Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:
Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):
1) What elementary school memories do you have? Share some of them - pick a year, or discuss the whole experience. Was this one of the best times in your life? Or not?
2) Tell us about your elementary school memories and the highlights of that time of your life - in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook. Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog post on this post.
I was in fifth grade at Brooklyn Elementary School in San Diego (located on 30th Street between Ash and A Streets) in 1953-4. My teacher was Mr. de la Torre. I don't recall many of the names of my classmates - I do recall Steve and Gordon were my two best friends.
During that school year, I had my only "fight" with another boy after an argument. I hit him in the arm and he ran off. Usually, I was the one who ran off when confronted by a bully.
I served on the School Safety Patrol as a Sergeant, meaning I got to hold the crossing stick and blow the whistle for the other patrol boys to stop the traffic. Officer Tazelaar (one of my parents' friends) was the San Diego police officer in charge of our safety patrol. At the end of the year, I was promoted to Supply Sergeant, second in command of the patrol to my friend Steve, who was named Lieutenant.
I recall that I was on the school 10" softball team that played other schools every week during the spring - this was the only organized team I ever played on. I never could hit because of my eyes, and I usually played right field because I was left-handed. I bunted a lot and tried to hit to left field. But I got to play.
I rode my bike to and from school every day - eight blocks down 30th Street. It was harder coming home because of the hill between Date and Elm Streets. This was also the year that Gordon and I started the paper route for the twice-weekly San Diego Independent newspaper (35 cents a month).
Steve and I, and several others, were really into trading baseball cards, and baseball in general. We followed the box scores, and especially the Cleveland Indians since the San Diego Padres were their Triple-A farm team. My favorite player was Rocky Colavito, and Steve's was Herb Score, both of whom had played for the Padres. I rode my bike all over San Diego to find cards that I didn't have, and extras of those I already had, to trade with the other guys. We were always chewing the pink bubble gum slab too.
1954 was the year that the San Diego Padres minor league team won their first Pacific Coast League pennant. My brother and I rooted for them, and we took the Number 2 bus down 30th Street and Broadway to Lane Field (foot of Broadway in downtown San Diego) on many weekend nights to watch them play. When we didn't go to the game, we listened to it on the radio with broadcaster Al Schuss. His home run call was "And there it goes!"
We also played baseball games and touch or flag football games down at Grape Street Park on weekends. In football, I was usually the quarterback and made up the plays. We roamed the trails in the canyons near the park, created small forts, played Cowboys and Indians, and tried to steal golf balls from the fairways of the golf course.
I've always thought that 1954 and fifth grade was about the best year of my life.