Joe T. Reeves - Birth through Fourth Grade - 1934-1941
Remembrances of Joe T. Reeves:
I was born, Joe Tom Reeves, on August 27, 1934, at the home of my aunt, Cassie (Reeves) Hogue in Walnut Grove, Mississippi. My paternal grandmother, Emma (Hooks) Reeves also lived there. My folks were school teachers and, when I was very young, taught at Bloomo in Neshoba County and Dixon and Ringgold in Scott County. Of this time I remember very little. When I was 3 or 4, we moved to Starkville, where my father was studying at Mississippi State College, to become an Agriculture teacher. When he finished we moved to Center Hill in Lauderdale County. They were about to lose a teacher if they couldn't get more students, so offerred to let 5 year olds start to school that year (1939). I had just turned 5 when school started but began First Grade. Kindergarten was unheard of in those days. Since my mother had been teaching me since I was 3, it soon became apparent to the teacher that I already knew all the first grade work. I was promoted at the end of the first month and finished second grade while I was still 5 years old.
Two years later, while in 4th grade, I remember hearing about the attack on Pearl Harbor and our family gathered around the radio to listen to the war news. The radio was powered by a car battery which my daddy would swap into the car every few days to charge it. Television, of course, had not been invented. At Center Hill we had electric lights run by a Delco power plant in our back yard which also pumped water and powered the lights at the school. This was our first experience with electricity and we even had a faucet in the kitchen. My folks told all our relatives what a great thing it was to just turn on the electric light rather than have to deal with the kerosene lamps, which most of them still had, and not to have to go to the well to draw water.