A Baby Boomer's Scrapbook
Grade 4: Mrs. Curtis
boom must have been going strong in Michigan because our fourth grade class
was held in the
kid's desks faced south and the teacher's desk was off to the right because
there was a wood stove centered in the front of the room just in front of the
stage. I felt lucky to have a seat
right in front of the stove because it took a while for the place to heat up
and, early in the morning, it was pretty cold in the back of the room. Whoever
sat near the door must have been freezing half the time. It could have been that we were arranged
in alphabetical order with the "a's" and "b's" in the front
and the "x, y's and z's" in the back.
I remember that Violet Wendell was in the back. I sometimes wonder what happened to
Violet because of the way she was treated. She
was overweight and sometimes she was dirty and smelled. I'd like to think that I treated her
better than the others but I doubt it. It
must have been terrible for her have to been called names or ignored through
most of her childhood and, at this point in my life, I wish I could go back and
say "I'm sorry".
a brighter side, I remember that Mrs. Evans, who I had later in the 6th grade in
well, there went my budding career as the next Elvis!
strongest memory of that year was when, early on one cold fall day, kids were
gathered around Mrs. Curtis on the front step when I walked up. Apparently, my teacher from the 3rd grade
had submitted some of my drawings of insects and other critters at the County
Fair and I had won $5. Mrs. Curtis
was waiting there to congratulate me. Wow,
$5 was a fortune to a kid in 1955 and boy was I surprised. She quickly handed a blue ribbon and an
envelope to me. While I opened the
envelope to find the money, Mrs. Curtis explained to me that the other teacher
had taken $1.50 from the amount to cover her expenses and that she was sure that
I wouldn't mind that, being the charitable young man that I was, she had donated
the remaining $3.50 to a good cause. Of
course with all the kids around, about the only thing I could do is fake a smile
and try real hard to hold back the tears at the loss of more money than I had
ever seen in my young life.
well, there went my budding career as a rich and famous artist.
was a "Spelling Bee". I
was always pretty good at spelling and almost always got 100% on my spelling
tests so I expected to do well and possibly even win. I studied hard for it and, although I
don't think anyone else noticed or cared much, was very embarrassed when I
missed a word when I was in 5th or 6th place.
I sort of tuned out after that and don't remember who won.
well, there went my budding career as a respected and prosperous editor at
Barnes and Noble!
don't think there was any playground equipment at the Town Hall so us boys spent
a lot of our recess and lunch times throwing and catching balls. Softballs, footballs and, of course in
must have had at least some interest in girls at the time though because I
remember one in particular. Ruth
Bailey came to school some time in the middle of the school year and it seems
that just about every boy in class thought of her as the prettiest girl in
school. I suspect she got a lot of
attention that year. I guess Tom
Boman must have been more interested than the rest of us because he and Ruth
ended up getting married right after High School.
don't have a 4th grade class photo.