That's me in my first day finery standing by the front door of our house on Dale Drive. It must have been a cool September morning, as I have on a sweater. I also have my activity bag, which no doubt contained my sneakers, a piece of oil cloth and my nap time rug.
I was on my way to the newly-built Heritage Elementary School on Heritage Road in Tonanwada, NY. It was so brand-spanking new that I remember the sidewalk cement hadn't fully set, so we had to walk on planks that first day.
My teacher was Miss Sanderson.
I wish every child could've had Miss Sanderson as their Kindergarten teacher. She was young and pretty. Very much like Shari Lewis was at the time, but without the hand puppets.
I remember I once brought in a children's book based on Walt Disney's "Song of The South." Basically, it was Uncle Remus stories with the Disney characters used as illustrations. She read it aloud to the class at story time and she even did the southern dialects!
I was in Heaven.
Our sprawling class room contained an upright piano for music time. One day while we were all sitting in a circle, "Indian style" a strange man came in the room and started tinkering with the piano while Miss Sanderson was giving her lessons.
Of course, we students were distracted by the man reaching inside the piano, so Miss Sanderson stopped her lessons and introduced him as the man who was here to tune the piano.
Mr. tuner saw he had an audience, so he asked us if we knew who Captain Kangaroo was.
Naturally, we all cheered in recognition.
"Then maybe," he continued, "you'll recognize this song!"
On this cue, he launched into a note-perfect rendition of "Puff'n Billy" which was the good Captain's theme song.
The entire class room sat, entranced and elated. For those few minutes, it was as if we had been transported to the Treasure House.
The song ended with a flourish and Mr. Piano Tuner received a thunderous ovation from thirty tiny pairs of clapping hands.
Miss Sanderson smiled as she thanked the nice man for the impromptu concert.