Monday, October 8, 2007

Mom's School Memories

My mother went to school in Buchanan, MI where the family lived at the end of Main St. She got off to a bit of a rocky start. The reasons why have been lost over the years but she was afraid of her kindergarten teacher. So she'd walk to school with the other kids and then go off and play until she saw everyone heading home when she'd head home too. She doesn't remember how she was found out but she didn't get in trouble, her mother simply walked her to school the next day and had a chat with the teacher. What was said will forever remain a mystery but she was never afraid of the teacher again.

She always walked with her sister, Vivian, her older brother, Bill, being a boy and all, would leave the house early so that he wouldn't be seen walking with them. One time the girls saw a snake, a blue racer, and Mom was dumbstruck. Vivian just missed stepping on the creature. They ran home and told Bill who went looking for it. It had been hit and killed by a car so he brought it home in the wheelbarrow. It was a big snake and Vivian decided to measure it. Later in the day when their mother was busy at some task Vivian held the snake up next to their mother, knowing that she was 5'3" tall. The snake was just a bit shorter.

During the 1930's they didn't have the warm winter boots that we have today. Instead she wore galoshes over her shoes. Several days each winter she'd arrive home with frostbite and her mother would go outside and bring in snow to rub on her feet.

On the way to school there was one family that had a pair of dogs, collies, if her memory serves. The pair was quite exuberant and would try and jump on her which she found frightening. Her mother had a word with the neighbors and the dogs were kept in during the time the kids had to walk by.

Three field trips stand out in her memory. With the Girl Scouts she visited a Sealtest plant to see ice cream being made. Also with the scouts she went to a Notre Dame football game where Notre Dame "beat 'em upside down and backwards." When she was just 8 she went on a class trip to the Chicago's World Fair. They took the train from Buchanan. Soon after arriving at the fair they came to a fairly new invention - an escalator. She followed a couple of others to try it out. When they came back down their class was just disappearing down a hall. She was so afraid of getting lost after that her focus for the rest of the day was staying with her class and she doesn't remember much else about the fair.

Until my sister put together a memory board for Mom's 75th birthday I had no idea that she was Salutatorian of her class. If I ask her about it she'll simply say that she was but it isn't anything she wants to talk about.


CountryGirl said...

I'm so glad you are capturing some of these memeories. The World's FAIR memory was a new one for me.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you are writing about not only your own but also your mom's memories! They are so important! I have written two books of memoirs and each story is a precious piece of history! I was surprised that your mother didn't want to talk about being the salutatorian of her class! I'm sure you were proud to find that out! Thanks for the memories!

wendy said...

I could just picture your mom if she had seen the snake! That was some big blue racer! So glad you shared.