jumper, and the biggest fool.
You see I have never won a prize and think I might come in on the last, said Mr. W.L. Creech who issued the invitation. Now watch out boys, I am limbering up every day, and expect to have a good time with those girls dancing, jumping, running and several other things. You see, we leave off the handle and call everybody by the first name, Sal, Jack, Jim, Bill, Kate, Lucy, Van, and so on. Don’t forget the time, July 25.