Sunday, October 19, 2014

Monday Memories: My First School

My first school was Clayton Valley Elementary in Concord California

I attended school there from Kindergarten through 6th grade beginning in 1955
The principal's name was Mr. Gas the first 6 years.  
Later when I was in the 6th grade we had a new principal, Mr. Martin.  
Neither was feared by me. 

Here is a view of the front of the school  that I have taken from the web
It is no longer a public school, its now a private school and it looks nearly the same.

I can well remember raising the flag here as part of the Safety Patrol team.  In back to the left the large building was our Auditorium and lunch room.  It was called the Multi-Use room.  We also had indoor gym and I remember learning folk dancing inside those four walls.  At the far end from your view here, inside there was a stage with a dark velvet curtain.  The tables for lunch were folded into the wall and brought down every day.  The Janitor had a large key to unlock it and then pull it out where it made two tables.with attached benches.  

Below  these are the classrooms just off the right of the photo above.  They were the kindergarten rooms.  This is the view from the back side of the classroom where there was an enclosed playground dedicated to this class alone.  
It was bright inside with all the windows.  

My teacher in 1955 was Mrs. Logston
She was older and had gray hair.  I liked her but don't remember interacting much.  We were mostly herded as a group. There were several helpers every day, probably mothers.  

It was purely a play time, there were no lessons

  I remember the day was a morning session only.  We had to take a nap in the middle of the morning for a brief time and we stored our towel/mat in wooden built in cubbies. Each cubby had a picture and our name was below the opening.  We stored our mat and sweater or coats in them and papers to take home.

There were tall wooden easels for painting with a tray in front to hold pots of poster paint that was mixed from powder.  Large brushes were used and huge sheets of paper were tacked up.on the board.  We didn't paint often enough, it was my favorite activity.  Each easel was free standing and build like an A frame.  Children painted from both sides.  

Long short tables and chairs were arranged in a U pattern on one side of the classroom.  We played with clay some days and I remember doing finger painting at the table.  A starch was poured on paper and drips of color added by the teacher.  Our clothing was protected by wearing a backwards men's shirt. 

At the tables every day most of the children had graham crackers for a snack.  Some children brought in money for milk with the crackers and they were seated separately at a round table.  There were very few at the table.  Most children only had the graham crackers. 

These were the classrooms for the older grades.,  Notice that the whole wall was windows.  The classrooms were very light.  This was the back of the building.  They were all connected by a network of covered hallways 

Here you can see the covered hall on the left side and  window side on the right./  There were no fences like you see here when I went to school.  

Here is a photo of the covered hallways.  In California the weather was mild so it was only rain we had to contend with .  I remember walking up to the school after hours or on Saturday or during the day in summer and roller skating on the smooth walkways.  

 This picture clearly shows the pipes that held up the ceiling and the horizontal pipe that kept us off the lawns back in my day (these are pictures off the web and I have no idea who these people are)

The horizontal pipe is important as we often sat on them, walked on them and laid across them on our tummies and did little forward rolls.  All illegal of course.  But the school grounds were open so they were available to us to play at during the summer and before and after school.  

Here you can see how light the classrooms were.  The ceilings were high and green blackboards lined the front wall and the wall to the right where the door way was out to the open covered walkway 

Another shot below of the outside windows.  You can see how high the ceilings were!

I have found all these photos online on the Facebook of the private school.  It's amazing how well built it was, it was almost 60 years ago that I first went to school there and it wasn't a new school.  

Read here on Memory Monday about other people who wrote about their first school

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Early Memory

 I have been invited to join a brand new blog party called 

Memory Monday

This is right up my alley!  I hope to contribute often.

The first assignment was "What was your first memory?"

This was not my first memory, but it reminded me of my first memory which was attending a birthday party somewhere.  There were a lot of balloons, decorations and a long table with chairsfull of children.  I was about two.  I have a photo and have often wondered if I remember because of the photo or not.  

If I am only remembering the photo, I must choose a memory where there is not a photo.   I must choose it from the house we lived in but since I was unaware of age, my memory could have been anywhere from ages  two to four.  I have lots of memories of that residence.

I can remember eating an openfaced mustard sandwich sitting in the open glass sliding doorway feeling the sun on my face.  I loved bread and mustard!

I remember not wanting to take a nap and happily looking at picture books in my bed and another time jumping on the bed.

I remember riding double on my sisters bike (I'm sure that was forbidden) and that would be closer to age 4 as she was two years older.

As for the photo above, it was a shock to see it as I have no memory of ever seeing it before.  That is my mother in the doorway, my uncle behind her, acting up for the camera, my three sisters and my cousin sitting at the table at my grandparents home in Oakland.

It's a party, I see streamers and part of a cake with candles.  I don't know whose party, the cake is in front of Patty and an empty chair but as her birthday is Christmas Eve there are no decorations for Christmas up, so it cannot be hers.  Two cousins are missing, Susie and Terri. Terri also had a Dec birthday the same as my mothers, Dec 15, but the house still would have had Christmas decorations up.  So my guess is the the missing cousin SUSIE should be seated in the empty chair next to Patty in front of the cake.  I should have been a detective!

   I remember so many items in the room, but that ceramic doll on the table was interesting because it was a napkin holder.  I loved it.  The napkins made her skirt!  I well remember the oriental print on the wall and, peeking into the kitchen, I remember those really nice padded striped kitchen chairs.

I just discovered the photo and was planning to save it on Ancestry dot com where I've been doing a lot of research, but now I'll have it here.

I'm right in the front, by the way!  Karan is two years older, Janet 4 years younger.  Across the table from me is Patty a year and a half younger than me.  My cousin Jackie who is near Karan's age. I'm going to date this photo about 1959-60.