Friday, April 9, 2010

Rockin' the First Grade

I was digging through pictures today and found this.

Now before you go and think something like, "Well that's a normal looking class from the mid 1970's in Northern Maine.", well you are kind of wrong.  This is actually a little more than half of the entire population of Burlington Elementary School in 1976.  This is kindergarten, first AND second grade.  They had to combine the grades to fill up the picture.  The school has now closed, which is sad.  There were two classrooms, the kindergarten was in the same room as first and second with a divider and the third and fourth were in the room across the hall.  We ate our lunch in the classroom, there was no gym, no computer lab, no happy-rainbow-unicorn room.  Just the basics.  Our lunch was made and served by one woman, Edith Shorey.  It was made from scratch, no frozen chicken nuggets or mystery meat.  We had tuna wiggle, baked beans (personal worst lunch ever), homemade apple crisp and strawberry shortcake and pigs in blankets---so good.  It was like we lived on the banks of Plum Creek, or I guess it was more like living on the banks of the Passadumkeag River and Pa worked at Lincoln Pulp and Paper instead of on the homestead.  Ma sewed shoes for Dexter Shoes. 

When we went to the fifth grade in town, it came as a surprise to me that there was a cafeteria and you couldn't save your yeast roll in your desk to eat later on and you couldn't get seconds and during gym they wouldn't let you catch butterflies, play on the swings, or stay inside and draw pictures on the blackboard 'cause you just didn't "feel" like playing kickball. 

It was a good school and I don't know anyone who went there who doesn't have fond memories.  But, I wonder how well it prepared us for the real world.  I'm still waiting for someone to make me red jello with a perfect 1/2 inch of homemade whipped cream on the top and who will painstakingly make sure that the entire group gets at least one cherry in their fruit cocktail.  But most of all I am waiting for THIS look to come back.  I could still totally rock it.

Smiles from the farm,


  1. I love hearing about small town and small schools. I went to a very large school with those same rules you spoke of. Small towns are one of my favorite things.

  2. Now THAT is a great look!!! How sweet. Hey, are those linen pants? So cool to be so young still have have memories of school run like a one room schoolhouse. I went to Lewis S. Libby in Milford until 4th grade back in early 60s and I don't even remember the lunches at all! ~Lili

  3. Ha! You totally rocked it!

    And what on earth is tuna wiggle? It sounds....alive.

  4. I went to parochial school. There was no cafeteria. You either went home for lunch, or brought your own. However, I remember I always made sure I had my "milk money". That was three cents. We would get milk at school for our break. It came in little glass bottles....I always got chocolate. Great memories. Hugs, Kathleen