School Days

In the year 1960 I began to go to school. Mrs. White was my kindergarten teacher. The School was a small white one room building, on the Wattles Park Elementary property. I would later go the the large elementary that is still there, and still used. But this was kindergarten, and this building did its job.

As I said, the building had one main room, with a storage room and small restroom. Mrs. Whites classroom had a big jungle-gym in the middle. All of us were instructed to bring a small rug from home to take our naps on. I would always go to the jungle-gym to take my nap.

Out back was a playground with some swings, a teeter totter, and various playground equipment. I would get in the swing and swing as high as I could, and make believe I was in a spaceship, rocketing into orbit!

Mrs. White was a great teacher. About once a month we would go on a field trip. We would all be lined up and marched over to the elementary schools front driveway and await for the bus to take us away.  Some that come to mind was a visit to a turkey farm, and a visit to a farm where they made apple cider. They would put the apples under a big press then turn the big crank on the press. We all watched as the freshly squeezed cider ran down to the collection bottle. I can still taste that cider! So good and sweet. And when we went to the turkey farm, we all received some turkey feathers that we made into crafts around Thanksgiving time.

Back to the schoolhouse. The backyard of the school was fenced in, and on one fence was a hedge. As we were small kids, we would go behind the hedge and make living spaces there. Collect grass for play food, make chairs and have a good time till called in from recess.  

I had a best friend in kindergarten. A girl. Her name was Carol Washington. She lived just 3 doors from me. She was a bit of a tomboy, and remained that way into her adult life.

I got into a bit of trouble one day with her in Mrs. White’s class. I can not recall how it started, but it had to do with a baton that she had. You know the kind you twirled around. Well I wanted it, so I grabbed it from her. The instant I did Mrs. White was on me like gravy on potatoes! She grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and beat me with the baton! Whew! You could not get away with that in this day and age. But that was the way things were then. I survived, none the worse for the beating, and I learned a valuable lesson, to not grab things that did not belong to me.

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