Thursday, August 5, 2010


My daddy was a school bus driver. I can remember him getting up in the wintertime before the sun came up, to get that old number 13 school bus started. That way it would heat up enough to get the ice off the windshield…I can also remember him coming back into the house and his eyebrows would actually have frost on them. Yeah…it use to be that cold in the wintertime in Georgia back in the 50’s !


We were so poor back then. Don’t get me wrong, I am poor now, but nothing like back then. I can remember going to school one day and my shoe sole coming right off my old worn out hand-me-down shoe….I also remember my daddy patching it with rubber from car tires.

There were no free lunches back then..If you didn’t have the money, you didn’t eat… unless you brought something from home. I can remember so well the teacher calling our names, one by one, to come to her desk with our lunch money, which was 30 cents a day. Oh, how embarrassed I would be to have to say, “ I don’t have it.” Now, 30 cents a day doesn’t sound like much…but it was back then…especially if you had to multiply it by 6 or 8.


Many a day, when I first started in primary, I was sent to school with a cold peanut butter biscuit wrapped in paper. Let me tell you, that cold biscuit tasted pretty dang good by lunch time to that little girl from Horseshoe Bend!

For a long time in first grade, there was a boy who would make me give him my biscuit… and even threatened me if I told…so I would end up with nothing to eat at all on those days. This went on for a good while until I, in my 6 year old mind feeling that I had no other choice, told my mama a fib. I told her that I needed two biscuits for lunch because one wasn’t enough. So, at six years old, I learned to hide one biscuit and give the other to that old biscuit thief .

William, doing what he does best!

You know, for a long time I held a deep hatred for this guy. The way I saw it; he stole my dang biscuit…which left me awfully hungry…and worse yet, it forced me to lie to my mama. When you are poor, you already don’t have much of anything… so there is nothing worse than someone stealing what little you do have from you.

So,for a LONG time, I hated him…

Until it finally dawned on me that he was probably just as poor and just as hungry as I was! Like a little stray hungry kitten that will claw and hiss and snatch…Stealing my biscuit was the only way he knew how to fill his little hungry stomach back then. So, I finally had to quit hating him.

As you can see, he doesn’t need a buzz cut!

Now here we are in 2010. I have no children in school at this point in time, but I have heard parents around here talking about the school lists and wondered what all the fuss was about. Being the inquisitive person that I am, I looked it up to see what exactly was on these lists. Maybe I am old fashioned, but in my opinion these lists are ….

Ridiculous !!!

Here is a sampling of the lists and keep in mind it is for primary school grades and kindergarten.

Ziploc bags; gallon, sandwich, and quart sizes
3 boxes of tissue ( it ranges from 1-3 )
2 bottles of glue
a whole pack of glue sticks
a 24 pack of #2 pencils
a whole pack of erasers
1 roll of paper towels
2 bottles of hand sanitizer
1 pack of Clorox wipes ( for the desks)
paper plates and paper cups

This is just a sample…some lists are longer than this one…Now tell me this isn’t ridiculous!

My first grade teacher; Miss Sally, would have have fell out of her desk chair laughing had she seen this list and then she would have gotten mad!

Miss Sally drove the same black model A ( or was it a T?) Ford car the whole time she was a teacher back in the 50’s and 60’s. So that alone should tell you she did not believe in waste such as this. This car was one that had the hand crank on the front of it.

Dear old Miss Sally…she was up in her 80’s or 90’s but she would lead us to the bathroom, where she made it her business to see that we all, one by one, washed our little hands correctly…using plain old soap and water…not hand sanitizer….and we dried them on brown paper towels supplied by the school in the bathroom.

If a child came to school with a cold and had a runny nose or such, the parents sent tissues for them…or a handkerchief…(or a rag if you were poor)….If all else failed, we went to the school bathroom and got a wad of toilet tissue. We sure as heck didn’t have to bring three boxes of tissues for Heaven’s sake!

Our desks got wiped off by the janitor, or the teacher, or kids being held after school, later… after we went home…so we didn’t bring Clorox wipes either.

Paper plates and paper cups were only for birthday parties, valentine parties or such and the parents of the child or the PTA mother and/or teacher supplied them at the time of the party.

We knew to bring a pencil, a pack of notebook paper, (or one of those FAT pencils and an ABC tablet if younger), but that was pretty much all, until we got into high school. On up in grade we did have to have composition books, rulers, folders and such too. If we happen to forget something, or gave out of paper, or say our pencil broke or the eraser fell off….well, we either borrowed one from a friend or we made do until the next day.

Of course I can see having to bring pencils, paper, and even a glue stick…but whole packs of them???? I have heard that these extra items are for the children that do not bring such. What I would like to know is….If a child comes to school without even pencil or paper or a Kleenex to blow their nose on for goodness sake, why aren’t the parents of these children contacted right then and there?

The way I see it…If there is a real need for assistance, or the child is being neglected intentionally, then maybe donations can be raised or if need be, the local family and children services contacted.

It is not right, and down right wrong to put the burden of cost for these extra supplies on parents that are already having a hard enough time furnishing clothes and supplies for their own children.

Bless your heart,
Rest on in peace Miss Sally…

Because if you were here today….

You would definitely be mad.



I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Times have certainly changed over the years and in a lot of cases there is much that would be better if we went back to the simpler times. The sad thing is that so many parents just don't care. I have a hard time understanding much of what goes on today. Your little grandsons are so adorable. The hair cut makes Wyatt look so grown up. I hope your Friday is a great one.

madcobug said...

Wyatt looks so cute with his new haircut. Glad that you realized that boy was really hungry. As to the list of school things, some of them are not really needed. But if the kids don't bring their own the teacher has to fork over the money for them and if several didn't bring things then that teacher was out a good bit of money. Not meaning to put down what you said but my daughter is a teacher and she furnishes a lot of things the county should but they claim they are broke. She stays broke also. This year they are getting cut ten days plus their paychecks are getting cut each money this year also. Have a great weekend Carlene,
Lovya, Helen

Paula said...

Amen to this entry. One of my old teachers, Mrs. Miller would hold a child who was feeling ill on her lap. Most didn't have a phone to call the parents to come get them so the teacher had to be nurse and teacher. Sure wouldn't be permitted to touch a child now.

Adirondackcountrygal said...

Yes the lists are getting ridiculously long for school. We had to get help from a charity last year to help us get the stuff we needed. Thankfully I only have to provide for two kids this year instead of three. The supplies I brought when I was a kid were MY supplies, not put in the general stock for the classroom to use. These days the supplies go into the closet and are doled out as needed.