The Shainberg Store operated for many years at the corner of Main and Mill Streets in New Madrid. Wagley Furniture now occupies the building.
Back in those days you could take your pocket knife to school--yes, school--where you could play "mumblety peg" or carve your initials in your desk. I remember one time a couple of boys were having a good fist fight with the rest of us watching. The boy losing the fight pulled his knife out of his pocket. This was not allowed, and the rest of us stepped in and took the knife and let them finish the fight. When he said "Uncle" and the fight ended, we gave him his knife back.
Men have always carried pocket knives. One of the highlights of a visit to the U.S. Capitol is to see where Daniel Webster, and many other Senators--some later Presidents--carved their names or initials in their Senate desks. I guess serving in the U. S. Senate is a lot like attending the 8th grade--lots of idle time.
The desks at the Higgerson School have a lot of things carved in their tops. But, it is one particular desk that should catch your attention when you tour the school.
The young boy who carved these initials was Dwight Woolf. Dwight graduated the 8th grade in 1961. He finished high school in 1965 and went into the Army.
I never knew Dwight Woolf, but every time I see those initials carved in his desk I think about him--a young mischievous boy with a Tuf-Nut pocket knife secretly carving away behind a raised book. I think his teacher might have known what he was doing, but, thankfully, didn't interrupt his important work.
This Memorial Day is a good time to reflect on men and woman like Dwight Woolf whose sacrifice for this nation has left us plenty to remember them all by.