Thursday, August 06, 2009

School Days Grade The 3rd

3rd Grade Mitchell-Neilson Elementary 1975-76

Teacher Mrs. Jennings

1st Row - Bottom
(L-R) Lori Lane, Theresa Koebeck, Kim Poland, don't remember, Kim Moore, Debra Reed, Mary Gannon,
Amy Christiansen, Amy Craddock

2nd Row - Middle
(L-R) Jessie Miles?, me, Britt Smithson, Cindy Davenport, Jimmy Davis, Barbara Money, Detra Cason,
Greg Tidwell

3rd Row - Top
(L-R) Mike Stacey, Kevin Johnston, David Fedak, Darin Coe, Hank Hirlston, Chuckie Boykin, David Burke

Moving on up to the big time. Mitchell-Neilson Elementary is located just across Jones Boulavard from Mitchell-Neilson Primary. It's where the big kids attended school and it was a major deal to begin 3rd grade there. Mrs. Jennings was my teacher. She was a delightful lady. I drove her crazy early on because I printed everything I wrote with squiggly lines. I was just doing it for kicks and later when we learned cursive writing I earned the penmanship award - a dollar bill which I've never spent.

David Burke was my best friend. He was obsessed by the World War's and we used to play war against the girls led by Lori Lan and Debra Reed. We'd pretend on the playground and later draw up elaborate peace treaties that the girls always refused to sign. I'd pretend I was in a fighter plane when I would swing on the most incredible swingset in the world behind the school, leaping out when I was high as I could go.

The playground behind Mitchell-Neilson Elementary was the best. It located under a bunch of trees so it was never too hot and they had these concrete pipes at the edge where you could hide. There actually was a mini woods that began after the pipes and often kids would wander far away and the teachers would have to look for them. It sounds goofy, but it truly was magical. We felt like this was our world of metal monkey bars, jungle gyms, see saws, and more with the dirt in the shade, rocks, and trees all our friends.

Gym class brought us Coach Hedrick and the delights of poison ball and bombardment, both dodge ball variants. I liked bombardment better since the boys and girls got to play it together. It was more like classic dodgeball. Poison ball could be sheer murder with the bigger boys feasting on the smaller ones. There were no lines you had to throw behind. It was just a free for all. I actually won posion ball once. When the girls played poison ball we'd sit up in the stands bored.We played lots of kick ball too.

Since it was the Bicentennial season our class put on a show. I dressed up like Ben Franklin and during our performance in fron of our parents and guests, the kid, Ricky Beckham, who lived across the street brought his younger sisters who made me start giggling. I spent the rest of the night lamenting that I ruined the performance then some girl played the wrong record at the end so I didn;t feel so bad. The only picture taken of me in the outfit was taken by Cindy Davenport, but I never got a copy. I've been told that I was really cute in it.

Kris Hettish used to make up his own version of Mad magazine and then sell them before class began. I wish I still had one of them. I also remember he had a crush on Chris Evert. I learned how to play chess in the library that year. I also read massive amounts of space exploration books and The Hobbit. Where did the time go?


James said...

Dear Bangs Brother,
I've really enjoyed going over some of these posts. I found you blog through being friends with Gretchen on facebook she commented on the Circle Jerks at Cantrells show poster which I also was at. We have 5 friends in common on facebook from the 80's so we I suppose, obviously ran in the same circles so to speak. Anyways I am more of a remember faces than remember names person. I think you have truly captured the essence of what it was to be a kid in the 70's and I agree with your Saturday cartoon selections and the estimation of Fat Albert being Saturday mornings finest hour, no contest. Your story about the scary kids from the dump was a powerful image on their scrapyard bikes, sounds like a great idea for a screenplay a new children's film festival or something, I'd love to read the rest of it.
Jimmy Jordan

Wally Bangs said...

Thanks for all the kind words about the blog. I'm sure we were in the same room many times back in the day - just didn't know each other by name. Sorry to take so long getting your comment up, but for some reason it wasn't automatically sent to my inbox.