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St. Elmo News

Thursday, April 30
• Canceled – Exxon Mobil Annuitants.
Tuesday, May 5
• Canceled – Council of Catholic Women.
Wednesday, May 6
• Canceled – Wright’s Corner Unit of Home and Community Education.
• St. Elmo City Council, 6 p.m., Instead of meeting at city hall, it will meet at the American Legion Home.
Thursday, May 7
• Canceled – St. Elmo Women’s Civic Club.
Closed Daily Through May 30
• St. Elmo Public Library.
• Brownstown Branch Library.
• Beecher City Branch Library.
• The Fayette County Extension Office in Vandalia.
• The Fayette County Museum in Vandalia.
St. Elmo Board of Education
The St. Elmo Board of Education was scheduled to meet April 20, but changed the meeting to April 22. It met in regular session at 7:30 p.m.
The following consent agenda items were approved: Regular March 16 minutes, bills and financial reports, and monthly administrative reports.
Discussed was the end-of-the year activities.
Graduation has been rescheduled to May 23. More information to come soon.
The board approved that each senior be refunded $100 and an additional $350 will be refunded to each senior who planned to take the senior trip.  All funds will be repaid out of the senior class activity account.
The annual Illinois Elementary Association Membership was approved.
The graduation list for 2020, pending meeting all requirements, was approved.
The first reading of the Illinois Association School Board PRESS policies March 2020 edition was approved.
The consolidated district plan was approved.
A contract with Archway Industrial Coatings was approved.
The board voted to advertise for bids for roof projects.
The Board approved the employment of Morgan Stemming as high school guidance counselor; the employment of Laura Somodi as elementary music teacher; and the employment of Colton Henry as high school agriculture teacher.
Re-employment of support staff and coaches/sponsors for the 2020-21 school year was approved.
Rhodes-Side Gleanings on Chapter III – Grades 6-8
When I was in the sixth grade, I remember that the Wednesday night before the 1940 Thanksgiving, I had a tummy ache. I had tummy aches for several years. Mom would give me caster oil on an orange half and much of the time I would throw up. I would drink canned orange juice, but I was in my 20s before I liked eating a fresh orange.
On Thanksgiving, I could not eat and Mom called Dr. Lewis the next morning. He came out, but I don’t remember what he did.
My tummy kept hurting Saturday, and on Sunday mom called the doctor and he said to take me to the Effingham hospital and he would check on me.
That afternoon, my folks took me to the old St. Anthony Hospital in Effingham. I especially remember U.S. Route 40 from St. Elmo to Altamont – it was a brick road and with my tummy hurting I could feel every brick.
When we got to the hospital I was diagnosed with ruptured appendix, and the doctor said if I hadn’t got there when I did, I wouldn’t survive.
The gangrene infection was throughout my body, so my tummy was packed in ice for two weeks before I had surgery. For surgery I was put to sleep with gas. Drains were put in where the infection collected – way down low on my left side – and I spent five more weeks in the hospital. I have a very large scar way down on my left side. There was no antibiotic back then.
I missed 11 weeks of school because, when I got home, Mom had to check the drains every day and it took a while for my incision to heal. 
The nurses and everyone at the hospital were very good to me.
On Christmas Day, I had favors on my meal trays. One of them, a poem, I still have – “Let me grow lovely growing old, so many old things do; Laces and ivory and gold and silk need not be new; But there is healing in old trees, old streets a glamour hold, Why may not I, as well as these, grow lovely growing old?” It has always stayed in my memory.
I believe God answered prayers to let me live. My family didn’t go to church, but Mom was always humming religious songs and I know she was a Christian.
She and her family were Baptists. I remember Dad telling about when he was young, he sat on a porch to hear a relative (I think it was his grandmother) tell about being a Mormon.
I don’t know if my dad was a Christian.
Several of my friends went to the St. Elmo Methodist Church Sunday school, so that is where I started going. I also attended the summer Bible schools.
When I was in the hospital, the sixth-grade class members wrote me letters – some on Nov. 26, 1940 and others on Jan. 7, 1941.
An autograph book was signed at the hospital by 19 Sisters, nurses, doctors and nurses aides. The main doctor was Dr. Frank Buckmaster. Remember, Dr. Lewis said for my folks to put me in the hospital and he would go later to see me? Even though I was there seven weeks, he didn’t come to see me one time.
The hospital people remembered me as smiling and Dr. E. S. Frazier wrote: This is to a young lady who came to us with a serious condition that had to be taken care of. Under stress and pain she went through there was never a complaint but always a smile. To the girl that smiles away all her troubles.
Dr. Buckmaster wrote: A golden opportunity is shining on the hill; it’s meant for every one of us. You can have it if you will. Keep this opportunity in mind.
A jar of pennies I had saved for quite a while and I remember that when I got well, I started spending them each day I went to school – I went by the Smith grocery store and the store had plenty of penny candy.
The store faced south in the middle of the block on Second Street. Ash Street, where I lived, was just a block east of the school.
I don’t remember if it was the fifth or sixth grade I started being in the band; my folks got me a French horn. 
Milk was furnished at the school for several years, and I remember taking to school chocolate to put in my milk. Milk was okay, but I really liked to drink whipping cream.
Dad’s construction company, the Sun Rig Oil Co., worked in the oilfields for the Carter Oil Co.
A Carter superintendent was a good friend and we visited with him and his wife with quite a lot.
Several times during the summer, Dad, Mom and I went to the baseball games at the St. Louis Sportsman’s Park and some of the people from Carter Oil went with us. Dad also furnished liqueur to most of them. Guess this was bribes for the work they let his construction company do.
I don’t remember the year, but I was in grade school when Dad, Mom and I had a couple go with us to Ohio for the men to go deer hunting. We females went shopping and saw many movies while the men went hunting. On the way home, we had a deer tied on each front fender.
Dad shot his deer in the next and when it was stuffed, you could see where it was shot. After Dad died, Mom gave the deer head away.
Next week’s article will be on the seventh and eighth grades.

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