Olivene’s story, and she’s stickin’ to itSHE WRITES:
Speaking of Neil Shepler, do you recall how he and I used to perform for the 5th grade class by doing an imitation of Elvis? I would sing “You ain’t nothin' but a Hound Dog” and Neil would do the shaking part. I’m sure it was wonderful. We were really mean that year. We would tie handkerchiefs to the roller blinds and let them flap out the window. Jerry Thackery sat behind me and would poke pointy things through the crack in the seat. Junior Baker sat in front of me and he would turn around and pester me and I would jump up and grab my geography book and pound him on the head about a dozen times. Real hard. Whop Whop Whop Whop. Served him right. I think that was the year I got the name Beanhead. Katherine Miller was responsible for that. She couldn’t pronounce my name right - she would say Olibean. That really irritated me and I would say, “It’s Olivene not Olibean”. She just laughed and called me Beanie or something. I think you were right in the middle of that one too. In fact, you probably put her up to it.
I think we drove Mrs. Klein bananas that year. Somehow I picked up saying, “I reckon”, instead of yes or, “I reckon not” for no. She told my Mother later that she had nightmares about me saying, “I reckon.” I don’t know why she let us get away with so much. Maybe she was a Montessori teacher and didn’t know it.
You mentioned how by the last grade in the room you had heard it all twice before. I guess we were really bored in the 5th grade. I remember having spelling tests. We knew all those words backwards and forwards (except calendar in your case) and were so bored with it that we would write the words backwards or upside down or sideways just to liven things up a bit. Mrs. Klein really got mad over that one.
I don’t remember being so mean in the 4th grade. We had Mrs. McKinney while Mrs. Klein was out getting a baby. I just remember her being really pretty and dressing nicely.
Remember David Smith who lived at the corner across from Prestons. Their yard didn’t have a speck of grass in it and had those concrete walls about 6 inches tall all around. Their house always flooded when we had a little rain. Who lived across the other street - the one that went to the school?
Those of us who ate at the cafeteria had to take turns washing dishes after lunch for a week every now and then. I bet those dishes were really clean. Mrs. Sheplar was the cook one year and I thought her food was really good. You really missed out by not getting to eat there. We had cake a lot and delicious food. It was just mouth watering good. It is really too bad you didn’t get to eat there. Some of my fondest memories are of that food. Gosh, it is really a shame you had to miss out. It was fun washing the dishes too because we got out of class and we could piddle around town on the way back. We would really take our time. Who was that mean old lady who got mad when we cut through the alley and across the ditch from the cafeteria to the school? You had to run real quick so she wouldn’t see you. We had to pray before we ate and the teacher would ask a student to say the prayer. Mostly it was, “God is great, God is good and we thank him for this food.” One time Margaret said, “God is good, God is great and we thank Him for this plate. “ We thought that was hilarious. You missed that too.
Another family I wonder about is a large family that lived upstairs in the house that was to the left as you faced Kenny Davis’s house. The lady was fat and made taffy a lot. She would let us come up and help her wrap it in saran wrap and she would give us some. They didn’t live there too long I think.
In the 6th grade we got to try out for cheerleader and we practiced and practiced. I really wanted to be a cheerleader. I decided it wasn’t right to vote for yourself so I didn’t and I didn’t win. I was soooo disappointed. The next year the principal decided that all the girls could be cheerleaders and then I decided I didn’t want anything to do with it if everyone could be a cheerleader. Also I didn’t like the outfits. I wanted a sweater like the high school girls wore and someone decided we had to have dumb blouses. I wasn’t going to wear a dumb blouse. If I had to wear a dumb blouse, I wasn’t going to be a cheerleader. So there.