(Our host for this week's Fun Monday is Molly at Return of the White Robin . She asks us to share a happy memory from childhood. I went all Woody Allen at first. When I read Molly's assignment, my first thought was that I have many more happy memories as an adult than child. However, after reading through some of the sign up comments I realized that I'm not the ONLY one who had, shall we say, a complicated childhood. One thing that was a constant happy memory for me was getting to go to school. In particular, here's my memory of Picture Day at Green Fly School.)
In the late '40s and early '50s my older sister and two brothers attended a one room school much like the one in this photo. There were probably about 30-40 students total in Grades 1-8 in the one room. Our desks had the same black iron fancy work sides and were bolted to the floor on wooden runners. A potbellied stove sat in the center of the room. The older boys came to school early each day in the winter to help the teacher build a fire and fill the stove with coal for the day. They also filled a big ceramic jug full of water from the well in the schoolyard. Each child had a collapsible tin cup to drink from. We hung our coats on pegs in back of the room. On Fridays the wooden floors were oiled and then sprinkled with sawdust and left over the weekend. On Monday morning some of the older boys and girls came to school early to sweep the floor.
In 1949 I was four years old and very much wanting to go to school with my sister and brothers. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to start school until I turned seven because my birthday was in November and you had to be six in October in order to enroll. Confusing? I do remember that Cousin Margie was only a month older than I, but she got to start school a year earlier because of her October birthday. Talk about unhappy memories--and jealousy--because we were great pals. Not only were we separated, but she also was learning to read and write before me!
The one day I did get to go to school was on Picture Day. Not many families had cameras in those days, so the older children were allowed to bring the little ones to school to get their pictures taken. This was a big deal and involved a lot of preparation the night before. I was four years old in this picture taken in '49. My dress was green print trimmed with rickrack. My mother made the dress for me out of a flour or feed sack using her Singer treadle sewing machine. Flour and animal feed was purchased in these cotton sacks, saved and made into clothing, usually dresses for girls. My hair was stick straight so my sister probably rolled my hair on pink rubber latch rollers or pincurls the night before. My picture day hairstyle was finished off with matching green hairbows.
This is my five year old picture in 1950. STILL not allowed to go to school except on Picture Day. . .Notice the change in hairstyle. By this time my no nonsense mother had declared her long running battle over my having hair in my eyes. This was a challenge because my hair falls from the crown like a dark curtain. Bonnie's solution was to part my hair in the middle and twig it up in pincurls on either side. This little dress was my first store bought clothing. It was red and white polka dot with a lace trimmed collar. I was allowed to wear it only for very special occasions.
So, Picture Days were definitely happy childhood memories. There were even more when I finally got to go to school and learn to read and write. Now head over to Molly's place and see how other Fun Monday childhoods turned out.
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.