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L4I 1UC1 LI 1C ^U1 i O.Sports, Pages 7-12
Town, Former Students Aiming To Preserve Historic Building
It was different be
cause I was getting
out of the woods.
much bigger back
then, but it was
BY DOUG RUTTER
Brightie Hoklen calls Sunnyside
School her "pride and joy." But she
cringcs every time she drives through
downtown Shallotte and passes the historic
"I love it. It's very special to me. I wish
something could he done for it so it could he
put to better use," said Hoiden, who attend
ed school and later taught in the same class
room at Sunnyside.
"When I drive hy, I look to see that
room," she says. "I hope they make some
thing decent out of it. When I go hy and
look at it, it bothers me because I don't like
the way it looks."
Windows are broken, litter surrounds the
.? ? !hn rrhnn' tp -ltr~ - ?
UUilUttig, UUU tlt\. .'.ItWi l.l til MMV ???
paint job. Sunnyside generally has the ap
pearance of a building that has been left un
attended for two decades.
The white, three-room structure at the
corner of Main Street and N.C. 130 West has
not heard the pitter-patter of school chil
dren's feet for more nearly 22 years.
Other than serving as home of the South
Brunswick Interchurch Council Clothes
Closet, Sunnyside has not been put to got>d
use since it was salvaged from wrecking
crews when old Shallotte High School was
destroyed in 1972.
However, all of that could change this
year. Shallotte Alderman Roney Cheers is
heading up a committee of town officials
and residents interested in relocating and
renovating the 79-year-old schoolhouse.
In the past, community residents have
been reluctant to get involved in Sunnyside
School improvement projects because the
building did not have a permanent home.
Brunswick Electric Membership Corpor
ation officials agreed last fall to provide that
permanent home for Sunnyside by giving
the town a long-term lease for property
about 200 feet from the present site.
BliMC General Manager David Batten
said the company's board of directors has
passed a resolution agreeing to lease the
land indefinitely for $1 per year. The board
is waiting for the town to come up with im
Cheers, a Shallotte native, said he hopes
to have something done before the end of
STAFF PHOTO BY DOUG HUTTCR
rOLR CiEi\ER/\i iOi\S of jo Ann Simmons 'family attended Sunnyside School in Shallotte. She's among a group of residents interested in preserving ike building
the year. The committee needs to come up The school has that "old-timey" look and
with plans and money to renovate the build- feel about it. Front doors open to a small au
ing. ditorium and stage, and there are large two
"It's something that should be preserved," classrooms on each side. Before the school
Cheers said. "It has a history dating back to was moved, it had a third classroom in the
1915. There's a lot of people in this area that back.
attended school there." Shallotte native Jo Ann Simmons has a
The history of Sunnyside is sketchy. A special interest in Sunnyside As a member
sign outside the building says it was built in of BEMC's board of directors, she's in a po
ly 15. It served grades kindergarten through sition to do something she hopes will ulti
eight at one time, and later became part of mately help preserve the historic building,
the Shallotte High School complex. "I personally would like to see it pre
When Shallotte Middle School was con- served because I attended school there. My
structed and the old high school was de- children went to school there and so did my
stroyed, Sunnyside was salvaged. It hasn't parents and grandparents," Simmons said,
moved from its present site since the earlv "About all the old schools have been torn
j^ \ : ^ i
FIFTY YFARSIATER (in photo above) Cliff Edward (right) of Raleigh and Holden
Reach is reunited with his World War II buddies Larry (iriffis (left) and Don Allan. Of
their original company that
entered combat, only five
were never evacuated with
the wounded or killed, and
only these three are alive
today. Also part of the re
union, though not pictured,
was Ann Edwards, who was
a Red Cross worker in the
war. At left, in a 1944 pho
tograph, the three are
shown in a typical World
They parted company in the
European Theatre war zone
in the summer of 1945.
Simmons, who attended fourth and fifth leave Royal Oak and visit Shallotte.
grade at Sunnyside, said she has discussed "It was different because I was getting out
preservation of the schoolhouse with former of the woods," she said. "Shallotte wasn't
classmates. much bigger back then but it was something.
"We've had a lot of people say they 1 loved? my ,cachcr Shc was a love|y
would volunteer to do electrical work or w ? a ' . _ -jol.
painting to help restore it and make it some- Des|" ,ts "amkc' Su"?ysidc Scho?'
think; school children could visit." she said. ncvcr k"own tor hav,n? ,he *arf"est clas^
rooms. Its rooms were heated with pot-bel
Holden says the left wing cla*Mouitt of lied stoves.
Sunnyside will always be special to her. She Marie Harrison, who was a student in
was a student in Ida Parker's fourth-grade Dorothy Sellers' fourth-grade class in ll)48,
class in that room in iy25 and returned to remembers the chilly side of Sunnyside.
the same room 32 years later to teach the "It was always cold," she recalled. " There
fourth grade. was no insulation of course and there were
As a youngster. Holden said she liked stoves in each classroom. It was up to the
Sunnyside School because it allowed her to fellows to get the coal for the stoves."
Combat Unit's 3 Survivors Enjoy
Reunion After Half A Century
A well-known Kalcigh retired educator and his
wife have been hosts the past few days for an un
usual reunion, part of which took place at llolden
Clifton T. Edwards and wife Ann welcomed two of
Fdwards' World War II buddies, reuniting the three men
for the first time in ainiost 50 years. They parted compa
nv in th?_? Piiri>rw?'?n Thivitr?? U/J?r '/nni1 in tH?% SlimmtT of
The three men were in- "rL, _ ? . ,_;x .
fantrymen in Company E, I h&IT UHlt WOS
2X9,h ,R.^imcn,; 75,h battlestars for
Division. Their unit was ,v"
awarded three battlestars SOUfhem pfOH
for combat in Southern
France, the crossing of the CrOSSIDQ of the
Rhine River, and the Battle y
of the Bulge in the and the Battle
Ardenne Forest ot
Belgium in the Ardenni
Of the original company _ .
that entered combat, only BeiQIUffl.
five were never at some
time evacuated with the
wounded or killed?and only these three arc alive today.
All three met Ann Edwards during the war when she
served them coffee and doughnuts during her stint as a
Red Cross worker in Belgium and France.
They each escorted Ann on dates to Paris and Reims
from time to time, but it was Cliff lidwards she would
All of them?including Ann?were residents of
"Camp Chicago," a tent city in France where the
Company E soldiers were housed while waiting to see
whether they would be shipped out to the Prcific.
Edwards retired from the Raleigh Schools in 1M87 af
ter 30 years, ending his career as principal of Daniels
Junior High School.
l-arry Ciriffis is a sculptor and artist who directs the
Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto, N Y. lie has been
doing some painting at Holdcn Beach during the re
Don Allan, accompanied by his wife Dores. is a re
tired educator from Yankton, S.I).
'I"he group visited many Raleigh points of interest,
spent several days at the Edwards' Lumberton Street
home ai Hoiucii Beach, taking Jay trips from there to
Charleston ST to tour historic sites including The
Citadel. They also took in
nu/nrWcW Calabash. Myrtle Beach.
uwur ueu Fort Fishcr and Wilmington
combat in A" thrcc mcn wcrc
LU,MUUI sergeants and have main
^-0 f/lG tained a Christmas card cor
respondence every year.
} Rhine River Humorous stories, numer
ous recollections of past
OT the Bulce comrades, and the trials and
** tribulations of "blue braid"
5 lOreSt of mcn punctuated their several
years together, Edwards
"Wherever we have trav
eled, we have not been bash
ful about our long-time friendship and the fortunate gilts
of life we have enjoyed," Edward said "We all have
several children and grandchildren, so picture sharing
has been a major activity."
Griffis, joking, said, " The Edwards' have been such
marvelous hosts that we seriously thought about staying
Continuing the good humor. Allan added, "I wanted
them to come to South Dakota for the reunion. But
Griffis didn't know where the state was, and Edwards
didn't want to go any place above the Mason-Dixon
line, even if it called itself South Dakota."
Edwards said. "We don't plan to wait 50 years before
our next reunion."
'ITie Edwards t.imily has been coming to liolden
Beach since the l')5tK.