The Ladies Page

| September/October 1961

Country Echoes

MAE BABER, R.D.2, Brandon, Wisconsin

TIME MARCHES ON! I recall it as a slogan used by some newsman or commentator. How true it is that time waits for no man. Time, as it marches on is bringing with it a very great change to the community in which we live. There is a new consolidated school being built here is Wisconsin and six of our local schools have merged into one district to make its erection possible.

As we anticipate this new school some sharpened memories come out of the past to echo through the corridors of remembrance with a sweetness and yet a touch of pain I had rather forgotten had ever existed. Can you imagine what the pain was? It was the pain from very cold feet which were deposited, quite unhappily, on an even colder school house floor. Of a truth, yea man, it was one of the most unpleasant aspects of growing up in the country.

There were the mornings (and that quite frequently) when our frost footed teacher gathered her children with chattering teeth around the plump jacketed stove, which graced wrong corner of the room for any comfort, and taught us the fundamentals of knowledge. (I doubt that she would ever have been too impressed with today's ventilated shoes.) There we sometimes stayed until noon, when the ache had left our feet but was quite apt to have only been transferred to our empty little stomachs via the refrigerated dinners which had close contact with the windward side of the schoolhouse and the drafty wooden floor. By afternoon it had usually warmed up enough for us to go back to our battered desks and more orthodox teaching.

One day which I distinctly remember as quite momentous, either a sympathetic teacher, or a thoughtful mother had the bright idea that carpet covered boxes could serve as foot stools for our chill-benumbed feet. Ah! What a happy day as we came to school bearing our various sized boxes to accommodate our various sized feet! There was only one

drawback as far as I was concerned, and that was the painful realization that I needed a larger box to hold my pedal-digits than most of the other children my age. After untying about two yards of wool scarf from around my rosy cheeks I carefully placed my carpet-enclosed box under my seat. Another box soon would be beside it as we were all equipped with double seats. I felt better. My larger box was not so evident now.


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