Saturday, August 27, 2011


I am the blonde on the front row.
For the first two years of my school career I attended Webb-Swan Lake School. It was a big square, red brick building with huge trees and metal slide a mile high. At least it seemed that way when I was there. The bathrooms were in the basement and led out to the playground. The auditorium had those wooden seats with the fat seat cushions. Then there was the cafeteria with the lunch line and melamine trays. It's also where I went to Brownies.
My first grade teacher was Mrs. Cash and I thought she was beautiful. She had an Easter Egg hunt at her house that year and I found the Queen's Nest. It had a GOLDEN EGG. Oh my, I thought I had discovered a million dollars.
Mrs. Hood was our bus driver and after dropping off all the students would work in the West Tallahatchie High School cafeteria. She then drove us home in the afternoon.
She would pass by my house at 6:15 every morning and blow the horn. That meant I had about 15 minutes to get ready before she was back to pick me up. Some mornings I would get on the bus with my hairbrush, barrettes, headband or other hair accessories for my cousin, Ann, to finish my hair. Then there was the hour long ride to school. I had a big lunch box into which would be 2-3 PB&J sandwiches, chips, fruit and milk in the thermos. That was lunch and snack for the ride home since it would be after 4 when I finally returned home.
Most days I would eat my sandwiches and take a nap for the ride home. I guess I was blessed in that I had 2 older cousins on the bus and most of the other kids where from our little town.
Just gotta love "Dick and Jane"
Mrs. Cash had me tutor 2 of the boys in our class. Wendell, the boy sitting to my right in the picture and the other boy on the front row to the right of Wendell (don't remember his name). Anyway she would take me and one of them down the hall to small room, possibly a closet, and I would help them with their reading. I can't remember how this arrangement came about. I have feeling it was as much to help them as it was to keep me busy. Seems I was a little more advanced than the other 1st graders. Not too shabby for a girl whose parents didn't finish high school. I do know that I have loved to read as long as I can remember.
Second grade brought Mrs. Shaw and cursive writing. I remember the huge chalkboard with the cursive examples above it and the big pull down maps. This is the year I became Mopsy in our play about Peter the Rabbit.  My mama made my entire costume out of some sort of stretchy polyester complete with powder puff tail and coat hanger stuffed ears. I LOVED that costume! Don't think I had any lines, just remember being on stage a lot. This would be my last year at Webb-Swan Lake school. The next year, my year I would begin attending Pillow Academy in Greenwood. I didn't find out until years later that it was because Webb was to be integrated in the Fall of 1969.
Thinking back on those two years reminds me of the innocent times in which I thought I lived. It's amazing to realize how sheltered my life was and how naive.

1 comment:

  1. Vickie, I am really enjoying these vignettes from your childhood. They prod memories of my own!