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Tales from the old-timer

Issue Date: September 12, 2012

Old Timer-School Days

It’s hard to remember grade school days, but we at the Times remember a very old song that fits in right now, as our kids went back to school last week. But we remember a song that was old even when I was a kid back in 2nd grade:



School Days



School days, school days,

Dear old golden rule days.

Readin’ and writin’ and ‘rithmatic,

Taught to the tune of a hickory stick,

You were my queen in calico,

I was your bashful, barefoot beau,

And you wrote on my slate

I love you, Joe,

When we were a couple of kids.



This song is so old that it was old already when I was in 1st grade in Kingsford, where I started school in about 1930, more than 80 years ago. The ink wells on our desks in 2nd grade at the Peshtigo East Side Grade School back in 1932 were already obsolete, as we used pencils only and in later years we had ball point pens. Ink wells were used when quill pens were common, and before fountain pens were introduced.

But the song reminds me of the fact that second grade boys find girls just as attractive as they are to high schoolers, and I had a crush in 2nd grade back in Kingsford on a girl named Jane Brindle, and on a Sylvia Wood in Peshtigo in 2nd grade there, and any number of girls in later years. But I never even spoke to most of them, as I was handicapped with red hair, freckles, and a lopsided head, but little Jane Brindel’s image, with her cute bangs and pretty face remain in my memory, but dimly, to be sure.

You didn’t even tell your best friend that you liked this one or that one, fearing the ridicule that would bring.

As to the hickory stick in the song, I got whacked with a ruler by Miss Moran in 2nd grade in Peshtigo, but I don’t know if it was hickory or oak, but it sure stung, but I didn’t cry, as that would bring teasing. Miss Moran was kept busy with her ruler, but she had a keen sense of propriety, and never used her ruler on a girl. She spent a lot of time chasing my classmate Teddy Kozuzek up and down the aisles, and when she caught him, which she always did, Teddy would switch hands on her, which was cheating on his part, so he got twice as many whacks.

I never even spoke to Jane Brindle in 2nd grade, but at recess one day in winter, I sneaked up behind her and kissed the back of her coat, then ran off like a scared rabbit.


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Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
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