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July 8, 2013

Dareville School gets marker

(Continued)

McLEANSBORO — —

"Mr. Osborn would load up as many of us as he could get into the cab and bed of his pickup and take us to neighboring schools for a game of softball," Bicanich continued. "A mother would follow with the excess students in her car. We would travel to Nason, Roberson and Crossroads where we would play our softball games in a cow pasture."

Guns were allowed at Dareville School.

"I remember Bert Lappin's story of how in the late 1940s, the older boys would bring their guns to school and place them in the southwest corner of the school room," Bicanich said. "No one would bother the guns. When school would be dismissed for the day, the boys would take their guns and hunt for rabbits on their way home from school. They were still doing this my first year of school, but it was the last year it was done."

The first day of school has etched itself into Bicanich's memory.

"I'll never forget my first day of first grade," Bicanich said. "The school had received new desks. The old desks had been stored in the coal house. During recess, I watched as the older boys retrieved some of the desks from the coal house. They proceeded to flip the desks over on their tops. The boys then hitched themselves with ropes to the wrought iron legs of the desks and started running around the outside of the school making a circle around the school with a hapless first grader on board. Sometimes, as they rounded a corner, the desk would turn over and dump the rider. They would then pick up the rider and put them back on the desk. If the rider got hurt, a new rider would be chosen. I got my chance to ride and not by choice! A big boy picked me up by my overall straps and deposited me on the desk. Away we went with me holding on for dear life! The northwest corner of the school was the corner where you didn't want to be dumped off. That corner was the dumping ground for the cinders from the coal stove. Needless to say, it was a painful place to wreck."

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