Sometimes I don’t think things will ever change. Every year seems the same and nothing much happens. I was 12 years old on my birthday in February . Ma and Dad’s friends gave me a pair of green wool slacks and a pretty pull over top to match. Mr. Weber complimented me. Maybe he was as sick of looking at my old clothes as I was. I was really pleased that he wrote in my autograph book. “The youngest in age in the seventh grade, but the oldest in the head”..yup, that is what he wrote. Made me feel special for awhile.
One day this summer, our neighbor, Grace drove into the yard and brought a big box of clothes into the house. She explained to Ma that a summer resident had a girl a little older than me and had outgrown the clothes and would she like them for me? Ma hesitated a little but then thanked her. I opened the box later and never saw so many colors in my life. Dresses of all kinds and skirts like the other girls wore. They all looked new to me and when I got my new shoes for school, I would look really nice. It made the new school year something to look forward to for a change!
But this is another Monday morning and as usual, I am tired. Ma lets us stay up a little later on Sunday night as there are radio programs we really like. I like to hear when Henry Aldrich comes on and his mother yells “Hen-r-r-ry”! It is sponsored by J-E-L-L-O and I do love that stuff!! We sit in the kitchen chairs against the wall and look at the radio. I wonder if we think that is the only way we can hear it is by looking at it!! Jack Benny, Amos and Andy, Our Miss Brooks, The Great Gildersleeve….those are just some of the programs we really like and look forward to hearing. Dad tries to save the radio battery for the news and for the boxing matches he likes when Joe Louis fights but he always says it is strong enough for us to hear those programs. That is something my Dad and I share. When Joe Louis fights, he lets me sit up with him and listen. We were so glad when he beat Billy Conn. Ma isn’t too thrilled about it but I think Dad likes company in the kitchen.
Mr. Weber is not teaching us this year. We have another man teacher, who is staying with Norwood and Dora Ford on Bird Hill. The first time I saw him, it was a little scary. We have been going to school for a couple weeks now and I have never seen Mr. Meserve smile. Never! He always wears a three piece suit with a pocket watch and a gold chain that comes down in a loop. He walks around the room with his finger in the loop half the time. He has a gold tooth on each side of his bottom teeth. I noticed that right off and told Ma. She told me to look more at the books and spend less time looking at the teacher’s teeth. I guess she has a point, but most subjects are boring as I heard them taught when I was in the sixth and seventh grades. I don’t know why but Mr. Meserve has a favorite saying. I guess it is a favorite as not a day goes by but he bellows, “You’re not putting me in a knot hole and putting the plug in behind me.” The first time he said it, I kind of jumped as I’ve never heard a teacher bellow before. I wonder what he was told about us. We are not a bunch of ruffians. Maybe he just is warning us not to try anything.
I have to admit that I got in trouble the first week. Kay always sits in front of me and he caught me talking to her..not once, but twice. So, he made me clean out my desk and sat me in the back seat of the sixth grade section and told me if I acted like a sixth grader I should sit there. That didn’t bother me much, because right behind me was a few book shelves and when I got my work done, I just reached my hand around and grabbed a book and read. After a couple days, I think he knew what I was doing and back into the eighth grade section I went.
I don’t know why Mr. Meserve is so crabby. Maybe it is because he is older than most teachers I have had before. Just once I wish he would smile but that doesn’t look as though it might happen right away. This is going to be a very long school year.
Thank goodness for the Philco radio and Sunday evenings.