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Front Page July 30, 2013  RSS feed

Lone Star School memories recalled

By Sherry Matney


The original rock building Lone Star School was built by WPA workers using local rocks. 
Unknown photographer The original rock building Lone Star School was built by WPA workers using local rocks. Unknown photographer

Memories light the corners of my mind every time I pull into the driveway at the Lone Star Community Center; those pastel colored memories of childhood and fall and back-to-school and basketball games.

My early school days revolved around Lone Star Elementary School in the Flo Community. It was in 1948, after having turned five years old in February, my daddy thought I was “babyish” and said “maybe sending her to school will make her grow up.”

On my first day at Lone Star I met fellow first-graders, Glenna Fay Parish, Sheryl Ann Collins, Leon Moore, Sammy and Danny Woods, and Cathy Lynch. My first grade teacher was Opal Ward and the principal was Eunice Rennels. Lone Star was a “county school” so the superintendent was County Superintendent Jay Winn.

Local workers with the WPA program built the school in the late thirties and many of the boys and men in the community were glad to get the work, including my daddy and his brothers. The workers used rock from a local quarry to complete the outside and the result was a beautiful, rustic, rock building that housed twelve grades.

My memories tell me the rooms were large and uncluttered with high windows that stayed open during the early fall and late spring seasons. Then were closed in the cold months so the heaters could warm the large spaces. I remember backing as close as possible to warm my backside while my front side was freezing.

I remember the gymnasium of the old school was huge; at least it is in my memories. At that time it had plank floors, not hardwood, and sported wide built-in bleachers. A stage graced the end of the gym and a large velvet curtain with the names of businesses in Buffalo. Some of my most precious memories are of plays and songs performed on that stage.

We had no playground equipment so from first grade we learned to play volleyball and basketball at recess and lunch break. Some of the best athletes in the county came from Lone Star.

I remember the smell of the red “saw dust” that Mr. Bert Pate sprinkled on the gym floor before sweeping it with a large dust mop; and the wonderful aroma of fresh bread escaping the lunchroom where cooks like Mrs. Ruby Parish, Mrs. Rene Watson, Mrs. Gertie Pate or Mrs. Lois Moore worked their magic.

Lela Hines, Travis Moore, James Mae Henson and other teachers helped shape my life and prepare me for a much greater challenge at the Dallas schools. Following the 7th grade my family and I moved to Dallas and I went from a school that had sixty students in 8 grades to one that had more than a thousand students in two grades. My life changed forever.

In 1949 Lone Star held its last 12th grade graduation. High school student were bused to either Centerville or Buffalo and students from 1st through 8th grades remained at Lone Star.

Unfortunately, in 1963 the old rock building burned. No one knows what started the fire but it was probably a result of lightning strike. Another school which still stands was built to replace the rock building and opened in school year 1964-65.

The current building was used as a school until it was closed in 1971. It sat in ruin for almost 20 years when some members of the community purchased it back from the Oakwood school district in 1990. That same group worked tirelessly to clean the building and create a community center that continues to serve the Flo Community in countless ways.

The Lone Star School was closed when the district became part of the Oakwood ISD and remained so until July 1, 2013 when it was annexed to the Buffalo ISD.

Are all my Lone Star school memories good? Of course not! There was the time I had a new permanent wave and the kids laughed because my hair was kinky. And the time I was fouled out of the game with just a few minutes left and we lost!! And the time I didn’t get the lead in the class play. But as time takes the facts and smashes them together like an artist creating a muted watercolor, even the bad memories become beautiful.


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