By Leah Schmalz
As the Bain School reunion this weekend approaches, Jim Black, a 95-year-old lifelong resident of Mint Hill and Bain graduate, remembers a particularly notable class reunion held decades ago. The school had managed to secure Clyde Hoey, the governor of North Carolina, as the guest speaker. “I don’t know how they swung that deal,” said Black. “I don’t remember a word he said.” Black does remember how worried his father was about introducing the governor. “He pulled through it okay,” he said.
Black said the reunion also involved small games like horseshoes and marbles. “I think marbles have gone out of style,” he said.
The popularity of marbles isn’t the only thing that has changed since Black attended school at Bain. Students had to play basketball on a dirt court outside before a gymnasium was built for indoor games. Classes were much smaller, with just 16 students in Black’s graduating class. Families in the community made a living growing cotton, so school was cancelled during harvest time to allow the children to help pick the crop. “It’s a terrible job, picking cotton,” said Black, who harvested his fair share. […]