Category Archives: OldTimes

Fold-Down Ink-Well Desks. And Sweater Fuzz

school desks old fashioned This was the first Story Challenge I put up on my high school's 50th reunion page. It got no love. So I put it up here--again--for a few blog passersby. Turns out I had told this tale on the blog in 2009. I repost it with the near certainty that nobody who reads it this time will remember.  The Challenge: Tell your best WHS teacher tale. It should be mostly true. Relate a time you got away with something, didn't get away with something or were profoundly educated … Continue Reading ››

To Us a Child is Born

housesnow580 “The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars and used the Lord's name in vain. They hit little kids and cussed their teachers and set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old broken down tool house.” The year our daughter turned twelve, she was the narrator for the community college performance of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. The very next year, we moved to the country. To our dismay, our new home was just down the hill from that community’s … Continue Reading ››

Holman Elementary 1954 – 1962: 7th and 8th Grades

I'm not sure the world is a better place for having shared these moss-covered and faded reflections, but there you go. You're done. No more. Until the next wave of remembery. Seventh Grade: Ms Griffith •    My memory is that we made this woman ill. I remember subs during this year, and we did not treat them well in ways i have mercifully mostly forgotten—except for putting a large assortment of very wet spitballs from the mouths of both boys and girls into the upturned hat of one male sub. Who never came back. Scurvy elephants were working to become scurvy delinquents. … Continue Reading ››

Holman Elementary 1954 – 1962: Sixth Grade

This was perhaps my most traumatic year of grade school. And my mother corrects me: the Scent of Death was Tabu.  On the plus side, it would be the beginning of the decade of coming of age music. But that is another subject for another time.
Sixth Grade: Mrs. Badeau •    I wrote the teacher’s name just now and hair on my arms stood up. Not a good sign. I should have had counseling during and for years after sixth grade. •    The Red Book was the bane of my existence. I could not keep up with my homework (it was somewhere … Continue Reading ››

Holman Elementary 1954 – 1962: 4th and 5th Grades

This would have been 1958-9. Other installments in the series (hang with me, we're more than half way now) are linked at the end of this chapter.
Four Grade: Ms Long •    I have copious memories of Ms. Long. I’m sure we all do. She was much feared. I loved her. From her I learned phonics, vocabulary, and sarcasm. •    She told the story of an irate mother who demanded an appointment with her to discuss what had been said about the woman’s son. She claimed that he had been called a “scurvy elephant.” To which, Ms Long, with her glasses down … Continue Reading ››

Holman Elementary 1954 – 1962: 2nd and 3rd Grade

Second Grade: Ms Barnes  1955-6 •    The first thing I always remember about Ms Barnes was that she came to my house, and I was not in trouble. It was my seventh birthday party. You don’t forget stuff like that. •    Was this the year we were introduced to “magic markers”? I remember the squeak; and the smell. I think I got high, which was risky. Get the tip too close and you're marked like Rudolph for a week. •    This was the year I got a flattop haircut and the year before I grew into my front teeth. I remember the smell … Continue Reading ››

Holman Elementary 1954 – 1962: First Grade

I would never have spent my morning pages last week doing this had not I been prompted by a classmate who was penning some memories of those times for his grand children. We both attended Minnie Holman Elementary in Woodlawn Highlands. The building was demolished in the early 90s. The writing out of these ghoses of memory was an interesting dive back into the Wayback Machine, and I have since remembered more as the first fragments go on to twig into related bits, while some hang just beyond the grasp of recall--at least for now. So I'll serialize that rambling remembrance here, … Continue Reading ››