A Baby Boomer's Scrapbook

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Grade 6; Sanford Elementary


The 6th grade was pretty memorable because of the long bus ride and because that's where I met most of the Sanford kids that I would meet again in high school.


Puberty was starting to kick in and that bus ride gave the boys plenty of time to be raucous, rowdy and bawdy.  It seems that that was the year we learned to swear and tell dirty jokes and some of us would use the occasion of the bus ride to use our newfound vocabulary as often and as intrusively as we could.  For some reason, too often I'm afraid, one of us would start to sing and several others would join in to sing songs like 99 bottles of beer (all the way down to 1 bottle sometimes) as loud and as long as we could.


I don't remember who, but one of the boys was sort of a gang leader and was often the instigator of devious behavior.  One day he decided that we should take the pants off of one of the other boys just for the fun of it.  This went on for a few weeks and it was great fun until we ran out of other boys to pick on and somebody decided it was my turn to be one of the victims.  Of course, I didn't think it was quite so much fun after that and decided not to participate any more after that.


At school, I think we changed to four different classrooms during the day but our homeroom was with Mrs. Davids.  I had 3 more but the only other teacher whose name I remember was Mrs. Evans who taught Math.  Mrs. Davids was really nice but that year, my uncle had given me a white navy hat that I would wear almost all the time.  One day after she had told me several times to take it off in her class, Mrs. Davids took the hat away and didn't give it back until the end of the school year. Unfortunately, my head had grown enough by that time that it would no longer fit.


Although I didn't do very well in math that year, I really liked Mrs. Evans. Some days, instead of math, she would read a story to us.  I think one story that she read was "Robinson Crusoe" and another was one called "Danny and the Anti-Gravity Machine".  It must have been a big influence because I became and avid reader after that.


I thought I was only being a little mischievous when I got in trouble with another teacher (a lady who taught history, I think).  I found a thumbtack on the floor and set it on the seat of a nearby desk.  Fortunately for the girl who sat there but unfortunately for me, the teacher saw what I had done and not only scolded me in front of the class but made me apologize to the girl.  A good lesson but probably more painful than if I had been made to sit on that tack myself.


The science teacher must have been pretty lazy or perhaps he just liked the smell of banana oil.  It was a lot of fun for most of us, because we spent a whole semester building a rubber band powered model airplane.  I thought I had done a good job but was surprised when the best flying airplanes seemed to be the ones built by the girls.  A good lesson there in anti-chauvinism.


This must have been the first year I was interested in rock and roll music.  We used to watch Ozzie and Harriet on TV every week and I remember that Ricky Nelson was popular at that time.  I think there was a record player and we were allowed to listen to records at lunch.


Although Sanford Elementary had a good gym/basketball court, I was short and not very good at that game.  That gym would be important to me later on.  I didn't have a glove so I didn't get to play softball or baseball much either.  I remember lots of recess and lunchtime walks around the playground by myself.


Marlene Beavers reminded me of a playground accident that year where a boy was hit in the head with a swing and busted it wide open.  I only heard about it from others at the time but Marlene said that she was there to see all of the bloody and gory details.  Neither of us could remember his name but I think he got a steel plate put in his head and seemed to be OK after he recovered.


The new kids I remember most that year were Ken Gay because he was so good at sports and very popular, Chris Jewett because she told me one day that she had both her own TV and her own phone in her own room (I never knew anyone so rich and privileged before) and Joanne Boulis because she was Chris's friend.


Judy Fick's photo from the 1957 -1958 grade 6 class lists the following names:



Mrs. Davids, Mickey Howe. Wanda Lower, Max Bishop, Viola Gleason, Jim Andericks, Kathy Bozer, Ken Gay, Dick Hale, Ruth Bailey, David Hawk, Madeline Irish, Chuck Hoenke, Annalee Hildebrandt, Bob Davis, Linda Grant, Gary Boots, Sue Hand, Dale Laplow, Judy Fick, Hank Huckins, Bonnie Barnhardt, Gary Kelsey, Joanne Boulis, Dick Grice, Mike Banks, Ed Hess, Chris Jewett and Vernon Davis.


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