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Picturing the Past 118: Pleasant Grove Rhythm BandPosted Tuesday, July 12, 2011, at 3:56 PM
The Pleasant Grove Rhythm Band from March 1, 1966. (T-G file photo)
Bedford County still had rural schools scattered around its southern and eastern portions in the 1960s and 1970s, although far fewer than in the really "old days."
By the time this photo was made Pleasant Grove, Wheel, Flat Creek, Bell Buckle and Wartrace had schools which have since been consolidated. Pleasant Grove, Wheel and Flat Creek area students now go to Liberty while Normandy joined Bell Buckle and Wartrace at Cascade. Community already was serving a large area on its own in '66.
I remember shooting basketball photos at the old Pleasant Grove gym when I was first starting in the news business -- which means the 1975-76 school year, which I think was the last for Pleasant Grove, Wheel and Flat Creek. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Liberty opened in the fall of 1976, a year before the then-new Central High opened in fall '77. What was Normandy's last year?
I originally wrote that Pleasant Grove had folding chairs in the gym but several co-workers confirm they did have bleachers. I seem to remember one school that had folding chairs in what appeared to be a combined gym/cafeteria. Is my mind playing tricks on me?
All of those old school buildings still exist as private residences (some highly remodeled) except for Bell Buckle, which burned in, I think, 1973.
I imagine former students have quite a bit to say about those old schools and their teachers/principals/coaches.
Speaking of schools, the Bedford County School System is wanting early photos of its administrative office building from its days as Madison Street Elementary School (1940 to the 1970s). They're hoping to restore the facade to its original style. As a former student it looks to me just like it did when I was attending. Maybe it was different long before my time, for example the 1940s or 1950s. We'll pass along anything you have.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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