I recently looked over my grandchildren’s school supply lists, and I was surprised that they hadn’t changed all that much. I recall the typical supplies needed in my day. For first grade only, we needed a big half-inch diameter pencil – big pencil to fit little hands. In addition, we needed a Big Chief tablet, a small box of crayons (other kid’s Crayola boxes were always better than mine), paper scissors, a ruler, and a small jar of white paste or bottle of mucilage glue, which was supposedly made from horse’s hooves. Instead of today’s fancy backpacks, we used a cigar box to hold our supplies.
In addition to academic supplies, I got new school clothes. I had new striped overalls for first grade, but after that I got Penny’s blue jeans, plus socks, underwear and black tennis shoes. My mother made my shirts from colored feed sacks.
One of my most vivid memories of school starting is that of my new blue jeans. My mother refused to wash them prior to first wear, so I’d come in from school for the first few days with bright blue underwear. With no air conditioning, our sweaty little bodies would color our skivvies and make our posteriors look like Smurfs.
By the way, in addition to school starting, I forgot to mention the most important aspect of this date – dove season opens. It happens every year in honor of my birthday.
Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Comments may be directed to email@example.com.