Sunday, July 24, 2016

the new kid

Epworth Elementary 1964

Ms. Brackett was the teacher's name. She was young and blonde and soft spoken. She was my new 5th grade teacher. She was very gracious on that November day, the Monday after Thanksgiving, when I made my entrance, coming in late and interrupting her class. You see after moving from Alabama to Georgia over the holiday weekend, come Monday morning we had to find the school. The best way to do this was to follow the big yellow school bus which flew by our mailbox. After watching the red flashing lights at umpteen stops, and one scary turn-around on a steep hillside, it did eventually take us there. So I arrived at my new school late, and was nervous to say the least.

But that turned out to be one of the best days of my life to date. Ms. Brackett was so friendly and welcoming. She stood at the door for a long time talking to my mom while all the 5th graders gathered around me. They were genuinely excited to see me. I discovered later that a new kid in school was rare, and I was the new kid for several years. And wow were these kids friendly! Where did you come from? What, all the way from Alabama? The world traveler Army brat that I was, thought, it is only the next state over, practically neighbors.

I made great friends that day. Recess was a hoot, girls with long ropes were doing Double Dutch - a first for me to see and not try. But lunch was the best. Having eaten school cafeteria foods for several years I was very pleasantly surprised. No more mystery meat or right out-of-the-can veggies, no more white loaf bread plopped down on top. This was real home cooking, actual food that your mom might make, and giant fluffy yeast rolls, hand-made that morning...or maybe it was homemade biscuits, or cornbread, I can't think straight for drooling. Oh my I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I can still taste it all...

Yes, this move was a good thing, the teacher is angelic, the kids are so friendly, and the food, oh my…  

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