In May of 1956, our graduating class (sixth grade) had the privilege of going on a field trip to Montgomery to see historic Alabama sites. That was fine, we didn't mind a little history with our fun. You see, at Bynum, we didn't get out much (they DID let us out for this trip).
We had a big bus, and I am not sure if it was a government bus or a rented Greyhound bus. All the girls were dressed to the top in their Easter dresses and white patent leather shoes. My dress was mauve-colored taffeta with a lace collar. My mother had found it on sale at Dobsons, downtown, a cut price store. I didn't mind. It was pretty dress. The boys had their hair slicked up, the ones who didn't have crew cuts. They had their best cotton shirts on and we thought we were Hollywood.
As I recall, we got an early start, since it was a 2-hour trip there and a 2-hour trip back. Didn't matter how early. We would have been there. By the time the bus arrived to get us, everyone had picked their seat mate for the trip. My chosen seat mate (though he didn't know it) was my ultra secret heart throb. He would pass by and rip my heart right out of my body, wring it out, stomp it in the floor and dance two choruses of Riverdance on it, then he would take my heart and go away with it. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Well, he sat in the back with the other boys so they could act up and make unsavory noises and I sat with my best girl friend. Turned out we had a better time than I thought we could have. The girls sang whatever choruses we knew and talked about how the boys had no manners whatsoever, all the while trying to get their attention.
I don't remember if we took bag lunches or bought lunch when we got there. I do remember that we walked all over parts of Montgomery. The bus would park and we would get out and walk to see the attractions. We saw the capital building, the Governor's mansion, and it seems that we saw the house where Jefferson Davis lived when Montgomery was capital of the Confederacy (although I may have this confused with another trip). I remember a museum that seemed to have been a former private home in downtown Montgomery. I don't know what was in that particular museum but it probably was a civil war museum.
The teacher, Ms. Williams and the adult chaperones (mothers of children in our class) had a good time, too. I don't believe any of us acted up so badly that we had to be put off the bus. We were just 12 year olds having a wonderful outing. It is a monument to the fun we had that I remember this particular day 53 years later.
The next year, we all turned into gnarly teenagers and we may have thought we were too old for this kind of outing, too grown, so we had the trip at just the right time. We thank our teachers and the mothers who took us and appreciated that they made time to give us this memory.
Sheila Slaten Crump, Bynum Elementary School Class of 1956