As I Remember



Reminiscences of and for the Family

I loved school. My first grade teacher had huge blue eyes and was so calm and sweet. Her name was Miss Dodson. (Many years later, I was going to the butcher shop freezer in Dallas, and there coming out where those big blue eyes looking at me... I said, "Mrs. Dodson?" just as she blurted "Barbara Brandt?!" She had married Mr. Slawson and taught grade school in Dallas until she retired. Actually, she married a Mr. Brown and was Vera Brown when she retired.) In the corner of the school room was a "sand box," but it was a regular-height table with a little 2-3" board around it to hold the sand in. We could create towns and farms and all sorts of delicious things in our spare time-- and there was always sand on the floor int hat corner of the room! The floor was oiled, and the desks were all screwed to the floor so that the whole row of desks could be moved aside to sweep. One never keeps one's feet straight on the floor, so mothers must have hated those inevitable oil stains on the socks just above the shoe-line. And I always had a hole in my knee-- and a scrape on me under it.


Besides the Giant Strides, we had swings in the basement of that school. The front door opened on the basement floor, and a giant staircase led upstairs. To the left was a playroom with cement floor and swings. Over-vigorous swinging meant heads banged against the rafters and of course that was always the aim-- to get as close as possible without permanent damage to the skull... Partitioned off the back of the room were the rows of stalls of the girls' bathroom. (The boys disappeared down a hall beyond the big sink where we would wash our hands or get a drink. I never did enter that sanctum, of course.) To the right was a huge room that was the lunchroom. We sat on benches along the wall and ate our lunchboxes there. I envied Dorothy Morrisey her tunafish sandwicehs (every Friday because she was a Catholic), so when we became good friends, she would swap for my peanut butter and jelly. That was also the room where we stood in lines and the Health Nurse would administer the dreaded shots. Oh, how the kids dropped like fleas watching that happen. I did faint once, but that was in the fourth grade. We had been standing and standing practicing one song. I keeled over and managed to hit myself on the shart edge of the piano leg-- really knocked myself cold. Came to in the most embarrassing position-- high and flat on a table right int he school room. They had sent for poor Dodi, who was sitting there holding my inert hand just staring at me wondering what to do! I opened my eyes just long enough to appraise myself of the situation I was in and decided to stay "out" until recess at least! Poor Dodi!


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