“We moved from the old 139 school into this building in January of 1956,” Leonard reminisced. “I got to stay here a total of about five months. We graduated on May 9, 1956. So we were officially the first class through it but we never spent a lot of time here. Our memories are really over at the old school, but this is really a beautiful school here. We’re very proud of it.”
Leonard, who was in charge of the Clay High School Sale and auction Saturday morning, was busy setting things up for the 2 p.m. auction.
“We collect merchandise the live-long year from merchants, from individuals, and we store it away until the first Saturday in October, and every year we hold a big sale,” Leonard said. “All proceeds, over and above our costs, go to the Clay Legacy School Fund. From that fund we award scholarships to graduating seniors here at Clay High School.”
Browsers pored over table after table of things they just couldn’t live without, including tables with specialty items.
“We feature a lot of seasonal merchandise,” Leonard said. “A lot of Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and all the special seasons. And then we have a lot of household goods, like tables, lamps, and various little appliances.”
Leonard stood in front of an area where many larger items were placed.
“All of the large beds, the couches and chairs — these will be auctioned off at our two o’clock auction,” Leonard said. “Our auctioneer, Randy Rucker Auctioneer Service, donates his services.”
Leonard said a lot of people and companies contributed to the success of the event.
“Big Sandy Furniture has been a big contributor to us. Kroger, Valley Foods, just a number of people — but a lot of merchandise you see here is from individuals in the school system who have brought it in, both new and used,” Leonard said. “It’s a team effort. That’s what it really is.”
So what does a 1956 alumnus think of the prospects of a new Clay School building soon to be built in front of the current building?
“We are totally excited,” Leonard said. “About two weeks ago yesterday we had the official groundbreaking out here even though they had already begun to work some. We had a lot of dignitaries in. The State Representative (Todd Book) was in, and we brought all the kids in here in the gym and had a real hoop-and-holler time. We’re all excited. We’re looking forward to 2011 and being in our new school.”
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.