Sunday, August 31, 2008

1942 Graduation Trip

While I am thinking about Johnny Fulton and Mom going to school, I thought I would share what he wrote about their senior trip.

As I grew up and spent time at my grandmother's home, I always saw that picture of the capitol building in Washington, DC. with the class standing in front of it. I think it was Can and Jimmy's class. I was always a bit miffed that this eastern Kentucky school got to take a trip to Washington, DC. At my school in Ohio the fourth grade class got to take a train ride until I got to the fourth grade. No trip. I don't believe any of our senior classes had class trips. I always looked at that picture and thought what a great thing those kids had to go somewhere together before they went their separate ways. I also thought it was so appropriate for a school class to go to DC because they would have the opportunity to see so many things that they had studied about in school. I always wonder about the kids going to Aruba and what the meaning of that is other than drinking and partying, but maybe I am getting too old and set in my ways to think that something sponsored by the schools should have some educational value to it.

Cora Bentley Graduation Picture

Anyway, Johnny told me about their class trip - which wasn't to Washington either. Here is what he wrote:

  • I visited Cumberland Falls the first time in 1942, 65 years ago. Thanks to Johnny Mac Sharon and Russell I was there again last week. I went there in 1942 because this was the Fleming H.S. Senior trip celebrating our more or less successfully completing 4 years of high school. We got on the bus early that morning, lunched on the way, saw the Falls and rode the Bus back to Fleming all on the same day. And for most of us our school days were over. Nowadays Seniors go to Washington D.C. or the Bahamas or some other far-away place but the Class of "42 thought they were very fortunate to see such a beautiful, peaceful part of Kentucky.
  • I did sort of visit the Falls maybe forty years ago because I saw a movie with Burt Lancaster which was filmed in part there. I forget the name of that movie but maybe some body can help me out there.I asked the attendant at the mandatory gift shop if they had any literature on the movie but I don't think she ever heard of it. For those of you who have not been to Cumberland Falls I would recommend you do so if possible. It is located about 15 miles from Corbin via a scenic but typically crooked country road. Route 90.

I agree with Johnny about it being a beautiful place. I went there the first time when Kris Bentley returned from Germany and was being sent to Del Rio, Texas as his next Airforce assignment. He flew in and we took a flight to Detroit. It was the first time I had ever flown on a plane. We went to Detroit for him to pick up his brand new car -- a gremlin. We drove from there to Florida and over to Texas. Our agreement was that we would stop anywhere we wanted to along the way.

One of those stops was Cumberland Falls. We took pictures, got in the water and were awed by how beautiful it was. That was 1975 as I recall it.

I took a friend there on the way to Knoxville, Tennesse for a Jackson Five concert. She thought those were narrow, winding roads. I always threatened to take her to Letcher county and drive over to Dean by turning left out of Granny's place. Now that was drive that put fear in me.

The last time I was at Cumberland Falls was about 1993 or 94. I was suprised at the changes. I thought it was very different than the trips I had made before.

It is still a place every Kentuckian should see.

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