Today is the first of August. Where, oh, where did July go? I know we have a lot of ninety degree weather ahead although I am sure I feel a hint of fall in the air. Even the sun shinning on the patio looks different. I do know that fall is around the corner and over the hill. If August goes as fast as June and July did it may be closer than we think. LATER: August fourteenth. I got side tracked from my writing on the first. It is hard to believe school starts this week. Thank goodness most schools now have air conditioning.


I remember my first day of school as if it was yesterday. Mama didn’t go with me, I went with brother Pat. He took me to my room where I was met by the woman who was to be my teacher, Miss Bonnie Beach. Tightly grasping my red BIG CHIEF tablet I was a little reluctant to walk through the door. It was a hug from my teacher and words of comfort that made me feel special. In the first grade I made lifelong friends.


Son Bob’s first day of school was a night mare for him and he hated school from day one. He started in the building that was formally an army barracks. His teacher put him and Phyllis Chaney in a closet their very first day of school. I went to see the teacher at her house crying. I couldn’t believe what Bob told me. She told me, “He was talking when he should have been listening.” Can you imagine what that did to a first grader? I walked with him to school until Connie was born in November, as we only had one car that Frank drove to work. Bob had to start walking by himself. I thought I had him on his way to school only to have him hanging on to me crying, “But, Mother, you might NEED me! He cried, I cried. The winter he started to school was one of the worst winters I can ever remember. He caught everything that was in school. Scarlet fever, chicken pox, measles and the mumps, plus we had a baby, “Connie”. Just after she was born I had my gallbladder removed the old fashioned way. Connie was born on Sunday Morning. Saturday had been a beautiful day. It started raining on Sunday morning turning cold and it was cold the rest of the winter. We had lots of snow and freezing weather. It was , also the winter the whole family, except me, had the flu. The late Dr. Merle Woods, of Huntington, used to make stops at our house, on his way to Fort Smith to the hospital to make rounds, just to check on us. That was the year I was ready for spring. I have never been so glad to see spring arrive as I was that year.


I was reading the list of things the kids of today need to start school. FIVE boxes of crayons? We did good to have ONE box. Mama made our paste from flour and water. She cooked it then added oil of Wintergreen, bought at Stewarts Drug Store,to make it smell good. I think we ate half of it before we got to school. I still like the taste of wintergreen. How times have changed in the past eighty plus years. Look what we learned before the days of computers. Reading, writing, spelling, and arithmetic.