Fifth grade was where reality set in. A classmate lost her father in a farm accident. Miss Swenson met a man and married him. A new girl came to our school named Mavis. Course the kids had to tease her and it was then I realized I had compassion in my soul for my fellow humans! Mavis became my friend and I protected her from the slings and arrows of fellow classmates. Then she moved away.
On to sixth grade and Miss Lauver. Miss Lauver was a spinster. While I knew what that was from the dictionary I was never really sure of all the implications. She was very strict as I recall, but not mean. It was in sixth grade I found out what happens when you take the internal workings out of a crank telephone, grab the wire and have someone spin the crank! Hard lesson to learn especially for a little girl! Miss Lauver lived with her older sister who was also named Miss Lauver. They came to the house one time to see momma. Don't know why.
Seventh grade brought Mr. Schriber. That may not be spelled right, but he was a wiry little fellow and cute as a button with his curly hair. He also was the coach. Back then teachers could do that. All of us girls worked very hard. In seventh grade I learned the difference between and the commonalities of Nature and Nurture or Hereditary vs. Environment. I am still in a quandary over that one. Lot to be said for both sides.
Eighth grade and Mr. Bollinger. He also owned the movie theatre. Never let us in free though. My best friends that year were Jay Moore and Owen Lentz. We used to stay in over recess and draw dream cars on the blackboard. They did not know I was a girl but I knew they were boys, but that was about as far as that went.
No account of grade school in Nickerson would be complete without me telling you about the music teacher. Her name was Miss Barkiss. Since she went to our church I am not sure exactly when she married the Principal's son and became Mrs. Houston. But while she was Miss Barkiss the woman tried tirelessly to coax a "c" note out of my tiny throat. I could no way in hell carry a tune in a bucket. But I must send accolades out to the dear woman who is no doubt singing with the angels in heaven, for trying. I now do the country songs around the yard and house at the top of my lungs, and am happy as can be with my never change tones method of what is known loosely as "caterwauling!"
And so I bid adieu to my childhood days at Nickerson Grade School. The halls are froth with memories, some good; some bad, but all mine. They helped shape me into who I am and I guess that is the environment part that comes into play. I guess it was inevitable that I then went to high school and I am going to tell you about that and grandma and my career as an actress hopefully tomorrow.
For now I will put my little ghosts back to bed and get on with the business of living while there is still breathe in the old body. I have a lot of blank pages to fill before I fly away!