In this series of weekly blogs we are driving down through Crawford County, taking Highway 27, from Viroqua to Prairie du Chien. Seneca is perched in the heart of Crawford County and our Scheckel farm was 2 miles northwest of the former stagecoach stop.
We’re approaching Stony Point. It was rumored that this area had many underground caves. We Scheckel boys asked about these caves a few times. Seems nobody knew where any cave was located. But we did know where the one-room Stony Point school was located and we Oak Grove kids played Stony Point in softball games.
Over the eight years of my elementary schooling, from 1948 to 1956, we played Progressive Ridge, Hall’s Branch, and Lynxville schools as well as Stony Point. Seems to had one “away” game each year and one “home” game. All 28 kids would pile into three cars and off we would go for an afternoon softball game. Two parent volunteers would drive in addition to the teacher. No seat belts, eight or nine kids to a car, a few bats and softballs. Some kids had a softball glove, most did not.
Let the game begin. If any male drove one of the cars, he would be pressed into being the umpire. Our teacher, Mrs. Ray, was the umpire one time at Hall’s Branch school. She stood behind the pitcher, made no gestures, just softly “you’re out” or “safe”. She didn’t know the difference between a “ball” or “strike” on pitching. Bob and I were sure she “costed” us the game when I was in fifth grade and my brother Philip was in sixth grade. We talked about it at home for several days.
We have the game won at Lynxville the next year. But wouldn’t you know it, Mrs. Ray put in a few first and second graders in the last inning, so “they could get some experience”. One kid threw the ball to second base when it should have been an easy play at first base. And that was just the start of a whole series of mistakes and we end up losing again.
There is one thing I learned when our Oak Grove school kids went to play “on the road” or when one of those one-room country schools’ kids came to visit us. Turns out, those kids were just like us!