Monday, April 13, 2015


My first experience with kindergarten was in 1945. I was just the most excited little girl in our housing project. I was going to school at Judah P. Benjamin Grammar School in New Orleans. My mother and I made sure that I had just the right skirts and blouses and dresses for my new adventure. Kindergarten wasn’t required back then the way it is today, so it was a special deal for me.

I had never been away from my mother for a whole day at a time before, so I was a little bit nervous about being away from her. But the excitement was more important than the fear of missing Mother.

The things that I remember most about kindergarten are a wooden swing that four of us could ride on at one time. It swung back and forth and back and forth, and we were all eager to have our turns. I also remember our teacher, Mrs. Perkins (how can I remember her name after seventy years?), reading stories to us. She was a tall lady with very black hair, brown eyes, and a somewhat pointy nose. The truth is that I was a bit scared of her.

I hate to tell you this, but after just a couple of months, I became a kindergarten drop-out. Those who know me now can hardly believe that I was a sickly child. I had one thing after another wrong with me, and I think Mother just gave up on taking me to school every day, only to have to go get me before the last bell rang. I really don’t remember all of my problems, but I just know that I didn’t finish kindergarten. Maybe I just missed my mother during the day. My memory just isn’t good enough to really get it together.

And now I’ll have to have a true confession. I was so busy with work today that I forgot to write until I was already in bed and almost asleep. I wouldn’t have been able to go all the way to sleep, knowing that I hadn’t done what I said I would do. So . . . here I am just rambling about something that’s not really that important to me. Maybe I’ll do better with L. Good night!

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