Friday, December 2, 2011

The Little Things, Part II

More odd, little childhood memories...

I don't know if the back of the big box of Crayola crayons still includes a sharpener, but it used to.  I liked my crayons sharp in second grade, thank you very much.  Roger, a kid in my class had an odd way of speaking.  He watched me, turning every color I had in the sharpener.  He shook his head at me and said, "Yous wastin yous crayons."  Yes, Roger.  I was.  And I have no idea why I still remember you saying that to me.

That's about the only thing I remember in second grade, because I faked being sick that year more than any other.  Mrs. Richardson was my teacher that year.  She was nice.  But when she couldn't be at school for whatever reason, (and she was gone a lot that year) her husband Mr. Richardson stood in for her.  Mr. Richardson was a HUGE man - at least to my 7 year old self.  His salt and pepper hair was combed upward somehow - not as extreme as Kramer on Seinfeld, but it was similar.  I swear his hair brushed the top of the doorway when he walked through it.  He was also a preacher.  I never heard him give a sermon, but I imagine it was of the fire and brimstone variety.  He sounded like Foghorn Leghorn without the stutter, and he was LOUD.  He scared me to death.  So I stayed home. They must have taught kids to spell that year, and I blame my severe lack of ability in that area on my fear of Mr. Richardson. Thank you, spell check, for coming to my rescue.

In 4th grade, our art and music teacher, Mrs. Thrush, made the class stand to sing a song one day.  Evidently, standing didn't cramp the diaphragm, allowing one to sing to the best of his or her ability.  I'm sure this made all the difference to a bunch of off-key 9 year olds.  Anyway, we were all standing, singing our little hearts out when all of the sudden, a kid in the back of the room came running up the aisle, his hands over his mouth, with puke spewing everywhere.  It sounded like marbles hitting the floor.  We were stunned.  We all thought, "Wait.  Did that really just happen?" Those of us on either side of the aisle looked down at our desks and seats.  Let's just say I am forever grateful to Mrs. Thrush for making us stand to sing on that particular day.

I loved the Schoolhouse Rock stuff on Saturday mornings.  "I'm just a Bill", "Conjunction Junction", "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here"... Great stuff.  To this day, I can recite - no - sing the Preamble from watching those little videos. (OK, I can recite it, but the song still goes through my head while doing it.)

I used to sleepwalk quite a bit.  I would come downstairs, sit in my favorite chair and watch TV for a few minutes and then Mom and Dad would coax me into returning to my bed.   I would have no recollection of doing it the next day.  Mom told me that I came into their room one night, announced that there was an ape in my room and she needed to come tie him up.  And I used to wake up under my bed more times than I care to admit.

When my oldest brother, John, was in the Army, he was stationed for a time in Washington D.C.  I went with Mom and Dad to visit him there.  Sorry John, but I only remember two things from that trip:
1)  The miniature commemorative tea set that I brought home as a souvenir, and
2) looking down from the Washington Monument and saying to Mom that the cars looked like ants.
That's it.  That's all that stuck.  Out of that whole trip.

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