From: Merl Hanson
She was beautiful. It was the way she walked and smiled. I could feel my hands becoming warm and my face would easily blush. Mr. Brooks would carry on about Math and Mr. Theis would rattle on about Science. It didn’t matter much because on some days I could only think of her. And whether real or imagined she could run like the wind.
Those oldest friends have been with us a long time and we smile when we think of those innocent years. I can stand in front of that old grade school and feel my youth and I can almost see her running on the black pavement. Just standing by that old building makes me realize what a long, strange trip it has truly been.
Grade schools gave us time to build our own identity and find out who we were. We were not one size fits all and those nurturing teachers, even on their grouchiest days, made us feel as if there was a place for one and all in this world. The world seemed a bit saner and as I age, I start to realize what really matters.
We played kickball with red, bouncy balls that we also used to spell long words that I can still spell, but never use. It was there that some of us found our love of music or sports or words. We had quiet times and loud times and serious times in that old school. Even today, listening to the noises of kids on a playground can lift a tired mind.
Those old, wrinkled teachers spent countless hours showing us how to think and listen. Like today we were not always interested and our minds would wander. We’d stare at the chalkboard but there were days when all you could think about was summers and baseball and the girl on the other side of the classroom.
Most of us leave few traces of who we were and are before buying a stone in the necropolis. Someday our children and grandchildren may want to know what we are really all about and where we came from. Maybe someday a grandchild can stare up at that old brick building and see a beautiful girl running hard across the playground. Then, and only then, will they realize what their grandparents were all about.