Recently, I was driving by the first school I ever attended, or where it once was. It was demolished some time ago. Other than an old tree, all that’s left is part of the basketball court, and it’s almost covered with grass. It was simply called Gift. Although it had a Corinth, Mississippi address, I think the community was called Gift, so it was Gift school, but I’m not sure.
I went to Gift from Kindergarten through the third grade. It closed down the next year, citing there weren’t enough students enrolled that year to keep it open. I have a lot of memories from the few short years I attended there. Some are good, and some, not so much.
What I remember most are the people, the kids and a few teachers I met there. I didn’t stop this time. I just slowly drove past where the school had been, then headed down the old bus route we had taken every day for those five years I was there. As I passed the homes of the many kids who road the bus every day, I wondered what had become of them. Did they still live there? Were those newer houses theirs, or had they moved far away? Were they still alive? I don’t know. I haven’t seen most of them since the day the school closed.
I only remember one kid from Kindergarten. His name was Donnie. He would eat anything, and by anything, I mean anything that wasn’t food. I remember him eating glue, and modeling clay, just to name a few.
From the first grade, I remember Vivian. She was my best friend. I went to highschool with her, and got to work with her for awhile, a few years back. Then there was Susanne. She was my first girlfriend, although, she didn’t know she was my girlfriend. I went to highschool with her as well.
There was Jeffrey, who was quite a bit older than the other first graders. I don’t think he had ever been to school because he was blind. I liked him, and considered him a friend. Most of us played with him, and helped him get around outside at recess.
I remember a girl named Lynn. I remember the teachers talking about how smart she was. In the middle of the year, they advanced her to the second grade. I was a little jealous. Then I had to repeat first grade, and she passed to the third. She left me behind like I was sitting still. I was so mad at her for years.
An older student named Leroy would come to our classroom after lunch, occasionally, and sing to us for awhile. One of the songs he would sing was “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” I thought he was Leroy Brown, and did for years after. He had a good voice, by they way.
I remember coming into the classroom one Monday morning, and discovering it had been vandalized. There was trash everywhere, our books had been thrown all over the room. Our pencils, crayons, and markers were everywhere. They were even in the fishbowl, and the fish were all dead. It was awful. It was scary, but what could we do? We cleaned it up, and went about our day.
I’m not sure if I was in first, or second grade, but I remember playing in the woods during recess, and after lunch. Later, schools changed the word “recess” to “break,” but we called it recess. I remember building houses in the woods. We used the living trees for the frames, and dead, and smaller trees, and branches for the walls. We used branches with leaves for the siding, and for the roof. We would cover the roof with dead leaves, and even made doors on the houses. We played in and around the creeks, and brier patches. We played with moles, and tadpoles and bullfrogs. We had so much fun. Children from all different grades, and ages played together there. Of course, there were some older students who were “too mature” for that sort of thing.
As I said in my last post, I remember a boy named Mark. His dad drove our bus for awhile. My sister had a crush on him. They were king and queen of some contest we had for a Fall festival, or some kind of program. I think we were in the second grade, and it was winter. Several of us were playing on some ice in an old pond in the woods. The ice broke, and Mark went under. He might have drowned if not for an older student named Bill. He reached right down into the water with his long arms, and pulled Mark to the bank. Bill was a good friend, too. We had a lot of fun times with him. I’ll tell you more about him in a future post I’m writing, about some of my experiences in the four elementary schools I attended growing up. Follow my blog, and get updates when I post new articles. Anyway, after Mark almost drowned, we weren’t allowed to play in the woods anymore. It wasn’t “safe.”
In the third grade I started hanging out with a boy named Jerry. He wore thick glasses. He said it was because he had been stung between his eyes by a hornet when he was younger. The same exact thing had happened to me two or three summers earlier, but he didn’t believe me, because I didn’t have to wear glasses. I couldn’t make him believe me, so I didn’t waste my time trying.
One day Jerry, and I were in the field behind the school, heading back from recess. His little brother Gary was with us. I said something about the woods being grown up since we had not played there in a long time. They both thought I had said a curse word, even though I hadn’t. One of them went and told the teacher, and I got into trouble. I recently heard that Jerry had passed away. I pray God will bless his family in their time of grief.
There was a red headed girl named Patty. She reminded me of Peppermint Patty from the Peanuts Gang. There was a kid named Tim who went crazy in the auditorium when he saw Santa Claus get out of a car, and head toward us. I went to calm him down, and we became friends. His mom would bring us toys from time to time after that. I just saw her a couple of weeks ago, and talking to her brought back a lot of memories.
There was a girl named Tina. She sat a can of soda down for a few minutes while she was playing. There were yellow Jackets flying around where we were. When she took another drink, she swallowed one that had crawled inside the can. You can imagine what happened.
Another girl named Michelle was out of school for a while. When she came back she told us she had one of her tonsils taken out. They were both really bad, but she only had to have one removed because the other one just came out by itself. She said she just spit it out on the porch one morning.
I don’t remember everybody who went to school at Gift during the few years I did, but the ones I do remember, I have good memories of them. The teachers, and the students I met there, all affected my life in some sort of way, and I’m glad to have known each one of them.
If you ever attended Gift school, I’d like to connect with you on Facebook, or by email. Maybe you can share a few of your own memories, and pictures if you have any. Thanks for reading. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Blog: Bible Truth For The End Time
© 2016 Teddy Lynn – All Rights Reserved