Looking back/Moving Forward

CURT SANDRAIt has been a long summer working for Miss Hobbs, but on the other hand, I have seen how other people live and learn a great deal from her.  Although her outward appearance is somewhat deceiving, she must be quite the teacher in Forest Hills, NY because she has taught for years and is well respected from some of the correspondence she receives and comments about to her friends.  During the summer, her friend, Mrs. Goldberg came to visit for several weeks and she was delightful and that made the days go so much faster.

Sometimes I wish Dad still took Curt and me to Greenwood City with him to Wilbur Yates store. That was fun, with Curt at one side of the backseat of the car and I was at the other window. When we saw a bottle, Dad stopped the car and one of us jumped out to retrieve it. Down past the Ames turn, by Tracey’s Flat and down Falls Hills we went. Every time we go down Falls Hills, I think of Ma having to walk home in the dark and cold because our car would not get up that darn curvy hill in the winter after she worked all day at Penley’s Mill !  Dad always pointed out the cattle pound and soon we’d be at Yates filling station, right near the road to Patch Mountain. Dad and Wilbur swapped tales and the latest news while Curt and I cashed in our bottles and picked out our penny candy, which Mr. Yates put in two little brown bags for us.

One day, we were getting into the car for the ride home and I saw someone coming from Patch Mountain. He looked kind of scary and I said, Dad , who’s that? and jumped in as quickly as I could. Dad scoffed and said, oh, he is harmless. That is Benny Wells. He lives by himself up on the mountain. I had heard about him and there was rumblings in the air that he ate rats. I told Dad to hurry up and get out of there. Curt was too busy digging in his candy bag to notice. Dad laughed all the way home because I was scared and heard that he ate rats.

Rex is still trapping. He gets up really early and checks his traps every morning. Dad told him if he was going to trap, that he had to check them because there were some trappers who did not do that every day and it was not right. Then if he caught a muskrat, somewhere and do not ask me where, he took the animal and came back with the hide stretched out on a board. He had to let it dry or something before he packed them off to get his pay. Of course he hung them at the head of the stairs so if I were not careful, I would run my face into a muskrat hide early in the morning and that is no way to come awake. He has a book called “Tips to Trappers” and when he gets teasing me, I tell him to go read his book”Tips to Twappers”. That always gets to him.

My overnight stays with Winnie and Ray Hanscom will come to an end when I start high school. Curt and I  usually go together and we pop corn while Winnie makes fudge for us. How much am I going to have to give up just to get an education. I am beginning to wonder!!

I think Rex is a little nervous, too, but he never appears so. We have been going to our little school for so long and had the same friends for years. Well, anyway, I think I am just about ready. I am not sure about Rex. Ma took me to Norway last week-end and we went in JJ Newberry’s. I am not sure what I am supposed to take, but I got some pens , pencils, notebooks and to top it off, got a pencil box. I don’t know if I am supposed to have one of those or not or if they are just for grammar school. I don’t want to take any chances.

We looked all over the place for a new dress and finally I found a plaid one with a gold chain that hangs from one collar to the other and looks very fancy. I bought some socks and Ma bought a pair of penny loafers for me. I have got to put a penny in each one as I am sure the other girls will do that. Maybe I had better wait and just see.

My whole world is changing and I am not sure I like it that much. But I love to learn so I guess it is the thing to do, but , above all I love to play sports and they have basketball and softball at Woodstock High, so I am looking forward to that. I am now 5’6″ tall and am skinny as a rail( that is what Ma says) so maybe I will get to play on a team.

Today was my last day of work for the summer. When Miss Hobbs gave me my  money, she said, now, Sandra, you are going to high school. If you learn typing, I will rent a typewriter from the Bethel Citizen and next year instead of house work, I will have you do all my correspondence and help me prepare next year’s lessons. Well, that sure made me smile ..to think she wanted me back and to do something I know I will really like to do!

Life is strange…from cleaning the stairs with a ten penny nail to tapping a typewriter. I think I can live with that.

Onward and upward! ( I heard that on the tv last night…)


One thought on “Looking back/Moving Forward

  1. I love this, Sandra! It reminds me of a story my mom used to tell. The family was living in Connecticut, and there was a stream near their house. My oldest brother, Steve, had decided he wanted to set some traps, but I don’t think my mom really thought he would be successful. She told about Steve bursting into our parents’ bedroom early one Sunday morning and dangling a wet, dead muskrat over them as they lay in bed, shouting, “Look what I got!”


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