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  • It stands all alone: a tribute to a long ago educational system that created the greatest generation of America. Located along the banks of the Current River in Parker Hollow in Dent County, Missouri is a little abandoned one room school house that although empty, echo’s the ghosts of school children of the early 1900’s – long before automobiles and highways: a much slower time.

    I was fortunate one day to encounter an “old timer” (an alumni) near that very school house. I was sitting at our campsite on the Current River at Parker Hollow Ford when he drove up in his old, beat up pickup truck. He got out and I offered him some coffee and over that coffee, as we watched the river flow, he told me of how he and his sister would pole their way in a Jon boat to that school every day. They lived a couple of miles upstream and unless the river was at flood stage they would be there.

    I listened to him glued to every word as he told of the winters when they would have to walk, crossing the stream at the ford. It was his eye’s that reflected something making me realize he was a very lucky man. And although most would think he received a sub-standard education, I believe he learned more than anyone could ever teach in a university and was much smarter than any college graduate. Those were days when they would traverse the river enjoying nature - "learning" as they went. Those were the friendships that bonded a small community; those were the greatest people America ever raised.

    And to think, we build massive buildings to house the most expensive high tech educational equipment money can buy to try to make sure our children get the best education possible.

    I often wonder, are we on the right track or did we somehow loose ourselves in our fast paced society? God save us from ourselves.

    You know, it's always great to listen to those who have come before us. As my sister stated so eloquently, they are the ones with wrinkled hands. I love that phrase. Thanks Renee'.

    Photo taken on a beautiful winter day (during catch & release trout season) in 2009 by author

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