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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesdays with Gindy. Derrick Family Firefighters

Disclaimer: Many of the stories are completely fictional.  Other stories are fictional accounts of true stories.  Other stories are completely true.  Sometimes the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Not many people remember this, but years ago in the town of Iva, South Carolina, the Iva School Board voted to join with the school in Starr, South Carolina, and form School District 3.

The plan was to build a new high school and continue using the schools in the two towns as elementary schools.  The all-black school, New Deal, would become the Middle School.

While they were building the new high school, a fire broke out in the old Iva School which was soon to be Iva Elementary School.  The town all gathered around the old school watching it burn.

The Iva Volunteer Fire Department bravely fought the fire.  The Starr Volunteer Fire Department was on the way to give a hand. Still, the on lookers thought there was little hope to save the school.

Way off in the distance the crowd could hear a loud horn honk and Papa
Derrick yelling “Git out de way”.  The whole Derrick family had climbed on the old farm truck and was a comin’ fast and furious.

The truck turned the corner onto the street where the school was burning.  U. J. was blowin’ the horn and yelling at people as they drove by.
Papa Derrick was standing up in the front seat waving his arms and yelling at everyone to, “Git out de way.”

The crowd parted and the whole town watched in horror as U. J. Derrick drove the family truck right up into the open front doors of the burning school.

The crowd was amazed when Mama Derrick jumped off the truck and started stomping out the flames.  Papa Derrick jumped out from the front seat and started stompin’ flames on his side of the truck.

The crowd could hear Mama Derrick holler at her son, “There’s one over thur, U. J. Git it out.”  And to her daughter, “Anne, thurs one right behind you; git it.”

Derricks were stompin' everywhere.  Finally, after a great deal of serous stompin’, the Derrick family managed to stomp the fire completely out.  The family saved most of the school.  All that was lost was the principal’s office and the library.

No significant loss since the library only had two books and both of them had already had all the pages colored in. The principal was never in his office anyway.

Mayor Hewell took up a collection among the bystanders to thank the Derrick Family.  The mayor presented the $200 that the crowd managed to put together.  A reporter from the Iva Journal asked Papa Derrick what his family was going to do with all that money.

Papa Derrick smiled and said, “Thur’s a lot we kin do with that heap of
money.  However, I think the first thing we should do is git the brakes fixed on the truck.”

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