The Daily Me
Monday, January 29, 2001

"More Recollections"

I've been reading alot of Fred Wintle's stories on the web. I must say they have brought back memories and a chuckle or two. I'm old enough to know most of the people and remember the places that he tells about. I've e-mailed him several times about different things of the past, such as the field where the first Ski Tow was. I didn't know much about the ski tow, but I remember the field as one we played in on the last day of school. I reminded Fred about the Hot Lunches at Spring Street School, and asked him about the swimming lessons taken at Lake Wassookeag. He tells me I have a keen mind, his words not mine, for remembering what people like to read about. I assured him I'd been called a lot of things, but having a keen mind was not one of them.

I remember as a child and a student at N.F. Fay the last day of school. Oh, what a glorious day, we didn't have to do homework! We got to say good-by to school rules for the summer and we got to play in the field across from the Supt. of Schools house, Mr. Town. (Had to ask Fred that name because I couldn't remember). We brought special lunches from home. Our special lunches might consist of a sandwich, cookies, chips, or twinkies. We played softball and all kinds of games, didn't matter if you could hit the ball or not it was the last day of school and everyone was happy. It wasn't like today, back in the 50's it was a rare thing if you got to see your classmates through the summer if you lived on the outskirts of town. You probably got to town once a week if you were lucky.

Reading Fred's recollections has brought back many memories. Sort of makes you smile, some good and some not so good. How about when the school nurse, Mrs. Rines handed out slips for you to take home to get signed for those awful shots. Oh, What a terrible day that was going to be, having to line up to get those shots. I can visualize it now. When you went into the school there was a flight of stairs that was straight ahead of you, the teachers lounge, as they are called today, back then it was the teachers room and no one but teachers were allowed, the drinking fountain right square in the middle.

As I recall Mr. Cushman's office, the principal, was on the other side of the fountain and than on the sides were the classrooms. There was a third floor where there were more classrooms. Most people would call this school a two story building, but I'm calling it three because it had a "basement." The "basement" housed the girls bathroom on one side and the boys was on the other side, the gym was on the boys side. Back then you didn't ask to go to the bathroom you asked to go to the basement. I can still see the long lines of the kids winding down the stairs to the gym to get the shot in the arm. Sometimes a student had to be held down by a teacher or two. Some students were brave, but there were others that were screaming and crying before they hit the door of the gym. The smell of the rubbing alcohol is still pungent in the air. "Can you smell it?" Come on be brave and get your shot!

Debbie Burdin

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