Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine's Schoolhouse

When we were in the miner's house, the lady there told us to be sure to go see Buford. I am so glad we did!

It was in the schoolhouse we met the most interesting person on our trip. Buford is a 97 year old retired school teacher and principal. I had guessed him to be in his 80s! He LOVED our children, and our children LOVED him!

Buford has done much for the coal mine. If you get the opportunity, sit a spell and talk to him about changes he's seen in his lifetime. Buford is the most interesting "living exhibit" at the coal mines. I wish I would have had the time to just sit and listen to this gentleman's memories. If you ever go and talk to him, make me a tape of his memories and send it to me at P.O. Box 244, Achilles, VA 23001.


McGuffey Readers 1-6
As a former book dealer, this was a neat find for me!


I nearly had a heart attack when I saw Bethany had drawn on the museum's chalkboard! "Oh my goodness!!! Did she draw that?!!!" Buford calmly looked at me and said with gentle reproach in his voice "She is doing EXACTLY as she should be doing!" He then told us that when some of the museum's staff watch over the school room, they have "Do not touch!" signs all around. He showed me how he turns them over when he is on duty because he believes that touching and learning go hand in hand! He is an educator after my own heart!

 Evidently Joshua wasn't doing "just as he should!" LOL!
Buford has a great sense of humor!
He even showed me his new haircut!

The children flocked around Buford while Clint was asking questions.


When I told Buford we homeschooled, he said he could tell because they sat down to read the books as soon as they entered the schoolroom! Bethany and Joshua loved seeing how old the books they were reading were.

You can read more about this interesting gentleman in the articles here and here. I grew very fond of him in the few minutes I was in his presence.

As we were leaving the schoolhouse, the museum speaker for the Superintendent's House stopped me. He told me my children were amazingly well behaved, and he complimented me on my job as a mother. It kind of shocked me since they were a little wound up from having just ate lunch. I had been letting them run back and forth on the boardwalk to burn off some energy for the long ride ahead and was afraid of what the few people there must have been thinking. (I would not have allowed them to do that if there were more people on the boardwalk.) I think God was telling me all was well, to relax, and enjoy myself. So, I did just that.