Tuesday, September 27, 2011


My colleague, Dan Brady, wrote a wonderful blog entry about Charleston Elementary the other day.

I was a Charleston student myself BITD, for a year. Most of my grade school time was spent at Boone, and most of the kids I knew from school I met there, in first grade.

I started Kindergarten there, in 1961, with a teacher named Miss Ferris, who loved kids, and drove a beige VW Bug. Thing is, I got promoted to first grade after a month.

Mrs. Hunt taught first grade-she remembered my mother from when she was a first-grader. I played hooky from her class the first three days I was there, half the day, anyway....I'd been in the morning Kindergarten class. Finally, I got caught, and went to class. Actually, I loved school full-time, once I got used to it.

Second grade was Mrs. Kretchman, who had flaming red hair, freckles, and an infectious laugh-I had a crush on her, as did a lot of the guys.

In third grade, we had three different teachers....Mrs. Rector, who took ill, Mrs. Friedman, who subbed when she wasn't helping out her husband at Eliott's Drug Store, and (TIMPANI!)

Mrs. Ross. Tall, slim, dark of skin and eye, beautiful, SERIOUS crush material. I hated her husband, although I didn't know him; he'd got there first.

I was in her class, enjoying a birthday party for Cynthia Williams, the day Thanksgiving vacation started, when Mr. Gidich, the Principal, came over the loudspeaker and told us President Kennedy had been shot.

Fourth grade was Miss Miller; there were actually two of them, one teaching fourth grade at Boone, and the other working as a school nurse at Admiral King. They lived together in a house a stone's throw from the school.

Fifth grade brought my first male teacher, Mr. Barnett, a big black man who laughed a lot, but could be strict if called for. In February of 1966, we moved to the projects, and I started school at Charleston.

Class dismissed....

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