Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Share Some Elementary School Memories

It's that time of year again - kids are going back to school. In honor of that, Randy's weekly Saturday Night Fun Challenge is to share some elementary school memories. So, here goes!

My official kindergarten photo
I started school very close to home. In fact, Lincoln Elementary was just across the alley from our backyard! I could be in my classroom just minutes after leaving my backyard. I remember my best friend, Misty, having to tie my shoes for me at recess during kindergarten. And I remember hearing the bell one day and heading home... and my mom told me I had to go back to school... it was recess; the day wasn't over yet! I was really embarrassed.

I took speech therapy in kindergarten because I had trouble saying the "r" sound. Me and another classmate got out of class a couple of times a week to work with the therapist. I got to do lots of fun games and crow like a rooster to try to say my "r's"!

We played a game that would probably get kids in trouble now. There was a row of bushes on one side of the school. The girls would gang up and chase a boy and catch him and one of the girls would give him a kiss. Yes, this was kindergarten! Anyway, I would help, but I never kissed the boys. I thought that sounded pretty yucky!

In 2nd grade, my older sister & I went to a new Christian school. It was a very small school with only two rooms. One was for K-2nd and the other was for 3rd-12th. They tested me and ended up skipping me up a grade to 3rd grade. We sat in these cubicles and basically taught ourselves out of these short PACE booklets. We had a flag we'd raise if we needed help & we set weekly goals as to how many pages we'd finish in each subject. When you were done with a section, you went up to this big stand and used a red pen to grade yourself. If you got enough correct, you went on to the next booklet. I loved it! We also got to do speed reading on some kind of computer which was really fun. I don't think this is a great environment for everyone, but I flourished! 

One of the boys who sat next to me, Mitch, was in high school and we would thumb wrestle under our partition. We also had Bible sword drills where a verse reference is said aloud and then we'd race to see who can find it the fastest. I was the youngest, but I won the contest! My prize was a new Bible.

We went back to public school for my next year. I'd finished 3rd grade, but I wanted to be back with my friends. So, I did 3rd grade 'again'. I was really confused with the schwa in reading; I'd never heard of it! But, I read well and ended up having a reading group by myself. This was also the year, I believe, where I got knocked out doing a failed penny drop - where you hang upside down on a bar and someone pulls your arms & you're supposed to flip over and land on your feet. It's not good if you land on your head.

The next year, 4th grade, we went back to a Christian school. It was actually a different school but had many of the same people. My best friend that year was a girl named Julie. One night I spent the night at her house and was in awe at her huge house, her horses, & her basement - it had a cement floor and we were allowed to roller skate on it! I was never much of an athlete, but that year Julie and I competed for 1st & 2nd prize in all of the events at the annual Play Day. A few other highlights were: playing tetherball at recess each day, finding pottery shards in the pile of dirt behind the school from the new building; and the giant snow cave some of the older boys made and we were allowed to crawl through.

For 5th grade, I was back at the school behind our house. This year, my classroom window looked into our backyard. The whole classroom would say 'hi' to my mom when she came outside. On nice days, the windows would be open. This year, my best friend was Shona who had moved next door to me. She would later move away and died our senior year. I wrote about her in a previous post

Then there was 6th grade. This was our first big move: from Kansas to Oklahoma. I made a new best friend, Pam, and we spent many hours together between school and church. Our class was out in a prefab, which I felt made us special. Our main teacher , Mr. Irvin, read Michael Crichton's "Congo" aloud to us. It was terrifying! But wonderful! He had a huge dictionary where we'd look up words; he called it "Big Bertha." And, he drove a yellow sports car that seemed so flashy. Sadly, he died several years ago. 

At recess, we'd play a new game to me: four square. If I wasn't playing four square I was hanging out on the monkey bars. I was horrible at P.E., but the teacher was a lot of fun. He had a prosthetic leg and sometimes he'd take it off. One time, some of the kids 'stole' it and he hopped around laughing as he chased them.

This was also the year of my first boyfriend. We 'went together' for a while, and then I found out he was in a basement with another girl and KISSED HER! That was the end of that relationship! Later that year, the girl got attacked by a dog while walking home from school and the tip of her nose was bitten off. Sadly, I've heard she has now passed away, too.

Randy mentioned Safety Patrol. I did that, too! Our job was to help kids cross the streets safely and we got to wear two bright orange straps: one went around our waste and the other across our chest. Between the badges and the responsibility, I felt so important! My friend, Steven, and I were the head guards and worked most days.

I pretty much loved school. I was kind of nerdy and often a teacher's pet. Later on, I'd come to love science. But, in elementary school I think I just enjoyed it all! Well, except for P.E.

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please write me at


  1. What fun memories! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great memories! Sad about your friend's early passing though. One thing I didn't mention in my post was I loved to read! I devoured books. These were pre-internet days. In fact, internet didn't become terribly popular until I had had my first son! Now, that's a blast from the past. I love looking at my old yearbooks and seeing the old computers. Thanks for sharing! :)


The 1828 Will of Peter Close's Relict: Catharine Elizabeth Close

Yesterday, I shared the 1810 will of my 5th great grandfather , Peter Close of Armagh, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. Peter's wife, Catha...