I would like to tell you about…….’ my school ‘ .  It is nestled in a village in the south central region of Pennsylvania. The village of Scotland lies in a valley between two mountain ranges in a farming region.   It was established after the  CIVIL WAR to house and train orphans from the war. It was  ( i will disgust the is, was later ) unique school, one of only a handful of such schools nationwide. Because of its location it was titled….. SCOTLAND SCHOOL for VETERANS CHILDREN ( S.S.V.C. ).

Over the years it’s student body entry requirements changed with the state of the veterans population. When i was enrolled the requirements were ….one of your parents had to be a veteran and were incapable of raising you. In my case my parents were divorced when i was seven years old.  My parents were sharing us and soon it became apparent that we were not in a good place  (i was running the streets at night alone )  so they decided  to put us in the school….i was twelve years old.

The school was a residential school (you were housed there year round ) given an education and taught discipline, military style. Thank heaven only my first year were we required  to were uniforms ( wool pants, gray shirts, black tie, black shoes and socks ). Uniforms were only required for graduations and parades. But the discipline remained the same. While there you complained about the discipline but years after graduating you saw that the discipline was a good thing.

We were taught to respect our elders ( YES, SIR…YES, MAM ) , and to respect our teachers. We hand small classroom sizes that, with that military respect and good teachers, gave us a good, comprehensive education. We were also taught to respect our flag. We were taught flag etiquette. Revelry and Taps were preformed daily. Many students, after graduation, enlisted in the military….i was one.

But the school was government funded and , after over 100 years, politics entered into a debate over budgets. The school was DE-funded and closed. The campus and the beautiful old buildings were sold.  A seminary took over the sprawling site and with open arms invited alumni to visit.

With sadness  i think about the school. The place that gave me so much. It gave me sound morals, respect for others and my wife of 49 years, as of this writing.  We have been together for over 50 years, AND STILL DEEPLY IN LOVE!

I thank, for all i am,….. MY SCHOOL !



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