education thats forever gone
By: Brian Hartwell,
BHS Class '79
the Bluefield Daily Telegraph -September
Ive been sitting around
for awhile today, and the past events,
including the sale of the old Bramwell
School a while back, have been lingering
within my mind. Its closure was a
foregone conclusion before it ever came
about, but that doesnt diminish the
memories and experiences that will live
forever in my mind.
Whatever I become, or do not,
lies within the foundations of the
education I received from the faculty and
staff of this icon of an era gone by:
When education was more important than
It is with a sadness I realize that there
are no more facilities like this one
(numbers have statistically
removed them). They no longer exist in
this day and time. This is the result of
what the Board of Education deemed best,
but that is a battleground that could be
argued morally and emotionally for days,
or even weeks. In the context of fiscal
responsibility, however, the argument
took only the opinion of a few
CPAs, a few legal opinions, and a
few pages of numbers and equations
(statistics) to settle (that is what the
Board is now comprised of), and
thats precisely what transpired.
Tragic, but nonetheless true.
In saying good-bye to this place where I
spent a considerable part of my youth,
memories of its halls and its rooms fill
my mind, and many peoples faces
come back to me as well.
People I feel that I owe a thank you to
and to express an appreciation for their
tolerance of my ignorance and their
patience in making me just a little
better person than I was before. People
like M.B. Guyton, who taught me the value
of wit and diplomacy, and Lucille Hill,
who helped me in many ways in deciding to
pursue a college education.
There are many, many others:
Katherine Barringer, (who recently
celebrated her 90th birthday), Mrs.
Jones, Naomi Bowman, Edris Miller, Mrs.
Goings, Lamon Wills, Sue Guyton, Robert
Wray, Richard Evans, Marlin Briscoe, Mrs.
Palco (Sexton), June Shoda, Alma Murphy,
John Potter, David Richardson, Grover
Woody, Mrs. Morgan, Mrs. Hickman, Jeff
McNew, Mrs. Gay. There are many; please
forgive me if I left out a name or missed
These people showed me elements of an
education and character that I do not see
in students and children in this day and
time. They demonstrated character and how
important it is. They showed me the
difference between having character and
being a character. They showed me
something about the world around me that
I might not have noticed otherwise and
helped me to understand why. They taught
me it was okay to think openly and
enhance my learning process to include
experiences in respect and humility where
situations warrant. Its not that
way now, and I suspect it will never be
again. It is, sadly to say, forever gone.
I am so glad to have been a part of its
history and to have experienced the
people and the cultures it allowed me to
see. With respect and appreciation.
Brian Hartwell, Class of 1979