Archive for August 23rd, 2009

The topic for the 17th Edition of Smile for the Camera is School Days

Unfortunately, most schools now start in August instead of September.  As a child, I always started school the Wednesday after Labor Day – until I was a senior.  After the Blizzard of 1978, when I was out of school a total of about 10 days longer than we had “snow days”, the district decided we should start a little earlier than September. The was my first encounter with the August School start.

I don’t know much about my ancestors’ school years – but I do have some wonderful photos!


My grandmother, Vesta Wilt, is at the bottom right.  A couple of her brothers are also in this photo, but unfortunately, I can’t put my hands on it to see which is which!

jesse wilt report card

jesse wilt report card2

jess wilt report card3

Here is my grandmother’s brother’s report card from 1906.  Jesse was in 2nd grade.  Apparently he didn’t do very well in spelling or writing his first two months of school with a grade of “F”.  By January 1907, his writing had improved to “P” (passing) while his spelling grade still remained an “F”.  He also passed Deportment (behavior, conduct).  His father, Joe Wilt (my great-grandfather), signed Jesse’s report card.  This is probably one of the few out of a handfull of examples I have of Joe’s handwriting.


My brother (arrow pointing him out) – probably in 3rd or 4th grade.  I believe this was in Ohio.


This is from my brother’s Junior Year yearbook.  It reads: Jim is a real traveller! Not only has he attended 15 different schools, but he is enjoying his second tour of Japan. It doesn’t look as though he plans to settle down, for he has his eye on an Air Force career.  My brother had been involved in the Senior Hi-Y club, Warriors Club, Pep Club, Photography Club, Projection Club, was a Library and Boy’s Gym Assistant, and the Science Club.  Unfortunately the Air Force career didn’t pan out due to some medical issues.
coshocton schools

Above – two of the schools my dad went to in Coshocton, Ohio.  I believe the top picture used to be the High School (now it is Lincoln Elementary).


This building was the school my mom attended all the way from 1st through graduation.  At the time it was called Bath Consolidated School and was located in Fairborn, Ohio.  Sometime (I think) in the late 1950s it became Central Elementary School and now – after having been empty for awhile – is a Senior Citizen Apartment Complex.

wendy_nursery school

This is my Nursery School picture at Patty-Cake Nursery in my hometown.  I went there for one and a half years before starting a summer school Kindergarten program.  I attended 2-3 days a week.  I’m right in front of the girl next to the teacher (2nd row from the top – 3rd person from the left).  Mrs. Fuller owned the preschool – which she ran out of her basement.  She had many activities and toys to keep all of us busy.  I remember she had one of those aluminum Christmas Trees with the lighted color wheel.  We had an Easter Egg hunt at a local park one time.  I was always getting in trouble for something and being sent to the “bad” chair.  For the life of me I don’t remember why I was always in trouble – probably because I wasn’t sharing or being loud or not listening.  I learned to tie my shoes while I was in nursery school because I kept asking Mrs. Fuller and then her assistant to tie my shoes. I think they finally told my mom that I needed to learn to do it.  I think I was three.  My mom and two other moms took turns driving me, a little boy named Artie and another boy to the preschool.  One of the moms was always late picking us up.  One time Mrs. Fuller came outside and realized we were still waiting for a ride.  Today I am sure that she wouldn’t be leaving 3-4 year olds outside without being watched.  If you happened to attend this same preschool and see yourself in the picture, please let me know because I don’t remember anyone (except one boy I later went all the way through school with).

fairbrook elementary

ankeneyAbove is my elementary school and also my Junior High.  The elementary school went all the way through 6th grade and then 7th-9th in the Jr. High.  I had to ride a bus to both schools because the limit was 9/10 of a mile.  Any further than that and our school district had to bus students.  When I was in 2nd grade, it snowed so hard that our bus was late picking us up.  A friend’s dad took several of us to school.  Very few buses had made it yet so we all waited in the hallway or in our classes.  Finally the word came that we weren’t having school.  Someone called their mother who came and picked us all up. 

What I remember most about the first day of school was the excitement of getting to be in the same class as my best friend.  Unfortunately we were never in the same class together.  And in my 6th grade year, none of my close friends were in my homeroom class.  It was also the year that we were to spend every day of a week at a local science camp.  Unfortunately our class never got to go.  I don’t know if it had to do with funding or some other reason.  But the class before us and the classes after us all got to go.  We were also supposed to take a field trip flying in a an airplane over the city.  Excited and anxious we all waited for the bus to come and take us to the airport.  Mid-morning we received word that we couldn’t do it after all.  However in 2nd grade we were allowed to ride a train.  That was exciting for me as my parents had ridden trains many times when they lived in Japan. 

As a parent, I became the excited one when the start of school approached.  After having four children cooped up all summer with “nothing to do”, I really looked forward to them being at school ALL day long!

School signals the end the summer, beginning of football season, the changing of the weather, the time to cool up with a hot mug of hot cocoa and a good book, and a reason to start making my chili! 

And this year, I will get to experience my own “first” day of school – as I start back to college!


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