Bernice Beckham of Mountain View has experienced a lot in her 95 years. Born in 1926, she attended a one-room school in Happy Hollow before moving to Mountain View, where she graduated in 1944 after seeing her brother and many classmates go off to war. She attended business school in Missouri and later was recruited to the Bank of Mountain View, where she worked for 35 years and witnessed one of the major downtown fires. She married and reared five children, becoming an acclaimed cook and sewing countless outfits for her daughters, plus sewing hundreds of baby blankets for friends and family.
The daughter of Alonzo Johnson and Tabitha Shannon Johnson, she attended school at Happy Hollow until moving to Mountain View for fifth grade. Her father was a carpenter and did not own a vehicle, and he decided it would be easier to work if the family moved to town.
Her favorite subjects were English and spelling. In high school, she remembers the school having basketball and band, but she enjoyed playing table tennis for fun.
“When I got to the point I could beat John Alfred Webb, I was tickled,” she said.
Her eleventh grade class had 41 students, but only 26 graduated because the boys who were 18 years old went into the service. Her brother, Merl, was among those who shipped out, as was her future husband but she didn’t know him then.
- Full story in the Jan. 27, 2021 issue.