The old guy had passed the little white building 1,001 times, but things were a little different when he passed the other morning. For one thing, his mood was a little better due to the shot the doctor had given him to ease the pain in his right knee. Looking at that little white building as he approach, then passed and once again in the rearview mirror, his thoughts went back 60 years when he attended school in that little country schoolhouse without air conditioning or inside bathrooms.
Insider remembered walking one mile each way to school from the first grade through the sixth, rain or snow. It was just what he did as a kid. It was the only way to get to school. Young-timers these days would stage revolt if they had to walk to school. He remembered how one teacher taught six grades and never complained about anything. He remembered the wood stove in the back of the room and how the boys would fill the wood room in the spring with wood for the winter. He remembers having the keys to the school at about 12 years old so he could go and start the fire a half-hour before school so it would be nice and warm when the teacher arrived.
A smile crossed the old guy’s face as he remembered the little girl who sat in front of him with the blonde pigtails and how her hair looked so pretty when the sun shown on it from the large windows in the morning. At the end of the sixth grade, he had to leave the little white school and attend a big brick school in town, but he didn’t like it. Never did. It meant nothing to him. Gone but not forgotten was all the charm and memories of that building. It was just school then.
When a man bought the little school a few years back and remodeled it, he found a test paper in the floorboards that belonged to the old guy and thought enough to give it to him. Insider’s best friend put it in their family bible for safekeeping. It’s still there today. As the old DeSoto was humming along passed the even older school building the other day, Insider said to himself he ought to put these thoughts down on paper for his grandson. Someday he will grab a RC and some handfuls of Goldenberg peanut chews and do just that.