Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cerebellar Tour ...

Let’s take a walk together. Actually I want to take you on a tour. We will have to walk softly and talk quietly. I want to show you around J. L. Giles Elementary School. Now that building no longer exists. They tore it down years ago. But let’s tour the school in my memory. Now I’ve got to ask you not to stomp and please do not kick the wall. I’ve got a little headache.

We’re going to enter the building through the south door. That’s the one that faces Church Street. This is the first door I ever used when I started first grade in 1940.

Ok, now that we are inside, let’s look into the first room on the right. Remember to be quiet. The students are busy at their little desks coloring pictures. That’s Mrs. Ruth Hill, the first grade teacher. She is easing down each aisle to see how everyone is doing.

Right there on the second row is Shirley Maxwell. My, look how red her hair is. Isn’t she a pretty little thing. Sitting next to her is Helen Wilshire. The boy behind her is Bobby Blanton. Bobby and I both were born on October 21. He is about two hours older than me. Next to him is Charles Fowler. He and I are pretty good friends. Oh, and look over there on the front row next to the window. It’s me.
Cute kid …

Mrs. Hill’s RCA record player is along the back wall. That crank on the side is what you use to wind it up. And in one of the front corners is the American Flag. And in the other front corner stands the Texas Flag. The door in front of the room is the cloak room. That’s where the kids hang their wraps.

Let’s ease on down the hall. The second room on the right is the second grade classroom. The lights are turned off and no one is in there. Know why? I skipped the second grade when they initiated the twelfth grade system. So, I have no memories of that grade. Let’s move on.

On the left as we proceed down the hall is the boy’s restroom. Next, on the left is the boiler room. I was always amazed at those two big tanks. I really did not know what a boiler did but I knew they were big. Now we’re passing by the school office. The office is right in the middle of the building facing the main entrance. But be especially quiet. We don’t want Mr. Lauderdale to come out and get fussy with us. Soon, he is going to transfer over to be principal at South Park High School.

The first classroom on the right just past the office is Mrs. Saxon’s third grade. Right now she is teaching a lesson in arithmetic. If we hang around for a little while, she will give out spelling words for the week. They will have a test on Friday.

Guess what is at the north end of the building? The end that faces Elgie Street. The gymnasium, of course. Let’s just look through the door. If we go inside the gym we might get hurt. I think that is Miss. Bland having her gym class play dodge ball. That’s why we do not want to go inside.

You will have to excuse me. We are about out of time. When the bell rings for school to dismiss for the day, kids will be running all over the place. Perhaps at some future date, we can take another walk together and tour the second floor.

As you depart, don’t slam the door.

I still have that headache.

Winston Hamby
The Beaumont Enterprise


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