Oral History of Sharon Karraker Driskell

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Title

Oral History of Sharon Karraker Driskell

Alternative Title

Oral History, Driskell

Subject

Sanford, (Fla.)
Oral history--United States
Education--Florida
Elementary schools--United States
Grammar schools
Schools

Description

Oral history of Sharon Karraker Driskell, who attended Sanford Grammar School for fifth and sixth grade during the 1953-1954 and 1954-1955 school years, respectively. Driskell was born in Kansas on February 24, 1943, but her family migrated to Sanford, Florida. She attended Southside Elementary School, Sanford Grammar School, Sanford Middle School, and Seminole High School. Growing up, Driskell lived off of Celery Avenue. Her father owned a Standard Oil Company filing station, located at the corner of Sanford Avenue and Celery Avenue. After graduating from high school, Driskell married a fireman from the John F. Kennedy Space Center, had two children, and worked at Keith Elementary School in Winter Springs-Idlewild. Topics discussed in the oral history include her experiences prior to attending Sanford Grammar School, her memories at the school, her most memorable experiences, keeping in touch with her former classmates, her favorite place in the building, the subjects she learned in grammar school, being an alumnus of Sanford Grammar School, her thoughts on the current state of the building, misbehaving in school, and schools activities.

Abstract

Oral history interview of Sharon Karraker Driskell. Interview conducted by Daniel Velásquez in Geneva, Florida.

Table Of Contents

0:00:00 Introduction
0:00:40 Background information
0:01:20 Experiences prior to attending Sanford Grammar School
0:02:15 Typical day at Sanford Grammar School
0:04:16 Maypole dance
0:05:55 Happiest memories at school
0:06:47 Fun activities at school
0:08:00 Memorable experiences
0:09:31 Staying in touch with friends from school
0:12:04 Favorite part of the school campus
0:13:18 Other students
0:15:37 Impact of school events
0:16:17 Activities outside of school
0:17:02 Safety and race relations in Sanford
0:19:09 Miss Sharon
0:21:55 Being an alumnus of Sanford Grammar School
0:22:57 How the school building has changed and the importance of history
0:27:23 Student behavior
0:29:27 Most valuable lesson learned
0:31:56 School activities
0:33:36 Closing remarks

Creator

Velásquez, Daniel
Driskell, Sharon Karraker

Source

Driskell, Sharon Karraker. Interviewed by Daniel Velásquez, October 12, 2012. Audio/video record available. UCF Public History Center.

Date Created

2012-10-12

Date Copyrighted

2012-10-12

Date Modified

2012-11-14

Has Format

Digital transcript of original 34 minute and 42 second oral history: Driskell, Sharon Karraker. Interviewed by Daniel Velásquez, October 12, 2012. Audio/video record available. UCF Public History Center.

Is Part Of

Seminole County Public Schools Collection, Student Museum and UCF Public History Center Collection, Sanford Collection, Seminole County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.

Requires

Multimedia software, such as Adobe Flash Player.
Application software, such as Java.

Format

video/mp4
application/pdf

Extent

430 MB
155 KB

Medium

34 minute and 42 second audio/video recording
16-page digital transcript

Language

eng

Type

Moving Image

Coverage

Sanford Grammar School, Sanford, Florida
Student Museum and Center for the Social Studies, Sanford, Florida

Accrual Method

Donation

Mediator

History Teacher

Provenance

Originally created by Daniel Velásquez and published the UCF Public History Center.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by the UCF Public History Center and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.

Curator

Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

External Reference

"Public History Center." Public History Center, University of Central Florida. http://www.publichistorycenter.cah.ucf.edu/.
"Student Museum." Seminole County Public Schools. http://www.scps.k12.fl.us/studentmuseum/Home.aspx.
"Seminole High School." Seminole High School, Seminole County Public Schools. http://www.seminolehs.scps.k12.fl.us/.
Sanford Historical Society (Fla.). Sanford. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2003.

Transcript

Velásquez
So this is Sharon Karraker Driskell. And this interview is about her memories of Sanford Grammar [School], which she attended for the fifth and sixth grade?

Driskell
Fifth and sixth grade. Right.

Velásquez
Around the year 1954-1955?

Driskell
Right. Well actually it was ‘53-‘54 combination, and then ‘55? ‘54-‘55 in the sixth grade.

Velásquez
And you were born in Kansas?

Driskell
Right.

Velásquez
And today is October the 12th, 2012 and we’re at Sharon’s home. My name is Daniel Velásquez. Sharon, can you tell me about yourself, your childhood, and your background?

Driskell
Well, my background comes that I came from a farm in Kansas, and we moved to Florida, because my father just couldn’t make it on the farm. We came down here, settled in Sanford, started school at Southside, went to Sanford Grammar School. I went to Sanford Middle School and Seminole High School. First graduating class from the school what they call the “new school” now. But I am a housewife, I worked in the Seminole County [Public] School[s] system in this, uh, that Keith Elementary—Winter Springs-Idlewild. My husband was a fireman at the [John F.] Kennedy Space Center. We raised two children here.

Velásquez
Okay. What were your experiences prior to coming to Sanford Grammar?

Driskell
Prior to coming to Sanford Grammar, I went to Southside. So I was—I lived very close to there actually. Basically two blocks away from there, and I would walk to school. So when I got to go to Sanford Grammar, I thought I was really doing good[sic], ’cause I was getting to walk a little farther away from Mom and Dad. So it was really exciting for me to walk to school.

Velásquez
Um, so you grew up mostly in Sanford?

Driskell
Yeah.

Velásquez
Okay.

Driskell
Yeah. I lived off of Celery Avenue. My father owned a business at the corner of [South] Sanford [Avenue] and Celery. It was a Standard Oil [Company] station, and I lived just across the street from there. And then we moved down on Randolph Street, which was way on farther south from there and—yeah. I grew up in Sanford, worked at [J. G.] McCrory’s dime store—Downtown Sanford— when I was an[sic] teenager. I mean Sanford’s just home, and I love it. I’ve always loved it.

Velásquez
Okay. Can you describe what your typical day at Sanford Grammar was like?

Driskell
[laughs] That’s a lot of years back. You’re asking almost the impossibility. I remember—the one thing that I did remember was the teacher that I had there. Her name was Miss Sharon. And there—well, I thought it was so odd that her name was my name. And it just—she was a very nice lady. A very young lady— young teacher.

Um, we didn’t have a lunchroom per se, like they have today, where food was served to you—that I remember, because my mother always packed my lunch and I carried it with me, and I was a picky eater I guess—I don’t remember, I don’t remember that much back.

But I remember the programs that we had and the auditorium upstairs. I had the first room that I was in was downstairs, and then the next year I went—I got to go upstairs to the first room on the left-hand side up there. And I thought that was really, really cool, because I’d never been in a school that had an upstairs before. And this was very awesome to me to be able to be into a big school, because the school, where I was raised—went to is in Kansas was a one-room school house first through eighth grade. And so that was really weird to come down here to Florida, and be able to go to a school that had separate rooms for separate grades, and then to be able to go to Sanford Grammar, and be able to go upstairs. That—that just was neat for me.

But it was a just a typical day at school. I mean you get there, you do the Pledge of Allegiance, you did class prayers. Then you did your work, you went to lunch, you got to go to P.E. [Physical Education]. Outside, at the playground, was out in front of the school. You crossed the little—there was never a road there, but it was like a street, in front of which is there now. And you would go out—to the front was your playground. Lunchroom was in the back. It was just a wooden building that was built there. We went out and eat lunch out there. I mean just a typical school day. Except for when we got into sixth grade.

Yeah. We had—we had to do the maypole [laughs]. That was awful [laughs], I didn’t really care for doing the maypole. You had to dance in—and I was not a small girl. I was on the large side, so skipping in to do the maypole was not my thing [laughs]. And the boy I was with was a little on chunky side too, so we really didn’t make a good pair to go skipping in to do a maypole. But I survived it. That was probably the most horrifying experience I ever had at Sanford Grammar. Other than that, it was pretty good. I didn’t have a problem with going there.

Velásquez
The maypole was a dance, then?

Driskell
It was a dance. They had a large pole, and you had ribbons that came out from it. And as you danced around it, you went in and out. I don’t think they do it at all anymore, I don’t know. But you would go in and out, and as you did it you were wrapping the maypole in the way that you folded the ribbons. And it—you had to learn to go in and out at the right time to make the ribbons come out smooth, ’cause if you did it wrong—and Lord knows we did it wrong a lot, because it took forever to get it down smooth—but when you got through you would have a pole that the ribbons would be wound perfectly like weaving, and they would lay just as flat up against that pole as you could. It was beautiful. And it was done to music. And it was beautiful, but it was hard. And it was the worst experience I think I ever did[sic], because I didn’t, I didn’t want to do it. And I couldn’t get out of it but, it was just very hard to do. And once you learned it you know it was easy then, like anything else that you learn today. But it was fun. I mean after it was over with it was fun, but not—not when doing it.

Velásquez
Okay. So what was a happy part? What was the happiest part of each day in school?

Driskell
My teachers.

Velásquez
Yeah?

Driskell
They, they—I had really some of the best teachers my whole experience in Seminole County. I’ve—one of the few kids—I think that I only had one teacher that I ever remember having a problem with, and that was in later high school. But my teachers—Miss Sharon. She sticks—sticks in my mind more than anybody, because she was so gentle and so easy to come up to and explain things to you and draw the good part of you out. The teachers were wonderful. It was just a very good experience there. Very good experience.

Velásquez
Do you do you know if Miss Sharon, um…

Driskell
I don’t know what ever happened to her.

Velásquez
Okay.

Driskell
I don’t. I would love to have known what happened to her. She was a beautiful person.

Velásquez
What kind of things did you do for fun in school?

Driskell
In school?

Velásquez
Mm-hmm.

Driskell
Well, I didn’t do anything to get in trouble. I know that. But we did a lot of art work. We had an art teacher, and we did a lot of art work. And—which that really was the one thing that I did enjoy, because I—later in life, painted pictures and did a lot of crafts and had my own business for a while and crafty partners. And so I—just doing crafts was my—was my—the art classes was my biggest thing that I enjoyed the most. I enjoyed making things. I still do [laughs]. That’s— but, you know, school was school, like any other kid would say. You still had the reading and writing and arithmetic. But they teach it so much different back then than they teach it today, because I can’t understand any of these things that the young people learn—try—they try to teach you today. I mean I’m lost. But we had basic reading, basic math, basic spelling. You know, and it—the teachers went out of their way to make sure that it went in and stayed. And to me, I think that’s lost, and we need to go back to that. To the basics.

Velásquez
Okay. What are some of your memorable experiences?

Driskell
The good ones? [laughs].

Velásquez
Any.

Driskell
Oh, honey, I’ve been trying to think of that for days ever since you called me and, you know, it’s—when you go back that far it’s hard to pull up what was some of the good experiences. One thing that I always enjoyed was of course P.E. [physical education] like anybody else. I got out with my friends and got to play. But they had this round—I don’t even know what it was called, —but it was round and you’d jump on it and people would push you, and you know, and you just keep going around, which I dearly loved and I would spend all my P.E. time right there, so long as I could get away with it. But they course—they would make you play baseball and all of this other little games things, you know, but that was my favorite thing. It—when I got outside, I head right for that little—it’s like a tilt-a-whirl [laughs]. But it would just go round and round, and I would just love to sit on that thing and go. And it—it was fun. It was my—my favorite enjoyment. Of course, we had swings and teeter-totters and all these things that, a lot of them were built by parents that put ’em out there. And businesses that would donate to the school. But um, we just had a nice playground and I enjoyed that. ’Course you know your studies are studies so—and you know, enjoyable memories. It’s just hard to remember back that far to remember what you enjoyed. Being with my friends, playin’.

Velásquez
Speaking of friends, of your friends, do you keep in touch with any?

Driskell 
Yeah, I do. Matter of fact, Bonnie Haskuns Brown is one of my closest friends. She lives in North Florida. I stay in touch with her. ’Course some of my friends have died. I used to be the head of taking care of the class reunions for Seminole High School—my class of ’61 —until I got where I couldn’t take care of that anymore. But yeah I stay in touch with a lot of them. A lot of them on Facebook, a lot of them on e-mail, and some of them just call—just call. But yeah, I stayed in touch with a lot of them. The only person, you know, I would like to know what happened with was Jim Jimenes, and he’s the young man that danced with me on the maypole. I don’t know where he went or what happened to him. But that I would like to know where he went. That would be neat to find out. But yeah. I stay in touch with all of—all of ‘em. Going to school that long with them you kind of develop that bond that you stay together. Especially when you start out 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th—all the way through graduation. I mean, I been out of school 51 years. A long time. Long time.

Velásquez
So most of these friends you had through Sanford Grammar and beyond?

Driskell
Yes, yes. I stayed I kept well Bonnie, and I have been friends for 50—54-55 years. And our kids grew up together. It was a lifetime friendship with her. And then I had another friend that passed away, but we stayed together for over 50 years. You—back then you built a relationship and you kept it. Not—not so much like they do today. Not so much like my children. They don’t have contact with the kids they graduated with. But back then, smaller groups—close into town, most of all the kids lived right in town and in Sanford and most of us walked to school. And that was because you see each other walking to school, you see each other walking home, you know you were lived in the close neighborhoods, you had, you developed a deeper friendship than where the kids of today do, where they get on a bus or a car or whatever, and go away. But we spent time going to school together, and going home from school together, so we were together most of our life. So you don’t lose those kind of friends, you keep ‘em. At least I did [laughs].s

Velásquez
Um, what was your favorite place in the school building?

Driskell
Favorite place in the school building. . .

Velásquez
Is there a place that stands out to you?

Driskell
Yeah. The auditorium always did, and I don’t know why. Um, ’course we did our class programs and stuff like every other school’d do, but it was so big. And I think that was because I had never been in a place that big. I grew up in on the farm and walked to school the one-room school, and this was such a big place to me. I was a little girl it was just chuckles everything about Sanford was big. I came from the country in a little town that probably had about 150 people in it to this big town chuckles to this big school. It was just fascinating to me. I liked the auditorium. Of course I loved the playground. And anybody loved lunch [laughs]. You always looked forward to going to lunch. But the auditorium was my favorite place. I loved going up the stairs. That’s—it’s such a weird thing to think about, you know, going up stairs. I lived in a—I lived in a two-story house on the farm, but it wasn’t big like this. And this was big, and it was fascinating to go upstairs. Stupid, I know, but that’s just the way I feel about it [laughs].

Velásquez
So what were the other students like?

Driskell
Like me. Common. We—there was no—there was no upper class, lower class. All that changed when you got into high school. But when you—when you went to school at the  Southside and Sanford Grammar and the middle school they were all—well they were all alike. Nobody had tried to impress anybody. We were just all common, average, peop—kids. ‘Course when you get into high school that’s when their personalities start changing and you start getting little clique groups that hang around together, but the kids at Sanford Grammar we were just a family of kids. We all got along. You rarely ever saw anybody get into some serious trouble. I don’t remember ever seeing anybody of my friends that got into trouble. I never got into trouble, ’cause I always knew the consequences at home. That made you change, watch what you did. But, um, they were just common kids. Just simple. Live simple. We all went to church. We all you know went to school. We all obeyed our parents. We had a great time we used our imagination rather than computers and stuff like they do today. I mean we were just common kids. I don’t know how else to say it.

Velásquez
What kinds of things were on students minds back then?

Driskell
Well we didn’t think of anything like the—the kids of today think about, because we didn’t think about politics or—or taxes or any of that kind of stuff we just—I don’t know what you would say we thought about, because I—I really can’t say that it was anything that we thought about other than making sure our homework was done, making sure we did our chores, making sure that we didn’t do anything that ticked our parents off [laughs] or the teachers. But I mean we really didn’t—factor in outside things into our minds at that point in our life. It wasn’t important. It didn’t impact us. We went to school. We did what we were supposed to do. We did—we went home. We did what we were supposed to do, and that’s it. We didn’t nothing impacted us.

Velásquez
There were no events outside of your normal routine that that affected your life?

Driskell
That affected my life?

Velásquez
At the time?

Driskell
You know, I can’t think of a thing right now. Probably a hundred things would come to me at another point, but right now I can’t think of a thing that impacted or changed my life in any way while I was at Sanford Grammar, because it was just an enjoyable time. I mean there was no—I had no problems in my life that made me have an impact on me. It was just good times.

Velásquez
And you weren’t aware of anything else outside…

Driskell
Not outside, no. No. The town was—it was a great town. You could walk to school and not be afraid of anything. You didn’t have to worry about —your parents didn’t worry. On Saturdays, we’d walk to the movie theater and paid nine to ten cents to get in. Paid ten cents for a drink and popcorn. But I mean, you—you could go to school and not have to worry about somebody messing with you or getting you going there. There was no problems at that period of time. You’re talking about the early ‘50s and it was just a beautiful time for children to grow up, and I was lucky to have lived in the time span that I did. I’m grateful.

Velásquez
You always felt safe?

Driskell
I did. I always felt safe. And I never—my father’s business was the corner of [South] Sanford [Avenue] and Celery [Avenue]. And I don’t know if you know where that’s at, but it’s— there’s a lot of black neighborhood behind my father’s business. Ninety percent of my father’s business was that. They were very nice to us. We had—Sanford was never known for having that kind of problems—racial problems or anything like that. Sanford was a beautiful, quiet, peaceful. People got along. People respected each other kind of community, and that flowed over into the school system. You had teachers that were respectful that did what they were supposed to was hired to do. They taught the children they made the children feel safe. I mean, it was it was the best time of life to grow up, because you didn’t have what young people have today hanging over your heads. It was just beautiful. I’m—I’m grateful for my years from Southside to Sanford Grammar to middle school to high school. I had the best time of my life and never was afraid anywhere in Sanford. I loved it. I loved school. Other than doing that maypole [laughs]. That was the one thing I didn’t want to do and that teacher was determined I was gonna do it. I learned it. And I don’t regret it, but I wish it was a memory I could click out. Now I loved going to school. I loved going there. I never thought I would be the type person that would—into my adulthood— would go back and work in the school system, but I did and I don’t know if that had—because I had such a good experience going to school from all the schools I went to the teachers that I had if that’s what influenced my life, I don’t know, but I loved working with children. The teachers I had loved working with children.

Driskell
And Miss Sharon was one that I just—I loved her. She was just so good at what she did. And if she was the one that influenced me, well God bless her, ’cause she did a good job. She did a good job. It was—it was a good experience. I have no complaints about my school years.

Velásquez
Miss Sharon—did she teach a specific subject?

Driskell
No. Back then you taught—you learned everything in one room. She taught you math, the reading, everything was taught in one room. The only time that you ever went out anywhere was music or P.E., and I don’t remember us having a P.E. teacher. Miss Sharon was out on the—on the class. I don’t even remember who the other teacher was that I had. Now isn’t that awful? Because she made such an impression on me, I couldn’t get the other one to come into my mind.

But we didn’t have all the programs that they had—the teachers—that they had. The one teacher you had that was your homeroom school classroom and that’s where you went. And she taught you everything and she had set up a certain time slots that’s what you went into. And you had a book for every subject. And, we didn’t have the home, you know—we had homework, but not the homework. We didn’t have to lug our books back and forth to school and backpack—you were taught at school and what little you had at home was well you—like making a book I remember making a book at Sanford Grammar about my family and I cut pictures out of magazines and “this is my mom” and “this is my dad.”

‘Course they always looked better than your mom and dad did, ’cause you always tried to find—and when it came to finding one for you, you made sure you had a one that looked good and then all my brothers and sisters and I drew pictures of my house and all this kind of stuff. It’s here somewhere. I don’t know where packed away somewhere. But I mean you always that that’s the kind of homework you had. It wasn’t the kind of homework that that the kids have today. You know, all the math problems and all that stuff, because that was taught in school. And you didn’t do that at home. They—other things—other projects you did at home. Like I did one on Florida and I got a map and I drew— found pictures of alligators and all sorts of weird things, you know, to put into it. But that was the kind of homework you had. It wasn’t regular classwork. What you did in class math reading you did in class. Now you would have a book to read occasionally and book reports due on it, but it was most of the work was done in classroom, not—not at home. Not like not like they do today. Um, I’m glad [laughs].

Velásquez
What does it mean to you to be a Sanford Grammar alumnus?

Driskell
What does it mean to me to be an alumni of Sanford Grammar School? It’s a good thing. It’s a proud thing. It was a good experience that I had there. I’m—I’m glad I went there. It—as I got older, I often wondered you know why they broke our schools up like they did, because now they go—I think it’s K through 5, but here we were broken up. First through—we didn’t have K—first through fourth, fifth and sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth tenth eleventh twelfth at high school. And it was just strange that they would break us up like that why I don’t know.

But for me going to Sanford Grammar School was a good experience, because like I said everything was so calm and good. And you were with you were clumped with kids that your mentality was the same—fifth and sixth grade, you know? That was the same age bracket. You stayed within that age bracket group. You weren’t put in—when I went to Sanford Middle School, it was such a change going from sixth grade, which I was still a little girl to suddenly be pulled into junior high school, which they thought they were grown up. Probably I did too, but [laughs] it was different, because they think different. Uh, we were too old for the younger grades. The fourth fir—first through fourth grade, because to us those were babies. I mean we—we—we had—we’re fifth and sixth, we go to Sanford Grammar. We’re older. And then when the when you suddenly get to sixth grade and you have to go to junior high school you’re scared [laughs]. Because it’s it changes again. I think it’s a better way—to go, because they put these children together in schools that their mentality’s not the same. We were too old for these child—children, too young for these children, so we were in a good place. I had a great experience there, because I was comfortable with the group I was with. They were all we all thought alike. We all still wanted to play in our terms of play, and we were still little kids. So it was a good experience for me and I’m glad I got to go to school the way I did. I feel sorry after working in the public schools and seeing how fifth graders are in school today with the younger kids. They’re outta place. I realize money can’t put them where they need to be, but it was better for me, and I think it made my education better to go on like that. Now I’m glad I went to Sanford Grammar. It was a unique experience.

Velásquez
You mentioned earlier that you went to the school recently to look at how it has changed. What did…

Driskell
Well, the lunchroom’s gone [laughs], for one. Basic—I hadn’t been in the school maybe one time since I left there, and that’s been years and years and years ago. It was deteriorating bad[sic] when I was there. I went back over with my daughter. I didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted to with Pam going around the museum. And I understand now it’s open more and I’m looking forward to getting to go, but it the work that they’ve done is remarkable and I hope that it can continue things like this need to be remembered.

The children of today need to see that our way of life was not so wrong, that we had it a whole lot better than they do. Now a lot of people wouldn’t agree with that statement. That’s alright. This is my opinion and I’m giving it. I liked the way schools was set up, because I think the children got more one-on-one. I know I did. The school building—I’m proud to see it coming back. I’m proud that they didn’t tear it down and lose it. We’ve lost so much in Sanford. People just are taking history and throwing it away and it’s sad. I—I—as you can tell, I have old pictures and stuff here in the house. I—I like history. And I like the fact that they’re saving history in that building. All of Seminole County School systems are go putting things—excuse me—putting things into that building to be saved.

I mean, that’s why I gave my seats to there, because I knew they would be saved. And—and the school system would the kids could go there and learn what it was like—learn what it was like to go to school in a small setting and see how people survived in Central Florida. I haven’t gotten a chance to go through it all the way, but I’m going and I’m looking forward to going and I’m glad they’re doing it and I’m glad to see UCF [University of Central Florida] taking a part in it and I think it’s great what you kids are doing. I’m proud of it.

Velásquez
Thank you. So you mentioned that you guys never misbehaved, but there must have been times when students misbehaved.

Driskell
Well, I—I’m sure there was[sic] some that were not as good as me [laughs]. True of that. I can’t honestly think of a time, ’cause course in my day, when I was coming up my father always said to me, “You get to trouble with school, you’re going to get in trouble with me.” My daddy was a big man [laughs] and I did not want to fight him. No way, shape, or form did I want to tussle with my dad. So I was programmed and I had three siblings ahead of me—two brothers older and a sister older than I. My sister went to—didn’t go to school at Sanford Grammar, because when we moved here she was already farther up. But I had seen them get in trouble with Dad and I wasn’t going [laughs]. There was no way I was going to be bad.

Now, if there were some other classmates that got in trouble, I’m like the old monkey. I don’t hear it, I don’t see it, I’m not going to speak about it, because I don’t remember it. I really don’t. I was trying to remember the other day who the principal was, and I wish I had a list, because I don’t remember who the principal was. I remember Margaret Mitchell was at Southside, but I don’t remember who was Sanford Grammar. That shows you how much I went to the office. I stayed out of there and I had no reason to get in trouble. I guess I was classified as one of the “good eggs,” because I didn’t—I stayed out of it. I don’t remember anybody getting in trouble.

Velásquez
So you wouldn’t know what happened when other people misbehaved?

Driskell
Well, I—probably they—it would be the paddle, because that was part of the little punishment deal then. But I don’t know of anybody that got it, let me put it to you that way. It weren’t[sic] me. But I don’t know anybody that got it. But I know that the paddle was the form of punishment. You know, three. And—but, like I said, it never it never came my way. I stayed out of there.

Velásquez
What was the most valuable lesson you learned at Sanford Grammar?

Driskell
Study. And that goes back to Miss Sharon again. ’Cause if you did it right, you were rewarded. It wasn’t nothing but a gold star next to your name, and that meant a lot—that gold star. Simple, little, sticky star you stick and goop. That was it. That was like getting the million dollars, ’cause you knew that you were on the good side of Miss Sharon.

But study was the biggest thing. I didn’t like to study. I didn’t like school. That’s why it always amazed me that I would go and work in the school system. I didn’t—I wanted to sit down. I wanted to read a book, because I wanted to read it, not because she was going to tell me I had to read it. And so she made it where I wanted to study, because she give me a reward. She would reward me with nothing more than a pat on the back and tell me how proud she was of me and— or give me that gold star.

And as I progressed in school, I spent more time studying. I was never a great student, but I wasn’t a bad student. I kept my grades at a nice, good level. I wasn’t a braniac, but I wasn’t stupid either [laughs]. But she taught me that, and I appreciate her for that, because she made me feel like if you learn this, it’s going to make you better. And she was by far probably the most important teacher that ever touched my life, because she made me feel important. She made me feel like when I went to school, I was doing something right. And if—she just—she just hung with me for the rest of my life. I mean I appreciate what she made me learn, because it made high school, junior high school, everything easier, because she showed me how to study, and that’s the best thing I got out of the whole school system is she showed me how to make take it and apply it and that was what was important to me after I left. She was a remarkable teacher. Remarkable.

Velásquez
Um, are there any other activities that you participated in that you remember?

Driskell
We had our class programs that we did in the auditorium. Um, which you always felt so good doing it. But I mean, you know, we had little do—little plays and little things like that, but the only real thing that stuck into my head is that maypole [laughs]. I mean the other things were just common, everyday things that you would do. Like you would have a Christmas program for your parents, and they would come and see you perform, and you would have the little things there at the end of the year that you know you would be given an award for what you’d done in school. You know. Things like that. But it they were just the common, everyday things that you did back then.

Ever—parents were involved more in coming to see the children doing things in the school. But that may—maypole—that was everybody—that was the whole community. I mean they there was a lot of— I remember lots of people there and I don’t remember exactly why there was so many at that particular program. It was all set up on that street out front of where the school is now and there were people, lots and lots and lots and lots of people. And I, eh—it was more like a community thing rather than a school activity. I don’t know what it was exactly, but I danced it [laughs]. And there was a lot of people there. And, and—but you know other than the regular programs—no. We all did the things that we were told to do and enjoyed them and never thought about ever having to go to history like this, so no. I can’t think of anything else other than what we did normally.

Velásquez
Okay, well thank you. That’s all I have. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Driskell
I can’t think of anything that is profound in my mind that—other than the fact that I enjoyed I enjoyed Sanford and I enjoyed the school. I enjoyed the teachers. I am so grateful that my father moved us from Kansas and a farm to bring us to Sanford and to have the experience that I’ve had living in Sanford and going to school in Sanford and being a I don’t classify myself as being nothing but a Southern girl. I mean, I got sand all the way up past my knees. I’m here and I’m a Southern girl and I’m proud of it. And I went to school in Seminole County. And I—I’m proud of everything about that area. I have nothing to add. [inaudible] I have nothing to say. I’m just lucky. Thank you.

Velásquez
Thank you very much, Sharon.

Driskell
You’re welcome, dear.

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Velásquez, Daniel

Interviewee

Driskell, Sharon Karraker

Location

Geneva, Florida

Original Format

1 audio/video recording

Duration

34 minutes and 42 seconds

Bit Rate/Frequency

1728 kbps

Locations

Categories