A NOVEL OF TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
I got a list of the parents who had previously enrolled their children in the Shepherdstown Day School, as it was referred to, from Mr. Throckmorton.
Judging from the names and ages of the children, I use the word “children” very loosely, there were 15 of them:
Janey Mumma-13 Peggy Newcomer-17
Jimmy Poffenberger-12 Deborah Miller-16
Jenny Williams-10 Esther Line-14
Jeremy Sage-16 James Clipp-14
Jonah Sage-17 Ruth Pry-16
Wilfred Throckmorton-11 Maryanne Mercer-17
William Douglas-12 Wayne Coffman-15
I thanked Mr. Throckmorton for the list and asked him where the families could be found. He said all the children would be helping their folks “bringing in the sheaves,” as he put it, and they wouldn’t be available until the last of October, when harvesting was done.
I remembered the maturing fields of corn along the road on my fateful slog from Maryland to Virginia. I wanted to ask if the young ladies would be out in the fields along with the boys, but thought better than to ask that question.
Throckmorton added that I could ask anyone in town the whereabouts of the various families. All the families were within 5 miles of the town, but it would be better to wait closer to the end of October to begin contacting them.
He said he would put the word out that there was a new experienced teacher for the Day School. He added that I could count on his son, Wilfred, to be the first pupil I would have as a student.
I thanked him, shook his sweaty hand, and as I was leaving, stopped at one of the teller windows to deposit $30.
I got a bank book just like back in the 1950’s with my name – James Hager – written in calligraphy on the top line. The amount of the deposit, $30, was stamped on the account page.
I still needed to know what had happened in the Civil War so far. The newspaper article I read had very little information and speculated only that something was afoot. That’s when it hit me.
Newspaper! I could go to the local newspaper office, and hopefully, they had back issues that I could read to catch up.
With a dubious teaching job lined up, a plan in mind for learning about this time period, and feeling a little fatigued, I decided to head for my humble dwellings on the river.
I still had some of the pilfered newspaper ready for any of Mother Nature’s calls.