Sunday, January 11, 2009

No.3: Milam Junior High School

This old postcard shows Tupelo High School and Milam Junior High School in the 50s. By the early 60s, the "new" high school was constructed in the north end of Lee Acres on Varsity Drive, allowing the junior high to expand into both of these buildings. By the time I arrived at Milam, the transition was complete. The sixth and seventh grades were housed in the old junior high building (left side of photo), and the eighth and ninth grades were housed in the old high school building. All the elementary students from Church Street, Joyner, and Rankin attended Milam, and those from Lawhon stayed at Lawhon through the ninth grade.

I remember being thrilled as a sixth grader to have the opportunity to attend pep rallies in the auditorium (Emma Edmonds Auditorium?) for the Milam Ripples football team. It seemed very grown up to go to a school with a football team. The high school played in the old Big 8 Conference and Milam played the junior high counterparts from several of those schools. Our big rivals were Columbus Cook and Columbus Caldwell.


  1. This was the first of the Tupelo schools that I attended. Seventh grade was daunting . . . learning a whole new set of people in a new town, getting used to changing classes, and hearing tales of how Elvis Pressley used to attend Milam (and had Mrs. Camp as a teacher, or at least I was told)! That was a big deal to me then!
    Memories there include . . . :
    Danny Dotter's experience with a bird in Mrs. Arnold's English class upstairs one warm day . . . when the windows were open! Poor Danny . . .!
    Stacks and stacks of study notecards we had to copy from the board in Mrs.?'s Gov't. class. Wish I still had those cards . . . think I could make more sense of them these days!
    P.E. class with those "cute" white blouses and navy shorts . . . "How gentle is the rain . . ." playing on the record while we exercised.
    Shop class as part of our well-rounded activity classes. That was a great idea for everyone to be exposed to ALL of the Arts!!!
    Chorus with Mr. Napier . . . what a talented man! Still love to sing those tunes from famous musicals!
    Geometry downstairs with Mr. Franks (?) . . . who made it so fun!
    Algebra with Mrs. McCaskill . . . I apologized to her years later at church, for having had to try to help me learn such a bewildering subject (from my standpoint)!
    History with Coach Noble . . . (yawn), bless his heart . . . ! Sweet man . . .
    Being an Office Assistant with Virginia Ritter. We could make Mrs. Mosley laugh uncontrollably! I'm sure Virginia and I weren't supposed to be having such fun!
    Miss Strain's "new math" class . . . OMG!
    Mrs. Ely and her glass of iced tea . . . too much torture on those hot spring days when we had to do social studies while she sipped tea, cool as a cucumber! Met her neice at my uncle's funeral in Arkansas in 2006. She confirmed that her aunt was quite the stern teacher.
    (John, you didn't really want me to chatter on this much did you . . . ?!?!??!?! Sorry! Memory Lane is one of my favorite places to "visit"!)
    scmarnie (Marnelia Main)

    1. Hi. I am Cynthia Morgan. You are correct about Mrs. Camp being Elvis' 6th grade teacher. She was my husband's great aunt and she signed a card for me a long time ago stating this.

  2. Welcome aboard, Marnelia. I believe it was Mrs. Parks who taught Mississippi history and civics to ninth graders. Do you remember having to give a "current event" to the class? We scoured the newspapers during study hall to find the absolute shortest story and then tried to paraphrase it. (Most of those shortest stories were not very significant "current events.")

  3. Ahhh. My current school.