Thousands of local children will be going back to school this month – I always feel nostalgic this time of year. I loved school and enjoyed preparing for the new school year by shopping for clothes and supplies with Mama and Daddy. I attended public schools in Greenville, SC and had great, caring teachers. At one time, my Mama was a school crossing guard. She later was a teacher’s assistant for several years.
One year, it was time for me to have new shoes and Daddy insisted on the ugly, but well-constructed Earth Shoe- I wanted a new pair of Candie’s. Dad won the battle because he had all the money and brains.
In elementary school, I brought my lunch to school and every day, there was a sweet or funny note in my lunchbox. Mama wrote most of the sweet, loving notes and poems, while Daddy left the comical ones. One year, he wrote a funny poem about a fly and actually put a huge, plastic fly in my sandwich! The poem described this fly that would go crunch in my lunch!!
During high school, Daddy drove me to school on his way to work. I looked forward to our commutes as we listened to Dick Estell on the NPR show The Radio Reader. He read books on the air..my high school year it was Kane and Abel. Dad and I were amazed at Mr. Estell’s dedication and discussed in detail all the audio books we heard and what we thought about them.
Looking back, what I appreciate most about my school years was how supportive my parents were regarding my extracurricular activities, including theatre and music. They didn’t even seem to mind that I practiced the clarinet in my bedroom when they were trying to watch television in the next room. They always saw the bigger picture and instilled in me not only the importance of learning, but enjoying the process.