Webster Springs: Diana Grade School - 1969
Mr. Canton's 8th grade class

Oct. 17, 2015: I found a box of slides that I took 40+ years ago and there were a few of them from the time I spent as a teacher in Webster Springs, Diana Grade School... 1969. I taught the 8th grade. Feel free to copy these pictures and share them. You can reach me via the email address at the bottom of this page. - Alan N. Canton


Diana Grade School

8th Grade Choir

This was taken when my 8th grade decided to have a choral group for the holidays. I recognize Robin Barb on far left in print dress with short hair. I think Anita Toothman is in top row on left.


Diana Grade School

8th Grade Choir

Another pix of the singing group. I don't know why none of the boys wanted to be in the group.


Diana Grade School

Cleaning the room

I have no idea why we were doing a room-clean, but my guess is that we were going to have a visitor... probably the Supt. of Schools who made visits to almost every class once a year. I liked Stanley Anderson... too bad he left the next year and was replaced by Mr. Bonner who was a real idiot. He hated me!


Diana Grade School

8th Grade Choir

I believe the girl in the middle with the print pants is Jackie Wilt.


Diana Grade School

Mystery boy and teacher

I think the boy was in my class... the name 'Skines' comes to mind but it was almost 50 years ago and my memory is not that great. I can't remember the name of the teacher... but I think she taught 5th grade... she was a lovely woman... had been teaching for a million years. It was my FIRST year and she helped me out from time to time.


Diana Grade School

Empty classroom

Diana Grade School was already a million years old in 1969. I felt badly for the kids who sat near the radiator becasue they would burn up while the rest of us froze!


Diana Grade School

Bashful girls

I don't know who these two girls are. Most of the girls liked me, but a few, like Carol Stout did not like me at all... I never knew why. Teachers were encouraged to use a paddle to the rear ends of misbehaving students but I refused to ever hit a child, much less a young girl! No one understood that. The education system of Webster County was out of the 1920s!


Diana Grade School

Another singing pix

I think the girl in the red sweater-vest was Linda Stout. I guess there were a couple of boys in the group... in the back on right. All the girls in the class were attractive... I'm sure they all went on to become heart-breakers in high school!


Webster Springs

Next door to the drug store

I wore my hair rather long back than, but one time I went here for a trim. I believe that Pat Bruffy's late brother worked here on and off, but I'm not sure.


Diana Grade School

More singing

What I don't understand is why the two girls at the top in the middle and left are different from the girls in the other singing pix above. I don't know who was the leader (one of the students, I'm sure) but I guess he or she made some changes.


Webster Springs

Old movie house

I guess the movie house closed after 1966 because that is when Navajo Joe came out (starring Burt Reynolds.) There was no place for young people to go on a date... like a dinner and a movie. I think most of them went 'parking' and had sex!


Webster Springs

Looking to right from courthouse

You can tell that all of these pix were taken on the same cold, rainy day probably in late Feb. At the time I fancied myself as a good photographer and was interested in taking 'artistic' pix. (We didn't have automatic cameras back then!) Webster Springs could have been a really pretty and photogenic town if anyone had any money to give the palce a fresh coat of paint and a bit of color. Otherwise, most of time it was about as gray as this day was.


Webster Springs

To the left of the courthouse

Back in 1969 Webster County was really poor and a lot of the town was run down or shuttered. There were lots of empty buildings of business that used to be. I always wondered what Ann's Place must have been like... or what the Cotton Ball was all about... probably a bar?


I was so young!

Me, just before starting my first teaching year.

This was taken a few months before I arrived in Webster Springs. This is me and my girlfriend Alice. We were all dressed up for University of Virginia's Rotunda Ball... a couple of weeks before graduation.

Alice visited me in Webster Springs for two weeks in Feb. 1970 and stayed at my apartment. I spread the story that she was staying with someone else, but the word leaked that we were, as they said back then "shacking up" and all hell broke loose.

Mrs. Miller, the principal called me into the office and told me I HAD to get "that girl" out of town. I told her to %$#@ herself... what I did on my time was my business. The school board got pissed and called me in and threatened to fire me... I told them to go ahead and try and see what kind of a legal case I would bring in return.

By the end of the second week, Alice retunred to school and it all blew over. Alice and I have kept in contact all these years... we almost got married... but didn't.