Armstrong Elementary School

3401 Matoaka Road
Hampton, VA 23661
(757) 727-1067

Image courtesy of Sydney Dearing ('56) of TN
Thanks, Sydney!
Image courtesy of Sydney Dearing ('56) of TN
Thanks, Sydney!

When Dad came home in 1945 we moved to Southhampton and I attended Armstrong Elementary School from the second grade through the sixth grade. Armstrong School was almost in the center of a triangle made up of Victoria Boulevard, LaSalle Avenue, and Kecoughtan Road very close to where the Sentara Hospital is today. I think the school is still there. Armstrong was within a couple miles from home and I often walked home from school. My memories of Armstrong School are spotty with very few really strong ones. I remember what the school looked like and I remember Mrs. Wells (a rather heavy woman), Miss Nash and Mrs. Green, my third grade through fifth grade teachers. I can't remember the names of my teachers from the second and sixth grades. On my final report card in the fifth grade which I still have, Mrs. Green said "He reads well but often neglects his other subjects to do this reading." (She was right, I have always loved to read).

In front of the school, close to where the school busses stopped, was a large area with no grass where the boys would play marbles. Almost every boy carried a bag of marbles in his pocket every day, usually kept in a drawstring bag. Some marbles were more prized than others, because of their unusual color patterns or complete lack of color, like the clear marbles called crystals. On one occasion, a friend of mine was trying to slip a special marble out of his marble bag to show it to someone when the marbles spilled out onto the wooden floor of the classroom with a loud clatter. Naturally, everybody in class burst out laughing. Once the marbles were all gathered up, they were instantly confiscated by the teacher. I think the offender was probably also made to stay after class and write "I will not play with marbles in class" one hundred times on the blackboard.

We would often stay after school to shoot some marbles and would miss the school bus. On those occasions when we walked home, we took a shortcut to avoid the main roads. It took us by an old rundown shack of a house which we had convinced each other was haunted, or at least inhabited by some kind of evildoing residents. As in the book To Kill a Mockingbird, when we went by the house we picked up our speed and never got too close. I think it was actually uninhabited. We never saw any signs of life, but nobody ever had the courage to run up on the porch as a test of bravery, as they did in the book. Of course, one of us could have used the "double dog dare" and the recipient of the dare would have had no choice but to run up on the porch and touch the door before running back down and catching up with the others who would, no doubt be running at full speed and be halfway home by then. But the one using the dare was well aware that he would have been on the receiving end the very next day.

- Sydney Dearing ('56) of TN - 09/03/09
Thanks, Sydney!

At last, a fellow Armstrong student......altho Sydney was quite a few years ahead of me.  I attended Copeland Park Elementary in the first and second grades.  We moved to Henry Street in Southampton in Jun 56 (after Sydney graduated!).  I had the choice to attend either Willis Syms Eaton or Armstrong.  Since my closest neighbors went to Armstrong, so did I.  I had Miss Naff in the third grade (maybe his Miss Nash ?).  I don't remember a Mrs. Wells or Mrs. Green; they may have already gone by then.  But I also had Mrs. Hubbard and Mrs. Blake.  That leaves one that I cannot remember.  And yes, Sydney, Armstrong is still there and thriving.  I met the principal a few years ago and expressed my desire to visit, but I have not done so yet.  Thanks for the great picture!
- Gloria Woolard Price (Hampton HS - '65) of FL - 09/06/09
Thanks, Gloria!


After reading your input about Armstrong Elementary School, I think you are right, I do believe that teacher's name was Miss Naff, not Miss Nash. I don't remember a Mrs. Hubbard but Mrs. Blake does sound familiar, perhaps my 2nd or 6th grade teacher? After 50 plus years, memories get a little fuzzy.  Also, you said you moved to Henry Street in 1956, the year I graduated from NNHS. It just so happens that when I went to Armstrong I lived at 6 W. Southhampton Avenue, which I believe is only one block from Henry Street.

- Sydney Dearing ('56) of TN - 09/08/09
Thanks, Sydney!


I am attaching a .pdf file with some pictures.  If you are unable to use this format in your newsletter, let me know and I can e-mail each picture separately. 


- June Veneris Collie (Hampton HS - '62) of VA - 09/08/09
Thanks so much, June!

(This page was created on 09/07/09.)

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