Friday, March 05, 2004

Reminiscing with Bess

What was...

1. ...your first grade teacher's name? Ah...Miss McEchnie (I think). I can still see her. I suppose she must've been in her 20's, but she was a tall and imposing presence. Short, no-nonsense brown hair. Strong convictions. The Lord's Prayer every morning, and "O Canada" (back when those two things were considered important for young people to learn). I remember her teaching us some sort of math with little sticks. I think it was a new method of sorts. Can't say as it made it easier. I already knew how to read and how to count.

My birthday was early in September, so everyone took a liking to me because we had birthday cake in the first week! After that, I went back to being considered nerdy.

2. ...your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?

I was a "Rocky and Bullwinkle" fan too -- but before that (and "Mighty Mouse" -- "here he comes to save the day!"), we had non-animated shows that were great -- "Captain Kangaroo", "The Friendly Giant", "Howdy-Doody". And before that, I listened to "Maggie Muggins" and "Kindergarten of the Air" on radio!!

3. ...the name of your very first best friend?

There were two I shared with my step-sister (we are close in age) -- Sharon and Susan. Sharon lived kitty-corner to our back yard. Susan, daughter of the local veterinarian, lived down the street with several sisters and one lone brother, in a big house with a huge yard and a barn with a goat and rabbits!! (We lived on the outer edge of town. It had been a full-fledged farm once). Then there was my 'Bosom Friend', Beverley...we shared everything up till the latter years of high school, when we grew apart...nothing specific really. No fights or animosity. Just a change that comes when you grow in different directions.

4. ...your favorite breakfast cereal?

Sugar Crisp. Can't get enough...!

5. ...your favorite thing to do after school?

Skate. When I was very small, my stepfather made a rink in our back yard. Later, we would trundle down to the Arena (a covered real ice surface that is now, alas, artificial), and skate till supper time. We also skated every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and sometimes on Saturday evenings.

In fall and spring, when skating wasn't an option, we played in the leaves (fall) and made houses with them, designing the layouts like any architect. In spring, we'd play in the sandbox, or at a friend's house (or in ours). Lots of "dress-up" and doll play, and "Minibricks"...

I was 12 when Barbie arrived on the scene. My step-sis and I each got one from a family friend, but we never played with them much. We were into the Beatles and dances and boys by then. Our dolls were 'Betsy Wetsy' and other baby dolls, plus teddy bears...

Ah, good times. But I wouldn't go back. I like my 50+ life just the way it is. Tough times and all. I suppose, though, that those early days are part of what made me Who I am now.

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