- I remember upon moving to Wilmington in 1955, learning that I would have to walk to the fourth grade at the Whitefield School because our
house was nine-tenths of a mile from the school, and only those living a mile or more away got to ride the bus. My mother was chagrined, but
from grades 1-3, I had walked to school (uphill!) almost as far, so to me it was no big deal. It was kind of an adventure, especially when I figured
out the shortcut from North Wilmington to Salem street via the railroad tracks.
- While at recess from Mrs. Liston's 6th grade class in the Swain School, I recall how Fred Neilson and John Stanley would cross the road
to the Town Common (which back then was mostly dirt from all the kids playing on it -- this was even before the flagpole was erected) and carefully
draw in the dirt a series of enormous six foot long footprints traversing the common. I thought it was hilarious; some kids thought they were
nuts; the adults in charge of us took a dim view of the whole project and the practice was forbidden.
- One of my favorite parts of grammar school was in Mrs. Ahearn's 5th grade class. When the day's lesson plan was complete and there were a
few minutes left to the school day, she would read to the class from a novel. This only happened perhaps a half dozen times, but I remember
being transported by imagination into her stories, none of which I can now remember. At the end of the school year, I noticed her tossing
into the waste basket her deck of pupil name cards. I retrieved it and have it to this day.
- Several times just after starting the seventh grade in the high school building, I would become totally lost in the corridors, having to
walk and walk in search for the room I was supposed to be in for my next class. Although I soon got my bearings in the new building, for years
afterwards I would have an occasional dream about being lost in the high school corridors. This was sometimes accompanied by not only
forgetting my locker combination, but even my locker number!
- It was in seventh grade that I failed my school eye test, and had to begin wearing glasses. I felt embarassed about it, but after no one seemed
to even notice that morning in Miss Quinn's homeroom, I got used to wearing them. It wasn't until I was prescribed bifocals in my early 50's that
that feeling came back.
- When Harry Sandler, owner of the North Wilmington Pharmacy, had his first anniversary celebration, Jim Webster, Danny Dupras and I presented him with a
"cake" Danny had made by smearing concrete on top of a cinder block, painting it, and writing in it with BB's "Happy Birthday Harry" or
some such, I forget the actual wording. Somebody took a photo of us with the "cake", and as soon as I locate it, I'll post it here.
- In Miss Halperin's 10th grade Algebra II class, I remember Paul Foley walking to his seat at the rear of the class and punching me really
hard in the shoulder as he passed. It seems I made a good, safe target. I never liked Paul much, altho I did hold him in awe after he climbed
the ropes in Mr. Bellissimo's gym class, upside down! Mr. Bellissimo was not pleased, but Paul certainly earned bragging points that
- Remember Lindy ballpoint pens? You could take off the top cap, force out the ink refill, and you had one dandy pea shooter that, to a
teacher, looked like an ordinary pen. In Mr. Keady's 9th grade history class, Jim Webster, Danny Dupras, Fred Neilson and I had a constant
battle going on. Fred found that hulled wheat made an accurate and stinging projectile, while Danny introduced a buckshot concept using
birdseed. I greatly regret not learning more history in that class, as Mr. Keady was a rare and wonderful teacher. Ironically, I now consider
history to be one of the most important of subjects, and am an active member in the Pittsfield, Maine historical society.
- My first day in cross-country in the fall of '63, I couldn't understand why everyone started off the 1 mile JV course so slowly. After
the first eighth mile, I was the first one into the woods, thinking, "This is going to be easy!" Less than halfway through the
course, my side began hurting so much I could hardly run any more, and I finished the course alternating between a walk and a hobble. Later
that day, Paul O'Leary told me that I had to pace myself on long runs, since cross country was not a sprint. I appreciated that advice, as it
was from a peer, even more than I appreciated essentially the same advice from Mr. Kelley, who after all, was a teacher and a coach and was
always telling us what to do.
- After the last day of school my senior year, I walked home on purpose, with Norman Norton, I think. It was one of those times when I
thought, "Well, now what?" even though I knew I would be attending Northeastern in the Fall. I had a feeling of accomplishment, of
twelve years of schooling now behind me, and who knows what yet to come.
- I'll add more to this when I get a chance.