First Grade —>

— Friday, September 30th, 1954 —

— There’s a new girl in my class this year. First Grade in Stonybrook School. Our mothers met and talked to each other before school. They asked me to walk the new girl home from school. I was okay with that.

— Our teacher is Miss Nelson and she’s old. But she wasn’t mean to us. Our mothers explained to her that we were supposed to walk to and from school together until further notice. She reminded us before we went home for lunch, and again when we were getting ready to go home at the end of the day.

— It was a hot day today, Walking home for lunch we broke away from the traveled path, on the next court up from my street, found a shady spot and sat down for a couple minutes. Some older kids pointed at us, laughed and sang a song about us being up in a tree, “K-i-s-s-i-n-g”. I thought they were jerks. So did she.

— The funny thing is, I can’t remember whether she had lunch at our house with my mother and sister, and me. I think she went home and came back in time to have me walk her back to school.

— [ Later on in the fall, Donald French, one of the biggest kids in our class – started trying to sit next to her and started trying to get to the biggest chairs in our first grade class room before I could get to them and plunked his chair down next to the girl I was still walking to and from school every day. He also tried to get away with moving the only other chair that that was that big away from where she would sit in the hopes that I wouldn’t find that chair in time and get it back beside her when we were called into a circle for story time or whatever. I was as tall as Donald, but I was ‘skinny’ and he wasn’t. Our teacher caught him trying to move the only other bigger chair to somewhere where I couldn’t sit near that girl, she was not impressed. She yelled at both of us, told us not to act like babies. I didn’t think that was fair. But I didn’t complain. He didn’t try to hide my chair for at least a week after that. — Then one day, after school when we reached my home, her father was there with her mother and a car, and said he had a job in Ohio and they would be moving away. That was the last time I saw her. I don’t remember crying, but I swore to myself I would remember her and find her when I grew up. Now I can’t remember her name. 🙁 – We got teased a lot, but somehow we were able to shrug that off. — I wonder what kind of life she had, or is having? ]

~~~~~ Jim