Memories of Childhood 09-13-04

It is hard to believe September is here and school has started. In the early mornings when I sit at my desk in my apartment,  I can look out my bedroom window and see the school children waiting for their school buses. There are a few real small children just starting school  and at least two mothers keeping a watch over them.

I remember my first day at school as if it were yesterday. Mother had made me a new dress and bought me a pair of Buster Brown shoes they even had a tiny picture of Buster Brown  and his dog Tige on the inside. I loved Buster Brown.

Buster Brown was a comic scrip mischievous boy and as famous in those days as Charlie Brown is today. I was so excited to wear those shoes my first day of school.

It was not to be, I smashed my big toe on my right foot a few days before school started and the toe was black and blue and double its normal size. Mother made a bandage from a piece off an old sheet. She said  I would have to go barefooted to school. After many tears she let me wear a sock and a shoe on my left foot.  

I wasn't sitting at my desk long when the boy across from me ask me if I believed in Santa Clause. I told him yes . He started to laugh and telling those around us I believed in Santa Clause. If I could see him today I would tell him I still do.

After the roll was called the teacher told us all the things we couldn't do and showed us the hand signals  we would use for our needs. I found out fast holding up two fingers got you a trip to the restroom lots faster than holding up one.
That first day The teacher read us a story about a little Indian boy named Hiawatha. I was  familiar with the story about him as my older brother Albert had told my younger brother Charles and me about him and could even recite several of his favorite verses from the poem.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the long poem. It took him almost a year to write it. There are over five thousand lines in it. What the teacher read to us was just a story written about Hiawatha written for little children. I was anxious to go home to show Charles how Hiawatha put his hands together so he could drink water from them.

I have always been interested in Indian history, wisdom and their art. The house we lived in was sitting on land where the Indians once lived and the Civil War was fought. We often found relics from both the Indian's and the Civil war there and the woods near us. We kept these treasures in cigar boxes.

I was living in Chattanooga, Tennessee then and have some wonderful childhood memories of living there. It is beautiful. When we were on the bus leaving to go to Oklahoma to live I remember looking out the window and seeing the river called Moccasin Bend for the last time.  It was called that because it looked just like a moccasin. Many times over the years I have wondered if it is still named that and if it is still  like I remember it.  That would be so nice to know.

The following two links each are about Moccasin Bend. The second one has a map and lots of history.