Once upon a time there was a Lick Skillet School in Peaceful Valley. Many of the Pennington children attended this small one-room school in the 1920s and 1930s in southern Itawamba County. The school burned sometime before 1940, and instead of replacing the school building students were sent to other schools in the area. Although it burned before she started school and thus never attended there, my Aunt Tootsie remembers tagging along with her older sister, Vivian, who taught at the Lick Skillet school. She recalls eating canned pork and beans heated on the old wood heater.
The accompanying photo was provided by Aunt Tootsie. It is a picture of a group of young adults dressed for a play that was held at Lick Skillet School. I don't think that they were students of the school at the time, just residents of the local community. Most of the young people in the photo can be found in the 1930 census living with their parents on the Carolina-Barrs Ferry Road. As to the date of the photo, I'm guessing around 1934 or 1935, based on the ages of Vivian and Gaylord Pennington, siblings of my grandfather Fessie Pennington.
The young men standing in the back row have been identified by my mother as follows: Hershel Blake, Hudson Blake, unknown, unknown, Billy Blake, Elvie Burdine, and Gaylord Pennington.
The seated women were TeBee Blake, Gladys Neal, Icee Malloy, Vivian Pennington and Audie Neal. For a few years before her marriage to Johnnie Bethay, Aunt Vivian taught school at Lick Skillet.
The Blake, Burdine, Neal and Malloy families intermarried with the Sloan and Pennington families.