Be True to Your Schools

For some reason, this old Beach Boys tune popped into my head and replayed itself a few times. That got me thinking about my old schools, where I spent ages 5-18. So let’s revisit those days of yesteryear and cue the music…as I remember my old schools.

Greenwood Elementary, Warwick RI

I’m not sure if my kindergarten class was part of Greenwood or not, but my older brothers went to Greenwood, so probably it did. I recall walking outdoors on a fall day, in single file, down a city sidewalk covered with lots of colorful leaves. We brought some inside to glue to paper, then brought them home. At Halloween, we made bats out of black construction paper. We had fun making the wings flap.

My first surprise in kindergarten was being handed a old bath towel and told to spread it on the floor and take a nap on it. Yeah, right.

Greenwood in all its glory

Parker Elementary, Lexington MA

My next six years were spent here, having moved from RI, about 40 miles away. The teachers were all pretty good but Mr. Como, in sixth grade, was the best. He took us on a field trip to a French restaurant and then, later, to see his house. Until then I wasn’t quite sure where teachers went at night.

My best friend was Mike Shriber, from grades 3 to 5. One day I said the wrong thing and the friendship was over. Funny how that happens.

In the fifth grade our class created a newspaper, the Parker Pen. “Pen” was short for penitentiary. I think our teacher Mrs. Fay knew this and let us use the name anyway.

I went to visit Parker in 2009 with my girlfriend. It’s now a condominium complex, and the schoolyard where we kids played kickball has become a parking lot.

Ah, progress

Kingswood Regional High, Wolfeboro NH

When I was 12 we left Mass to move to rural New Hampshire. Junior high was a wing of the high school building, so six grades co-mingled in a huge place sheathed in sickly green panels. Last time I drove by, the panels (circa 1964) were still there.

My first and last fight took place in seventh grade, in the gym locker room. I lost.

I was invited to try out for football. I politely declined. I also did not join any clubs or do any activities. The school was 13 miles from my home, and I hated “late bus.”

I attended my Kingswood 30 year reunion in 2007. But that’s another story.

The Big Green Machine

So those are my schools. I don’t have a letterman’s sweater, or a decal to put on my car window. But I have the memories, and a dogeared copy of the Parker Pen, and that’s enough.

Rah rah rah, be true to your school. Rah rah rah ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-eee-oooh.


About meremention

Resident of the Granite State, I am a freelance writer who also toils as a research analyst.
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4 Responses to Be True to Your Schools

  1. Stella says:

    Nice story, funny how it still is that one can say the wrong thing and that ends friendships. Guess we learned this young in school.

    Its funny, I don’t remember napping in Kindergarten, I do remember napping in algebra, but for a different reason and they did not supply the beach towel. lol

    Now are you going to share the reunion story too?


  2. meremention says:

    Your algebra reference made me laugh. I took that subject twice. 🙂

    The reunion story might be too long for a blog entry, so maybe I could shorten it or post in sections. Thanks for asking.


  3. skip says:

    nope, the Kindergarten was a few blocks away from Greenwood Elementary where Red Rover, Red Rover was the popular recess activity….and the little milk cartons and saltines were served each snack time

    yep, Parker Penitentiary, ruled by the iron hand of Swivel Hips Maxfield……and if you remember, you could eat in the caf or walk home for lunch.

    maybe, Kingswood Regional High School, brought us to daily by the Nascar approved bus driver Ernestine Richardson. Never before, since, or going forward has there been a driver with her ability to make time over the 13 mile

    narrow, winding, hilly, pot hole filled course along the lake. Many a day the bus odometer must have been off by half from the distance we were actually airborne enroute .
    All this while keeping one eye on the road and the other fixed on the rear view so as to single out the neerdowells.
    She also was a perfect double of ‘The Old Man in the Mountains’….very attactive!


  4. meremention says:

    Ah yes, I was a bit hazy on the location. I don’t think we played Red Rover a few blocks away, not sure what we played.

    I would never call our principal by that name, but other kids did. She seemed nice to me.

    Ernestine was a different story, though. I think I saw her smile once but mostly she wore a permanent scowl! But think about it, she had to drive a school bus every day. Yikes.

    Thanks for the memories, Skip.


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