Fall brought with it cool weather, brightly colored leaves and school.
It was a comfort to know that there would be some regularity in my life, but also a hesitation. The warm summer of jumping into the river, shorts and bathing suits, sunshine that warmed you and stayed out late. The sun would some times shine until 9:30 at night. It made days long and summer last. But, the fall, would come and it would cool me off causing the leaves on the Aspens to turn a brilliant yellow to a black if it came too fast. The wind would blow, the nights would come early and the sheep would go by our school.
I went to school everyday and I took it very seriously.
I never missed a day unless there was an avalanche. They never seem to cancel school for anything, especially not for snow. At recess we would play Star Wars before the snow fell and we would run around by the large and small tunnels that are no longer there. I would be Princess Leia and so would my friend Nellie Price. Nellie had thick long hair that she wore in braids everyday and so when her mom put them into two buns to be the real Princess Leia at school the next day they looked way better than my tiny ones. I didn’t have much hair. In fact, when I went to the Play-school after school and was with kids of all ages, I remember getting teased by the older kids about my plastic animal berets that held my hair instead of rubber bands like the big kids had. Kids were mean.
But, I was usually one of the first kids picked for the kick ball team. We had P.E. inside and outside. Kick ball was the best game, but we played everything including indoor gym hockey with no protection at all. My favorite thing to do in P.E. was to climb the rope. They would lower it down from the ceiling every once in a while and I could climb all the way to the top and ring the bell.
In the winter, I would wear snow pants everyday to school and we would play king of the mountain.
One of the boys, Stony, invited me over to his house to play and I remember being the only girl at K.C.s birthday when we sledded down Dollar. After that, Stony was playing at his friend’s house that was behind the Play-school where I went after school. I saw him through the fence. He and his friend told me to come over and play, so I climbed over the fence, crossed a small alley street and went over his fence to their yard. I don't know if the teachers watched me do this and didn't say anything or did not see me and never knew. I played with them for a while and then I climbed back over the fences and went back over before everyone went inside.
My hand print is still in the cement in front of that Play-school as is Andy Bonder’s hand print. I still place my hand over my tiny hand print when I am walking by there -40 years later. The road has been paved over many times, but they have always left the children’s hands there. (2023 they are gone)
In Kindergarten, Stony came to school with a pink carnation on Valentine’s Day. He had given it to me and said “I think my mom said to give this to you.” I looked in my cubby every chance I got to see if I really had a pink carnation in there.
In second grade, I broke my arm and I had to write with my left hand for eight weeks. Mrs. Butterfield was a very kind and quiet teacher. She took a break from school, so we had a substitute teacher, Mrs. Fiddler, for months and months and months. I missed Mrs. Butterfield.
We had music class in school and we would have a performance about two times a year. I still have “Ice is nice, but it’s just not the same as snow. Oh, no. What it really takes are those fluffy white flakes to turn the world into some thing great.” in my head. Every once in a while I find myself singing it because we practiced that song so many times for the performance. It was always fun because afterwards we would go to Little Annie’s Ice Cream for a special treat.
We had a lot of different music teachers in Elementary school and so we learned a lot of different music. One of our teachers was blind and had a seeing eye dog. He was the best teacher we had because he always tell when some one was messing around and not paying attention. Some teachers wrote their own songs and some had their favorites like, Let it be, Mickey Mouse March, When Johnny Comes Marching home again, Mr. Bojangles, El Condor Pasa, Yellow Submarine, Swinging on a Star, Fat Santa, The Sweetest Gift, Michael, Whatever will be will be, Silver Bells, Let there be Peace on Earth. We sang songs every week. Classes like P.E., Music and Art were important back then and they were a part of our lives. I love having these songs being the ones that I grew up with, the ones that popped up into my mind. The ones you could sing with friends and on a road trip.
In art class, when we were allowed to draw or paint whatever we wanted, I would draw palm trees and dream about being in a warm place some day.
In the third grade, we had to keep a journal and write in it everyday. It was one of the kind with the black and white covers. It was the type of journal your teacher would read and then write something back to you. We learned cursive that year and were supposed to practice our cursive in our journals. Miss Smedley, my teacher that year, was getting married, so we wrote back and forth to each other about her wedding. I remember being so excited each week to read what she wrote. I wish I still had it. I didn’t know too much about getting married, but I gave her the best advise I could and I encouraged her. As, I write this, I look over to where I have photograph and other archives I have found from my childhood laid out on the table. I see my Good Citizen Award that my dad framed for me and I notice it is from Miss Smedley. Her cursive looks a lot like mine.
I liked to be a good citizen and would some times stay inside instead of going out to recess to help a teacher clean up. I liked the teachers I had and wanted to not only be their student, but also their friend. My mom had given me really good Fiskar scissors at a really young age and taught me how to cut really well. Often, teachers would ask to help them cut things out. When I wasn’t out a recess, you would find me in a classrooms cutting things out for a teacher.
Our school always had a pet show every year and I always had a fun pet to share. The picture I found shows me walking my Grandma Bake’s dog Tinker. He was one of the smallest dogs I had ever seen and I was excited show him at the pet show. My friend Kylie is with me and she has her fluffy dog in the show.
One time I was on the metal swings that you can see in the pet show picture and I was with my friend Rio. We laughed so hard we both joked that we almost peed in our pants. You can also see the old metal slide.