May 31, 2009 - The Lake City Reporter

By H. Morris Williams

One of our CHS teacher's sharp sense of humor came out one year when she was registering a class of high school freshman for the next grade.

At that time, the registration forms were just starting to use the initials DOB for date of birth. Because DOB was new, the teacher emphasized several times to her students that DOB meant date of birth, even writing it on the chalkboard.

Even so, when one of her inattentive male students got to that part of the registration form, he called out, "Hey, what does that DOB stand for."

The teacher was a bit exasperated of course but she knew just how to handle the question.

With a straight face and serious manner, she explained that DOB meant dumb or bright, that these new registration forms called for each student to do an academic self-evaluation, and that if he thought he was dumb to circle 'D' and if he thought he was bright to circle 'B.'

The kid touched his pencil point to his lips, thought a minute, and asked, "What if you don't know if you're dumb or bright?"

And the whole class chimed in to answer his question. "Circle Dumb"!

Of course the whole class laughed and when the kid finally got the point, he laughed, too.

Friend Clara Roberts, Columbia County Teacher of the Year in 1992, can give you more details on this story if you ask her.


The family of George Cox will hold their family reunion on Saturday, June 6, starting around 11 a.m. and ending when everybody finishes visiting. Location: the home of Charles and Geraldine (Cox) Snipes.

Smoked turkey, ham, drinks, and all paper goods will be provided so just bring your own favorite dish to share. For more information, call Jo Ann Cox at 386-752-0371, Geraldine Snipes at 386-755-1238, or email Stan and Angie Cox at


Friend Al Williams has an 1884 post card addressed to "Mrs. Mary Ann Roberts, Payne, Columbia County, Florida." So, where was the community of Payne in our county? According to Al, it was at the intersection of Old Country Club Road and Hillcrest Street.

By the way, the card was from the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Pensions, and concerned Mary Ann's application for a pension for her late husband George's participation in the Indian Wars.


School Museum thanks go to friend Dodie Pedlow for donating a Lake City Centennial (1859-1959) souvenir "shaving permit" button, a "Century in the Sun" 57-page book, a Centennial schedule of events booklet, a 1959 reprint of the 1889 Chamber of Commerce booklet "Columbia, the Banner County", an LCCC booklet commemorating the first 35 years of LCCC, and assorted other local documents.


Craftsman Bob Noonan (386-755-2868) has a rare local antique shoeshine stand for sale. For some 50 years the lovely bench-type shoeshine stand was used in the Blanche Barber Shop, located next to the historic Blanche Hotel.

When the barbershop closed, Bob bought the shoeshine stand, completely disassembled it, and beautifully refinished every part by hand.

Who knows who all may have gotten their shoes shined while sitting on that bench? Maybe Gov. Fred Cone who lived at the Blanche or gangster Al Capone who stayed there many times. Certainly many of Lake City's prominent citizens were regulars.

Bob had intended to keep it but now needs to sell it. He prefers to sell it to someone who will display it on special civic or historic occasions. Bob's asking price is $1,000 and you can see it in the lobby of the Blanche Hotel building.


The next CHS 1949-53 reunion will be held on Friday. December 11, 2009,11:30, at the Mason City Community Center. For more information, call Julia Osborn at 386-752-7544.


The divorce court judge said, "Mr. Clark, I have reviewed this case very thoroughly and I have decided to give your wife $2,000 a month." "That's very fair, your honor", the husband said, "and every now and then I'll try to send her a few bucks myself." square

H. Morris Williams is a local historian and long-time Columbia County resident.