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.
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.
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.
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.