What do you remember about your elementary school years?

Apparently I don’t remember all that much.  I do remember that I went to Grafton Village Elementary School

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For 1st grade I had Ms. Potter.  I remember she used to wear her sweater over her shoulders and had black hair.  I used to wear my sweater like that too.  She was very nice and I remember her being patient.  One thing that stands out about 1st grade is that we used to have these workbooks that had this piece of plastic that you would put over the page and you would use a to mark your answers.  My rag that I used to erase the marks was actually one of my sisters’ old cloth diapers.  She, my sister, was allergic to pampers so she had to use cloth diapers.  That’s a story for another day.  The workbook had “characters” in it and one was a yellow poodle looking dog named Nip, and an ant named Ant.  If anyone has a copy of that workbook or a pic of Nip and/or Ant I would LOVE to see it.  Interesting that that is one of the standout memories for me from 1st grade.

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In 2nd grade I had Ms. Kerwin.  I always kind of wondered whatever happened to her.  One thing I remember about her is she had really pretty hair.  Sometime during that year I had my ears pierced.  It was at a store called Leggett’s (now called Belk’s).  Back then they put a piece of ice on my earlobe to numb it and then used the earring to pierce my ear.  I actually still have one of the studs.  I don’t want to brag or anything, but it still fits. 

Sadly I don’t remember all of my teachers.  I do remember Ms. Suddeth.  She was either my 3rd or 4th grade teacher and I remember her wearing these awesome navy blue bell bottom pants.  She also had naturally wavy hair.  When I was at Grafton some of the grades were in these “open” wings and there weren’t any walls separating the rooms.  They instead had these really large dividers separating the “rooms” from each other. 

Of course I remember some of the kids as well.  In one class there was another girl named Lisa and her last name was Brown.  Tommy Sullivan was in one of my classes and I remember he liked to draw sharks.  He was good at it too, as best as I can remember.  There was also a girl named Joy in the class.  She had a leg brace on one of her legs, she had short red hair and smiled a lot.  Kind of weird the things you remember. 

I went to Edward E. Drew, Jr. Middle School and the teacher I remember there was Ms. Collie.  She wore heels a lot.  I was the class representative or something and had to sign all of our ID cards for some reason.  I was in the track club there too.  I actually don’t remember much besides that. 

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I guess one of my strongest memories that I have revolves around a water tower at the elementary school.  Back then for PE, we used to run to and from the back of the school to the water tower.  At least that’s how I remember it.  And in my dream, I’ve run up to the water tower and as I am running back for some reason the water tower is falling towards me and I don’t seem to be able to outrun it.  I actually have had that same dream many, many times.  Not sure exactly the meaning behind it all but on our trip to Fredericksburg I of course had to stop and see it.

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It does not look the same.  I clearly remember it having 4 legs and of course there wasn’t a fence around it either.  I am assuming a new one was built or something. 

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  • What teachers do you remember?
  • Do you have any recurring dreams?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

They say you can’t go home again. But have you ever tried?

Even though I lived in Fredericksburg, VA from around ages 5-11, the memories of my home there and the neighborhood is a bit sketchy. 

Here’s the pic of the house I grew up in. 

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Here’s how the house looks today.

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It’s kind of hard to see the house as all the trees and bushes have definitely grown!

I do remember my brother and I riding our bikes a lot.  My dad actually put together our bikes from parts that he salvaged from the local dump.  I must say my dad is a handy man.  My brother and I would ride over to a street called “Woodland Terrace”, which is just a couple of streets from our house.  My bike was black, with a white plastic basket that had flowers on it.  And it also had a really cool orange flag on the back of the seat.  We would attach playing cards to the spokes of our bikes with clothespins and they sounded really cool when we’d ride.  It’s okay to be jealous…it was pretty awesome.

During the summertime we would fill up these orange Tupperware containers with ice water and take them with us.  You know, in case we got thirsty on our adventures.

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I called to ask my mom about the containers and if she still had them and guess what?  She did!!  WoooHooo!  She was about to give them away so I really lucked out.

I do remember my friends were a sister and brother named Donna and Tony.  There was a girl that lived in the two-story house on the corner named Barbie.  Around the corner, on Rogers St., Kristie, Karen and Shawn lived. 

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There was a store back then called Earl’s.  At that time it was a grocery store.  It is now Earl’s True-Value Hardware but they did keep the original Earl signage. 

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This is also where we got my first dog, Fonzie.

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Speaking of dogs, when we first moved in there was a couple that lived next door.  They had a German Sheppard named King.  King bit me on the ear.  I think I was 5.  I recently asked my mom and dad about this and neither really remembers it.  Does this mean I made it up?  It’s possible.

As I mentioned before, my dad is very handy.  He made the brick fireplace you see above.  He also made the patio on the side of the house that you see in the middle pic above.  We used to jump rope there and it was a lot of fun. 

The patio also had a basketball hoop and we would play H-O-R-S-E.  And when I say we, I mean me, my brother AND my mom and dad.  I also used to skate on the patio with my skates that I attached to my tennis shoes and tightened with a key that I wore on a string around my neck.  Anyone remember those?  My whole family knows how to roller skate.  It’s one of the cool things about our family.  We always have had a lot of fun together.

I also remember this radio show that my folks would listen to.  I think it was called the Swap Shop or something like that.  I guess it was kind of like Craig’s List is today but old school.  Anyway, the theme of the song went something like this,

“Swap shop.  Swap shop.  Where the best bargains are always made!  Swap shop.  Swap shop.  Do you have something to sell or trade?” 

Funny the things remember.  Or think you remember. 

  • Have you ever tried to go home again? 
  • What are your memories of your childhood home?

(((hugs))) ~lisa