In this Senior Voices web extra, M. Alice Callier remembers her childhood and education at Wogaman Elementary School in West Dayton. She shared her memories with Dayton Metro Library interviewer Jennifer Hicks.
M. Alice Callier: The teachers that taught me there made me who I am today as a person because they care about us as students and as people and contributors to the rules They were always talking about being good citizens good citizens and citizenship, but not only that. They recognize what your capabilities were and abilities and they try to focus on you utilize them to Europe grandis capacity.
My fourth grade teacher Mary Jackson. She loved me I think because I had the first name but was that was hers and that day you had to be in the fourth grade before you could participate in the spelling bee. So I was a spelling bee competition and representative for my school for consecutive years, and she was the coach with me.
I remember she would ask me to come over to her house on Saturday mornings, and she made me a very different kind of meal, but it was a good experience and we would study the words in the booklet. And she saw that I had the potential to be a winner, and I was. I was so excited winning the spelling bee for the school, and then we were of course entered into the county be as well.
But every year I represented Wogaman Elementary School for four years.
Jennifer Hicks: What would you do for fun as a child as you were growing up?
M. Alice Callier: My mother worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and she got up at four o'clock in the morning made a breakfast in the stove hot breakfast for us and left it in the oven. And because of my maturity, I wanted to give back in kind and we had a lot of play time.
So I'd say to my brothers, you know what we're going to do today because I was a supervisor. And I said we're going to clean the windows, we're going to wash the floors. And they said, and then we can go and play? So they would follow along, and we got things done so that when my mother came home all she needed to do was to serve us a hot meal, which she had already prepared ahead of time and left it in the refrigerator and we would sit at the kitchen table.
That was the most exciting thing we did all day. We gathered as a family sat at the table. We had a hot meal every day and the table was formally set and we enjoyed each other.
This interview was edited by WYSO's Juliet Fromholt. Senior Voices is a collaboration between the Dayton Metro Library, Rebuilding Together Dayton, and WYSO. This series is made possible through the generous support of the Del Mar Healthcare Fund of the Dayton Foundation.