She lived on a farm. I remember riding in the back seat of her Pontiac, and wanting to help her husband do chores instead of working on the art project. The other little boy was a farm kid, and had no interest in chores.
I must have gotten homesick or scared during the night. My mother was called, on the country party line, and I was transported home.
Other memories: beating the erasers was the reward for perfect spelling (the lucky recipient was let out of class to beat the erasers against the schoolhouse wall); playing Annie Annie Over (the schoolhouse was the building we threw the ball over); and Red Rover (“Red Rover, Red Rover, send [whoever] right over!” — then [whoever] would have to try and break the arm hold). There was no bullying back then. It was the school-of-hard-knocks. You took it, and you dished it out.
As an adult, I’ve tried to find that little one-room school, but had no such luck. Maybe it’s been torn down, or turned into a corn crib. Maybe it was all a figment of my imagination. Writers have been known to have such, you know.
After the year at the country school, we were returned to town schooling. No more two grades per room. As with all one-room schools throughout history, they filled a need, got the job done, and were part of life in the Midwest. But when I tell my kids that I was bused to a one-room school, I get that “sure dad” look.
Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at (319) 217-0526 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.