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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back in the day: Farewell to summer

With summer drawing to a close (and my having to take time our of my busy redecorating schedule to do some work for the school district...hmmmph!), I was reminded of my own first day of school.

When I started first grade 58 years ago, outfitting a child for school was much simpler than it is today. My mother made me a few cotton dresses and bought me a pair of saddle oxfords and socks, and my wardrobe was complete.

Mary Janes, saddle oxfords and cotton dresses
Typical 1954 school dress - maybel57
Another popular plaid - antiqueelegance
Saddle oxfords

School kids didn't carry backpacks back then. We had book satchels. Mine was a similarly cheery red guessed it...plaid.

Book satchel - FlossyBobbsey

And into that satchel my mom would pack my lunch and my school supplies...meager by today's standards, but I was still proud to have them. Most important was the Big Chief tablet, without which you couldn't call yourself a proper first grader.

Big Chief table

Mom also packed plenty of No. 2 pencils and threw in some extra erasers. Because she knew what a perfectionist I was, she anticipated that I would run out of eraser long before I ran out of pencil.

No. 2 pencils
Eraser caps

My prized possession was the 16-count box of Crayola crayons. (I still remember how excited I was to get my first 48-pack, but rarely in my life has anything matched the ecstasy I felt when the 64-pack came out in 1958. Now there are 96 crayons in the largest box? Incredible!)

8-, 16- and 24-pack Crayolas - TheBackOfTheBasement

Then there was mucilage. No Elmer's Glue or glue sticks. Just nasty, drippy mucilage that would dry crusty on the rubber applicator cap. Half the time it had already started to leak out the slit in the applicator before you even got it home from the store.

LePage's Mucilage - zette71

As long ago as it all sounds (and was), in some ways it seems like only yesterday that I posed, satchel in hand, in our driveway for a first-day-of-school snapshot. I know I saw that photo somewhere not too long ago. I'll have to look through the picture box today.


  1. I love your "back in the day" posts :)

    1. They make me seem like I'm ANCIENT...which I almost am, come to think of it! :)

  2. Your posts like these always make me feel as though I lived at that time too. *hehehe* You just explain it all so well I feel like I AM RIGHT THERE in that time.

    Thanks Dana =D

    1. I'm so glad you younger readers enjoy these posts. When I first started the series, I thought you might find them unbearably corny.

    2. Nope I have the exact same sort of memories they are just off different items than yours. *lol* Like a Smurf lunchbox instead of your plaid bag, And since I went to a Academy I had to wear itchy knee length skirts with stupid white blouses!!! *uhggg I hated that sort of uniform.

    3. Oh, how I remember Smurfs. I made a Smurf Halloween costume for my daughter. I ought to post that someday...LOL

  3. Such a sweet post!! Outfitting kids seemed easier in my day, too. There was little fashion for kids. I wore what I was told. I had no concept of the word trend. Kids now seem so fashionable. That must be stressful for parents.

    On another note, I hate that things are taking you away from decorating!

    1. I think we're all overwhelmed by the number of choices there are in our lives today, and statistics show that it makes us unhappier, not happier!

      And, yes, those folks do have some nerve taking me away from what's really important and asking me to make money when I could be spending it. :)