THE DART: Vidalia natives remember old school days
Published 12:01 am Monday, December 7, 2015
VIDALIA — While some memories may fade over the years, for two Vidalia natives, memories of their school days are as sharp as ever.
When The Dart landed on Maple Street, Charles Yearby, 64, and William Arrington, 63, were taking a break between two funerals and a family gathering. Dressed in dark suits and sporting black fedoras, the two classmates reminisced just around the corner from Vidalia Junior High School, which they attended together when they were younger.
Back then, it wasn’t a junior high school and was instead called Concordia High School.
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Yearby said he has fond memories of those times, including playing basketball and how big of a deal it was. Yearby said he also remembers sneaking onto the school grounds after hours to play basketball on the school court.
“All we needed was somewhere to go,” Yearby said.
Back then, Yearby would occasionally get in trouble for going onto campus, but things have changed since then.
“Now you’ve got playgrounds and things you can go do,” Yearby said.
Other things have changed since the two were teenagers. When Arrington visits he still sees children walking to school, but not as many as there used to be because so many of them are using buses.
Arrington said everyone walked when he was younger, no matter what the weather, and there wasn’t a sidewalk for them to use either.
“Just a paved road,” Arrington said.
Yearby said he also sees children going to school, and said he feels good seeing them because he knows teachers keep them safe in class and police officers keep them safe outside it.
But it’s not just the school that has changed. Arrington now lives in Dallas instead of his childhood neighborhood.
Texas isn’t unfamiliar to Yearby either. He goes out of town to Houston to see his daughter and his grandchildren.
Living in Houston isn’t something he’d consider though.
“I’m not a city man,” Yearby said. “I’m a country person.”
Yearby said he’s more comfortable in Vidalia, the city in which he was raised. Where he lives now, everyone knows everyone else.
And, as long as he stays nearby, it’s likely he’ll still be able to see children travelling to school, just like he used to do.