Playing on the way to School


Happy Days! -- Fun Walking to School

I got to thinking about walking to school while writing this blast.  I remember fondly some of my experiences, to Silver Street Elementary and ERHS!   (I lived across the street from Central for a few years  -- just a few steps and I was at school – and that may be the reason I have few memories of that short walk!)  Also, I am sure I have a very selective memory, with just selected fun times remembered.

Walking to school was often the highlight of my day!  Until I was in junior high school, my parents rented and we moved often with the result that my route changed almost yearly.  My favorite walks were on the route from our home behind the old Olney Township High School on Main Street (now gone for over fifty years), near Mike’s Restaurant, down Silver to Silver Street school (not used as a school since the early seventies):  Lots of pretty girls lived on both sides of that street.  I don't remember all the names; the ones I do remember were either future girl friends (I was lucky to have three) or cheerleaders.  Most girls tried to avoid me.  I wonder if I sought girls as they were a mystery to me -- my not having sisters (and I was shy anyway and was pushing myself to engage those young ladies.    

Anyway, I do remember the street had a few cheerleaders and I remember a couple of those sometimes tolerating me for short visits while we walked toward school.  I think now that what I didn’t understand, at that early age, was the ‘public persona’ of those with responsible positions or just that of show girls, Entertainers you know.   The girls were social by nature and too had a type of school position being cheerleaders.  As I say, I walked with them very shortly, not their catching up to me to visit with me.  Oh, no.  I remember being pleased to be shoulder to shoulder with them.  I have this odd memory of their wanting to practice our weekly spelling list.  Going over that usually finished our walk together as I was no speller and no help.

 Too shy to engage.

For some reason I remember getting a frog out of a creek and offering it to a young lady who was most decidedly not interested.  


Junior High and the Coke Lounge

My the time I was in junior high (which was the old high school, OTHS), I had a paper route and was busy with that job immediately after school  -- and didn’t walk to school as I had a bicycle.  During those two years, I had money.  I remember going to school with a pocket of Nickels (the price of a bottle of Coke).  I did that to buy time with the girls as the school had a Coke Room (that’s what I remember it as but it was an area for gathering inside but not in the gym nor classrooms).  I remember standing by the Coke machine and asking if anyone wanted one.  No shame on my part.  Some students always were willing to have a free one.


High School

For a few years in high school we lived on north Ohio Street and lots of gals lived nearby.  I remember walking the most with Tracy Martin of my class.  But I have a few other memories, including the mother of a classmate who would give us walkers a ride if the weather was cold or it was raining.  


Post H.S. and First Kiss

Now, I did graduate (barely) and became a student at Vincennes U. in Vincennes, Indiana.  By that time Barbara and I were dating.  On some days, I could stop at her house in the morning, get her and her brothers, drop them off at school, and drive on to VU.  One really treasured memory of that experience was not with Barb.  It was with her brother Jack whom I love to this day as a brother.

One morning I must have been early as I left the car and went inside to wait on Barb and her brothers.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I was standing by the staircase exactly where their mother usually stood.  Down they came from upstairs bedrooms.  When Jack reached the steps near where I was standing on the other side of the banister, he kissed me.  Of course, his intent was to kiss his mother and so he wasn’t really kissing me.  But I got the kiss and have never let him forget it!  Fun!

I expect that one advantage of walking back then as a child was that the walking created a transitional period -- time free of adult supervision.

Now I get that when I do lawn work. Ha! Love you Barb!



March 22, 2019