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Open Letter to Class of ’60

John W. Pinkerton


Dear Pineville High School Class of 1960,

In the past I’ve indicated that my high school years in Pineville, Louisiana, were a pleasant time in my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever formally thanked the administration, the teachers, the auxillary staff, and my fellow students for making those years a wonderful time for me.

I started school in the first grade with ya’ll; then my folks moved away somewhere else then back I believe for the seventh grade where Mr. Cespeva made certain I knew my multiplication tables by heart.   I wasted my first six weeks of high school in New Orleans, but then I was able to spend the remainder of my high school time including graduation at Pineville High School.  Thank the Lord.

“Rip” Barron was the principal.  “Rip” handled discipline with what we would probably call tough love today.  I only went before his court once---a minor skirmish in study hall with a fellow student---I thought the other fellow in the skirmish was at fault, but “Rip” seemed to blame me.  Oh, well, no harm done.

The custodial staff kept the school clean and the cafeteria staff fed me lunch each day.  Good stuff and I think a meal was a dime.

I’ve praised the teachers in other writings in the past.  These folks showed up each day prepared and taught us knuckleheads the best they could.  My all-time favorite was Mrs. Miller, speech teacher.  They were good role models.  We even learned from the bad role models what not to do.

As for my fellow students, well, you at least tolerated me.  As a classmate once said, “You were kind.”

The folks I was closest to, three fellows, were smart, from good families, and contributed much to my education from firearms to vocabulary.

My four years at Pineville High has probably had more influence on who I’ve become than all my other experiences---LSU, US Army, teaching for twenty-five years, being a librarian for ten, or various other activities in retirement.


Yours gratefully,

John W. Pinkerton

Class of ’60

Pineville High School