Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week 4 of 2014 - Grade School Memories

This is an easy one...I just wish I had photos to go with all this fun stuff!  Unfortunately, I don't!  But fortunately, I must have had a pretty good time because there's lots to remember.  Good old South Grade School on Croswell Street.  Ironically, my in laws....Bill and Gloria Semp have lived on Croswell Street since the 1980's, after purchasing Grandma Vanoff's (Dad's mother) house after she passed away.  The school is still there, being used for a Senior Center, but it hasn't changed very much.  I always give it a good look and it makes me smile.

There's a lone tree on the eastern side of the property...where much of the land is now developed for soccer, little league and whatever else the younger generation is up to.  But that lone tree...if not the same one...sure looks exactly like the tree that was there in the 1950s and after.  We would run out that east door and head for the tree.  It was "home" for tag, it was shade on a sunny day and the place we gathered at recess...and chased the boys around, too.  I remember a game of chase that ended up with a boy getting cut by a swinging jacket zipper...don't remember the boy, but it was my jacket and I was afraid I'd be in trouble that day.

In second grade, with Mrs. Jenks, an elderly, white haired woman, who everyone loved...we all learned a life lesson.  She stood on a folding chair trying to reach something above the black board.  The chair closed, taking her down to the floor.  It broke her hip. As I remember, she never returned to the classroom.  I cannot remember who took over the teaching job, but I still think about the incident whenever I stand on a chair...yes, sometimes a folding one if I'm too lazy to get a "proper lift."

Sping of 1959 - Pam (second grade), Sue (Kindergarten), Jan (trying to talk Mom into letting her go, too!)
In third grade, I was blessed with a best friend that I still cherish...the memories are still so precious. Bianca Banash moved to Romeo with her family.  Her mother was at school to enroll her, fill out papers, etc. and Mom was there, too.  They got to talking and Mrs. Banash asked Mom to ask me to look her up and help her get acquainted.  We immediately became friends and it continued throughout school.  Now I had lots of friends, but Bianca was one that never strayed, was always there for me and I never worried about "losing" that friendship.  Some of the girls came and went, but Bianca and I were pretty constant.  I recently heard from her, via the computer.  I wish we could get together someday.  She's had an interesting life...another story for another time.

Fourth grade might have been the first time I laid eyes on my future husband.  Mike Semp
attended North Grade School on the opposite end of town.  The students there could choose to buy hot lunch but had to ride the bus across town to eat it!  Just a very few times a year, this good looking blond boy would join the lunch chaos...and very quickly all the girls knew who he was.  He seemed to have a thing with Terri Hill...their families were friends...but many of us thought he was sure something special.  Wow...who would have thought that 54 years later, this special person would be my husband, kids father and a true blessing from God?

Fifth grade brought our first male teacher on staff...Mr. Gerhardt...a very easy going and fun individual.  For all the uneasiness we felt, when we saw our names on the list taped to the door....MR who?  MR?  not Mrs?  He was not a  young man, but did a very good job and began the job of preparing us for Junior High...and many more male teachers in our educational career.

Sixth Grade...we thought we were something special by that time..we ruled that school...or we thought we did.  We had another male teacher on staff...a new young one that wore an eye patch...don't remember why.  But his name was Mr. Queerio.  Can you imagine the song we made up?  He was actually a pretty cool guy and we had a great year.  The Cuban Missle Crisis happened in 1962 and was the first time I remember wondering if we were safe in our country.  Several of the girls were crying in school because they were afraid we were going to get "bombed."  There must have been some serious conversation at home that we didn't hear in our house.

All in all...grade school was terrific.  We learned alot, messed up regularly, started wearing glasses and got called "4 eyes", had my first job in the cafeteria doing dishes, loved the cookies that we'd beg for through the kitchen window.  Mrs. Rothnie and Mrs. Braidwood loved us girls.  On a good day, they would hand us each a warm cookie through the window and we were supposed to NOT TELL anyone. We'd stand by the sun warmed brick wall and enjoy the baked treat.  We had a yearly school fair with a cake walk, band concerts and plenty of reading, writing and arithmetic.  Sure wish I had all my class photos and my report cards.  They might tell "the rest of the story......."

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