Emory M

Emory M. Fry

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Every Day Is Education, Retiring Teacher Says
by Phil Hudgins
Times City Editor
The Daily Times
May 10, 1968

When Emory Fry walks down the steps of Lula Elementary School on the afternoon of June 7, he will end 38 years of teaching.

Fry believes that if you'll listen, you can learn something from everybody you meet, educated and uneducated, "I've seen people with fourth grade educations that could teach you something you didn't know" he said. "You can learn a little something from all groups."

This type of day to day education is available to practically everybody. Formal education is more recognized, more appreciated and harder to get and nobody knows better than Emory Fry.

In 1930, Fry started teaching on a high school certificate in Habersham, his native county. That same year he began taking night courses at Piedmont College. He would teach most of the day, attend classes at night, come home and milk the cows and then prepare his studies and lessons for the next day.

Unable to attend college every quarter, Fry went when he could, but he got what he was after; he received his bachelor's degree in 1950, 20 years after he took his first night-school course.

During these 20 years, Fry taught at or served as principle at Habersham County schools in New Liberty Community, where he was born, Hollywood and Turnerville. He also taught at a school called College Park in Habersham. It was located near the Ninth District Agricultural and Mechanical (A&M) School, which folks called the "college" and therefore the school became College Park.

In 1943, Fry came to Lula School, then a high school, to teach. He's been there for 25 years, and there aren't many folks in the north end of the county he hasn't taught at one time or another.

He came to Lula as a vocational agriculture teacher. He ran a canning plant at the school and kept hot houses for tomato plants, etc., which were sold to farmers in the area. He also helped farmers tend to their livestock. Fry was reared on a farm in Habersham and worked there two years after he finished high school at the Ninth District A&M.

Then he went to work for Georgia Power Company, building dams on the Tugaloo River, it was during his dam - building days that he met Louise Johnson, the boss' daughter.

"A lot of the fellows wanted to go with her, " Fry recalled, " but none of them would because she was the boss' daughter. That didn't matter to me, though." he paused and then continued, " I couldn't understand why she wanted to go with me- her daddy rode around in those Dodges and Plymouths and I had a T-Model."

That apparently didn't matter to Miss Johnson because she became Mrs. Fry on Christmas Day of 1925. She remembers that it was the coldest day she ever seen; but then, it got down right cold up in the mountains. And down in the valley where her father lived, the sun couldn't see over the mountains till 10 o'clock in the morning, Mr. Fry joked.

Mrs. Fry, a native of Franklin, N.C. also can appreciate a formal education. Her mother died when she was 11, forcing her later to leave school and look after the 11- member family. Nineteen years after she and Mr. Fry were married, Mrs. Fry finished high school at Lula.

Mrs. Fry served as a substitute teacher at Lula for 10 years. During that time, she taught a little of everything- even took her husband's agriculture class one day and did a pretty good job on the corn project, Mr. Fry admits. She hasn't filled in at school in several years now, but she stays busy sewing, playing several musical instruments and keeping house. She and Mr. Fry sing at Church revivals in the area from time to time.

Both are active in Lula Methodist Church, Mrs. Fry having served as counselor and teacher for several years and Mr. Fry as Sunday School Superintendent for 22 years and now as a teacher for a class of college students. he has been president of the former Lula Lions Club, secretary-treasure of the Woodmen of the World and town clerk.

The Fry's have two sons, Rennie and Duane and a daughter, Mrs. Joe Copeland and seven grandchildren. After retirement Mr. Fry plans to continue learning from others. But he'll probably miss the students, their problems, their jabbering, their achievements, their witty retorts.

He'll remember them, though. Like the boy named Clarence who was in one of his classes. Clarence was always laughing, laughed at everything. One day Fry said, "Clarence, I believe you'd laugh if you were dying." Clarence answered, "Well, you might as well." And he laughed.

And Mr. Fry laughed...and reminisced.

 Submitted by Iris Thompson Fry
mother of three of Emory and Louise Fry's grandchildren, Reggie, Brantley and Jarrett.


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