Tales of Xenia: Lincoln Elementary School

By Cookie Newsom

Let’s sing a song of praise for Lincoln, our school so fine and grand. We want the world to know we truly believe its the best school in the land. Because it gives to us the best way to live the way of Golden Rule, so everyone just shout HURRAY for Lincoln School. Lincoln school song, words and music by Louis Rhodes

Lincoln was the black elementary school until the Xenia schools were integrated in the late 1960s.

Mrs. B. Howard was our Home Economics teacher. She either did not like to cook or could not cook, we never could decide which it was. As a result we spent most of our time sewing. I actually think, on reflection, that she could leave us safely at our sewing machines, but knew she dare not leave us cooking, at least not for long. She liked to get us started on projects, check in on us periodically and spend the intervening time in the teacher’s lounge.

One exceptional day she told us we were going to cook a meal the next day and told us because it was a meal we could bring soft drinks if we wanted to, an unusual treat. When the great day came, however, we realized no one had brought anything to drink.

Now our meal was going to be less than perfect. We began to whisper and plot. The recipe we were making required some time in the oven. We speculated that Ms. Howard would absent her self for at least the 20-30 minutes the dish took to cook.

Mrs. Smith’s grocery was around the corner from Lincoln and fortuitously the Home Ec room was on the second floor in the part of the building closest to the store. The only things between us and some grade A Kool-Aid was the playground and two houses. The only thing we needed was a pigeon to convince to leave school grounds to procure it for us.

We hit upon Gloria a very chubby young lady with very bowed legs. She was pretty much picked on by virtually everyone ( yeah I know but 8th grade girls are merciless). We decided she could be sweet talked. After all we had sugar and water, all we needed was some of that magic powder and our meal would be perfect. After five minutes or so spent convincing her how grateful we would be and how friendly we would be to her after she saved the day, we had her convinced.

I , being pretty much known as a goody two shoes and therefore rather proof against teacher suspicion, scouted the hallway for signs of Ms. Howard and signaled the all clear. Gloria took off with our amassed funds for Mrs. Smith’s. We tried to relax while she was gone, but it seemed to be taking her an inordinate amount of time to come back with the goods.

After about 10 minutes we began drifting over to the bank of windows that faced the store. Pretty soon several of the windows were open with us craning our necks to see if we could see anything. After another two to three minutes we saw Gloria round the corner, bow legs churning, head down, clutching a small brown paper bag. A cheer went up and we began to urge her on, forgetting we were not supposed to be doing anything but cleaning up the kitchen and getting ready to eat.

Just as she made the last leg, the playground, the classroom door swung open and Mrs. Howard stalked into the room. Busted! We did not have Kool-Aid. We did have detention.


By Cookie Newsom

Dr. Cookie Newsom is a retired teacher/professor. Contact her with comments @[email protected]

Dr. Cookie Newsom is a retired teacher/professor. Contact her with comments @[email protected]