Saturday, February 4, 2012

School Days and Fridays

It is interesting to hear working people on Friday.  I went in for a teeth cleaning today and one of the first things the young lady said was she was so glad it was finally Friday.  I saw several posts on facebook declaring the joy of "finally Friday".  Of course this only works for the Monday - Friday crowd.

Chambersville Elementary School

My first grade picture
And for kids in school, Fridays are terrific.  I spent the first seven years of school attending a country school in Collin County, Texas.  The school was the same school my mother, aunts, uncles, cousins and 2 older sisters attended. While the school had 10 grades in the 1920's by the time I started school it was just 8 grades.  The 8 grades were divided into 3 rooms, 1-3, 4-6 and 7-8.  After a student finished the 8th grade, they went to high school "in town".

At the Chambersville elementary school there were 6 big rooms:  a lunch room, library, 3 classrooms and an extra room.  The floors were worn by the decades of kids moving up and down the central hall.  There was an oiled, red sawdust the janitor would throw on the floors before sweeping.  Anyone that remembers the sawdust mixture will possibly remember the aroma or smell.  But it sure kept the dust in control which was important in a country school.

Oh, gosh, I just remembered the stairway to the storage room for the kitchen.  I had not thought of that part of the school in years.  I do remember how special it was to help carry the cans into the kitchen.  There was only one cook and we liked helping her with the meals.  It was a special treat to occasionally help with the cooking.

By the second grade we had indoor plumbing at the school.  Wow!  We still had to draw water out of a well at home and there were probably only about four or five homes in the community with indoor bathrooms that flushed!

The first grade teacher for me was new to teaching.  That year proved to be a little challenging.  Mrs. Taylor came to teach the 1-3 grades in the fall of 1954.  She was one of the best teachers I ever had.  Every day after our lunch recess we would lay our heads on our desks. Then Mrs. Taylor would read Shakespeare or some other classic to us bunch of country kids.

The Tom Thumb bridal party
Mrs. Taylor would transport our minds to places we did not even know existed before her.  She even organized our 3 grades to perform part of "A Mid Summer Night's Dream" for the PTA.  For special treats, Mrs. Taylor would have her daughter come to visit.  Her daughter was a stewardess for an airline!  She would be in uniform & bring us each airplane chewing gum!

Later in the 4-6 grade room, the teacher, Mrs. Borland, organized a Tom Thumb wedding for the PTA.  I was too bossy even then and Mrs. Borland had to "straighten me out" a time or two.

Mr. Airhart giving recognition
to members of the PTA.
Sure, we studied all the stuff we were expected to do, reading, printing and later cursive writing, multiplication tables, geography and Texas History!  But we were, also, given an education in so much more.   There were cold days that recess was playing Texas 42, a domino game or roller skating in the gym;  getting ready for Huddle Club Horse Shows in the fall;  Halloween carnivals;  and Easter egg hunts at local farm pastures.  My last Easter egg hunt was at Mrs. Rachel's tank.  In Texas talk, a tank is a man-made farm pond.

Dona, my mom and Reba Jane
before my wedding in 1967
Reba Jane was my best friend back in 1953 when we started to school.  We have known each other our entire lives.  She is, also, my third cousin.  Some folks say that is cousin 3 times removed.  All I know for sure is her Grandma Ethie was my Grandaddy Chandler's sister.  To this day Reba and I can see each other and pick up on a conversation without hesitation.  Cause friends that are family are real special, too.

As a child in school I looked forward to Fridays cause I would not have to do school work till Sunday.  Friday was when Aunt Opal would come in from her job in Dallas.  She would bring me a Golden book.  Or I might just get to spend the night with Reba Jane.  Then on Saturday morning one of the best treats would happen, Lucille and Crook, her parents and my cousins,  would take Reba and I to McKinney for a day of shopping.  Woolworth's and Duke & Ayers were Neiman Marcus for us country kids.  Then, to top the day off, we would have a meal in the car at Steffey's Jiffy Dog, the best corn dogs, burgers and onion rings on earth back in those days.
Downtown McKinney Woolworths

Later in high school Friday's were football games, walking a boyfriend off the field, if you were lucky.  Or a basketball game in the winter months.  During working years Fridays eventually became "casual Friday" which meant dressing down.  And then with children, school activities were in the life cycle again.

This blog started late on a Friday night.  Time has gotten away from me as I searched for pictures to include in the post.  Now it is Saturday.  Mr. Steffey passed away many years ago, so Steffey's is closed as is Woolworth's and Duke & Ayers.  I have almost forgotten how to play 42.  The Chambersville school was torn down in the 70's.  I cringe at the thought of attempting to roller skate.  As I told the young lady at the dentist, in retirement, Fridays are no longer particularly special.  


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