Well, back to school and the excitement is in the air, even if you aren't returning yourself. The yellow school bus is picking up in our community and I can almost smell school bags and pencil boxes. I guess school bags are now backpacks and pencil boxes (with the little drawer that pulls out) may be long gone, but in the days when school bags were made of leather the smell in the store was unforgettable.
My first school was an old military surplus quonset hut because we lived in a community built as post-war housing primarily for veterans. (Quonset hut: a structure made of corrugated metal still in use today) We called it the "Tin Castle." The photo is not of my school, but is the closest photo I could find that looked vaguely similar. The schoolyard was cinders -- nothing more. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Park and my best friend Ruth and I were teacher's pets. Ah, those were the days.
Two of my most vivid memories were that of Mrs. Park coming home to lunch at my house sometimes and that I felt very special as we ate our chicken noodle soup and sandwich. The other memory was of a terrible day when Mrs. Park bound and gagged a poor little girl in her chair because she was disruptive. Her mother came to get her and there were hysterics and general horror for all of us first graders. I remember they were very poor and spoke little English and the little girl had some type of behavioural or mental problem. A far cry from what would happen today. So much for education in 1950.
My grandsons started school today in Massachusetts. They both carry their lunches. Cooper (sixth grade) took a turkey and lettuce wrap with potato chips, strawberries and an energy bar. Ian (second grade) took spaghetti-o's in a thermos, chips, strawberries and an energy bar. These were their choices for lunch. This is a step up from last year when Cooper would only take bologna sandwiches and Ian would only take peanut butter sandwiches. I remember my daughter Beth always took Boursin cheese on a bagel -- her choice -- for the first few years of school. She didn't like peanut butter sandwiches or anything most kids took for lunch.
Speaking of school lunch -- I wonder if my friend Lynne remembers the day in elementary school when our friend Rita had just too much teasing from a boy and dumped her plate of spaghetti over his head. School days, school days, dear old golden rule days.