ROBISON SCHOOL II
by Ann Angel Eberhardt
By Judy Caldwell Nelson
Hup, two, three, four. You’re in the army now.
Robison Elementary School was the school I attended from third through sixth grades. The school was a large red brick building with wooden flooring and two grand staircases leading to the second floor. There were beautifully polished railings on the sweeping stairways.
As I recall, the fourth through sixth-grade homerooms were on the second floor. Miss Bruner was my fourth-grade teacher and I believe she secretly wanted to be an army sergeant. Of course, women were not permitted in the armed services in those days unless they were nurses. Not to be deterred, Miss Bruner probably decided that the next best thing would be to become a teacher and treat her students like army recruits.
When we students left school in the afternoon, we all had to line up four or more abreast on the upper stairway. Miss Bruner had a wooden ruler and she would rap it sharply on the stairway railing in time to her hearty cries of “Left, left….left, right, left.”
We were not permitted to descend – and escape – until we were all keeping perfect step. Sometimes we would march in place for five or more minutes until we reached the gloriously perfect cadence that probably filled Miss Bruner’s heart with rapture. And woe unto he or she whose marching was deficient, for that ruler could rap on other things besides the railing – like arms, hands, heads, etc.
Of course, other homeroom teachers lined their students up in the same manner and made them march as well. But no other teacher expressed the military ardor of Miss Bruner. Someone should have presented her with honorary sergeant stripes.
Unfortunately, that beautiful old school was torn down and replaced with a more modern structure with absolutely no personality.
Top of page: Emma Robison Grade School, Sharpsville, PA, on a map drawn by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler and published by T. M. Fowler & James B. Moyer in 1901. [Source: Library of Congress.]
– Judy Caldwell Nelson (SHS 1958), Shoreline, WA, March 2013