I don’t know if I have blogged about my best friend in Kindergarten or my Kindergarten experience, but here goes. My best friend was Dion Schofield. She lived across the street from the school in a small (most houses were small back in the day). I thought it would be so neat to live in town. Anyway, I do not remember ever visiting her in her house. I honestly don’t know why she was my best friend. I really liked her name. At that time, I was Patty Jo. It was a rather plain name and I thought the name Dion was glamorous. (Now do you understand, Kathleen Dion.)
I attended Riley School even though we did not live in town. I came to school every morning in my Daddy’s car as he went to work. Also in the car being taken to HIgh School was a very handsome negro boy whose mother was the housekeeper for the big house at Glencliff. She was a live-in servant and her son lived there, too. I wish I could remember his name. What I remember about him was that he was a star athlete in Track and Field. I say he was Negro, but he may have been Native American. All I remember was that he was brown. Being a star athlete, he was also quite well built. I had a big crush on him. I also remember that one of the track events he participated in was the pole vault. As far as I know, he never knew about my crush. He was always nice to me, though, because that was who he was.
When I say I had a crush on him, I don’t mean that he was the only exclusive object of my affection. I loved Danny Anzelmo. He was the leader of our Kindergarten Rhythm Band. He had a cape and a hat that had a feather on it. He was so handsome in that uniform that it was no wonder I had a crush on him, too. None of these crushes were significant because I was going to marry my Grandmother’s doctor, Doctor Bullock. He had red hair and at that time I loved red hair. He had gone to school with my father but his age wasn’t a deterrent to me….neither was the fact that he was married. As you can see, my Kindergarten romances were quite complicated, because I also loved Louie Warnock, my next door neighbor who could walk up and down stairs on his hands. He was married, too, but I didn’t let a little thing like that stop my dreams of romance..I think I have written about his wife, Maxine, who wore high heeled Wedgies and ate argo starch. I ate it with her. She ate it because she was pregnant and that was something she craved…but I diverse….back to Kindergarten.
My teacher’s name was Miss Gladys Smith. She wore her hair in a bun with finger waves in the front. She was very business-like and I don’t recall her being very loving toward anyone in the class. I don’t think she had a teacher’s pet, but if she did, I might have been it. By the time school started, I had been waiting in the auditorium/gym/gathering room for quite a while. Opening exercises consisted of Miss Smith calling the roll, after which we said the Pledge of Allegiance. guided by the Principal over the intercom. Then came our health inspection. Did we have our handkerchief pinned to our clothing? Were our fingernails clean? Were our face and hands clean? If it was Monday morning, we were asked if we had gone to Sunday School and church. The answers to each of these questions were entered in the grade book. I think the grade given was under the heading of Citizenship. We did not necessarily learn to read in Kindergarten. We learned the alphabet, the sounds of the letters. Our math consisted of learning the numbers and learning to count to one hundred. We also had story time which was slightly different from story time today. We had to tell a story to the class, standing up in front and reciting it. My first grade had a U for Unsatisfactory in Story Telling. This brought my mother to school to investigate why. The reason was that I had not yet had an opportunity to tell a story. My Mother got that grade changed to reflect that fact, and I soon got to tell my story and received an S for satisfactory on my grade card. Yes, my Mother was one of “that kind of parents”. I have mentioned that Danny Anzelmo was the leader of our rhythm band. I played the triangle for a time and then was transferred to cymbals. I liked the triangle, but I really liked the cymbals better. Some people played the sticks which were hit together in rhythm if things went right. We had uniforms with purple satin capes lined with white satin.. We wore white blouses/shirts and I know the girls wore skirts and the boys pants, but I don’t remember what color. If my life depended on it, I would say white.. White shoes finished off our ensemble. Oh, I forgot the hat. It was purple and had a white feather sticking up in the front,
I remember the names of all the teachers at Riley School. Kindergarten, Miss Smith; First Grade, Miss Lowery, Second Grade, Miss Street, Third grade, Miss Mibeck, Fourth Grade, Miss Greer, Fifth Grade, :Miss Slocum, Sixth Grade and also serving as Principal, Miss Pitts. ( I must admit that some of the older children referred to their particular teachers as “Old Lady”. Had I ever done that, I would have been paddled at home. We only went to school for half a day and had a rest period in that time.
At lunch time, Dad would pick me up and take me home. I really envied Dion Schofield because she could just walk across the street and be home.