By LARRY M. JONES
For many folks in the area this is an extremely busy time of year. The classrooms are again filled with smiling and happy students eager to hone their academic credential – yeah, right!
Coaches are pushing the athletes to get in top physical and mental condition, teachers are putting together extracurricular programs and the buses are rolling during rush hour traffic times. Geezers like me have to make sure they don’t get caught anywhere near a school zone at the wrong time of day when “soccer moms” are lined up in an endless procession of SUV’s and cell phones.
Unless it has changed, Texas law specifies that a child is eligible to start school if their birthday falls “on or before” the first day of September. I know this for a fact, because I was born on this very day of the year – three score and 10 years ago. According to “Me Dear Sainted Mudder,” the first thing the delivery nurse told her after I was born was, “He’s just in time for school.
In 1948, after I’d just turned 5 years old, I accompanied my mother as she attended my brother’s start in the fourth grade. I thought I was quite old enough to begin school, and I was quite “perplexed” that I was not allowed to attend school with all the other children. Since kindergarten didn’t exist at Brock in those days, much to my chagrin, I was forced to wait until the following year, when even then, I barely made it in under wire by virtue of being born “on” the first of September.
Starting school was a delight for me. I had a marvelous first-grade teacher, Mrs. Mae Bledsoe. I was an eager and inquisitive student, and best of all was the opportunity to interact with other children my own age. Recess was worth any price to pay.