Back in the eighth grade (mine) I won the Golden Horseshoe, a prize for West Virginia state history. It’s a multiple choice exam of WV trivia and such. I remember one question on Claire Bee, a WV author. Well, there were four of us to win from each county. That would be about 250+. The black and white photo – I am there front and center next to the education secretary. Don’t ask. I had an Argus C3 brick in hand (camera). This was my first foray into photography. It was an utter dismal failure. Meanwhile the four winners from my county – me, Bill, John, and Marty – all went about our separate lives to be rejoined on this one occasion of our 50th high school reunion.
Speaking of the Golden Horseshoe, I won the award. It is given out for the four highest scores on an exam per county in West Virginia. The exam is on all things WV. Chip Hilton – Claire Bee books. Yup, I read them, so I got the question right. I had a clue I had done well on the test while walking home with and being questioned by Anne. I had gotten a lot of trivia/trivial questions right.
I remember reading a red book to learn about all things good and wonderful about the state. It must have stuck. I was a winner. And the prize? A golden horseshoe pin and a trip to Charleston, the capital. Here I am the token minority standing next to the secretary of education. It always stuck with me that I was hustled to the front to stand with him. It wasn’t an honor. It was a photo op and political. Years later I get that. It’s no big deal. But on some level even and eighth grader gets it. I just didn’t process the event till much later. At least we were not dependent upon an Argus C3 to capture the moment.