The second school W. J. attended was the North Fork School, about three miles from the Absher home toward Luster's Gate on a property adjacent to Dry Run. Dry Run is, as the name implies, a stream that runs only in wet weather. The mostly dry stream bed also served part-time as a road bed in places. That school building was torn down and Bill Grubb built a house near the site. He attended this school for three or four grades. Clarence McPherson.. often drove him to school which started his friendship with Clarence's son, Lloyd, who became his best friend and eventually a brother-in-law.
Dad carried a vivid memory of his early teachers for most of his long life. Heather Robinson was a teacher that lived with the Absher family for a period while teaching at a valley school. She was the daughter of Jake Robinson who was a descendent of surveyor Robinson who was commissioned by England to survey the western lands of the Virginia Colony. Other teachers were Virginia Kambridge, Dorthy Keister, Ray Albert, and Bessie Nutter. Bessie Nutter had a reputation of being very strict.
One school story Dad told a lot had to do with his resistance to poison ivy. Punishment of unruly students was considered the responsibility of the teacher. It was an unspoken, unwritten authorization from parents. During one mid winter school day, the teacher deemed a student needed a spanking and sent Bill to get a switch. Dad selected a stem growing next to a fence, one that the cold weather had left naked. The teacher used the switch for its intended purpose and then discarded it in the pot belly stove that heated the classroom. The burning poison ivy produced far more pain as smoke than it did as a brittle switch to both teacher and students (except to the resistant William).
Another story Dad told illustrated the friendship between he and Lloyd McPherson. The two pre-teen boys got in a fight on the play ground. Teacher Ray Albert broke them up and sent them in to clean up themselves. After a while the teacher came to check on them and found the boys joking and laughing. They walked home that day as if nothing had happened.
Lloyd McPherson drove the school bus that hauled students from the valley to Blacksburg High School.
Lloyd met Evelyn Dickerson and took his friend, Bill, with him as he called on the Dickerson home. Evelyn had an older sister, Jean, who soon became Bill's life long love!
Bill had another education outside the classroom doing 4-H club work. He and his friend Lloyd fed steers to be exhibited I'm market beef shows under the supervision of County Extension A gent T. M. Helper. Dad told of the show circuit that took the boys and their animals to shows in Christiansburg, Baltimore, and Chicago. That experience helped give Dad a good respect for education and said if he had been able to have gone on in school, he would have liked to have been a County Agent.