Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kindergarten Memories

Written on the back of this snapshot, in my Mother's handwriting, is "1st Day of School Kindergarten - 1963."

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.

His job done, the piano tuner excused himself and Miss Sanderson, sweet Miss Sanderson, continued her lesson.


Blogger furiousBall said...

my kindergarten picture features yours truly displaying his sparkley Kiss belt buckle

June 28, 2008 6:25 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

What? No Flock Of Seagulls lunch box?

June 28, 2008 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Craig!

It's been far too long since I popped in to say "hello" ... I hope you are well, Sir.
_ _ _

My "Miss Sanderson" was Mrs. Hinton -long and dirty blonde hair and a very pleasant demeanor. Who knows how old she actually was at the time, probably in her early 20s. I once remember having seen her get into her car after school (in that "forbidden zone" known as the teacher's parking lot) ... I remember it like it happened yesterday - she drove a baby blue Triumph TR-6 sportscar, VERY cool!

_ _ _

I'd be afraid to tour my old school today. I'd likely interrupt some Transgender Studies class in progress. I know that you can't go back; I just hope that we're still going forward ...

_ _ _

Happy 4th, my friend!

June 28, 2008 11:36 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Lovely photo and memories!

Will you be taking a similar photo of someone this September?

June 29, 2008 9:43 AM  
Blogger Allan said...

Miss S. is swell!

June 30, 2008 8:12 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

thats a really great photo to have.

I'm a few years your junior and have very few of my own childhood.

July 08, 2008 3:41 PM  

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