The Elementary School years: Grade by Grade
1. Mrs. Hoover, in Norman Oklahoma. Classic old hag.
2. Edith Chiles, Houston, dyed her hair red, looked sleazy,
smoked and was <whisper>
divorced. She once tried to
spank me for telling a lie to get
Cecil Suggs in trouble. My
mom told her, "If you do, I'll be down there and spank you."
Of course, when I got home my mom beat my ass royal.
Houston was, I guess, the cool school, producing most of
the elite in Jr. High and High School.
3. Thelma Fitzgerald, Washington, took books away
me that were "for grown-ups" [e.g. Gulliver's
unabridged ] and made me read the damn "Happy
Hollisters." She was a total fascist. Dumb as dirt.
and Zelma married brothers and lived next door to
each other. What kind of pathology was that?
Washington semed to be the lower-class school.
I think the only Incredibly Popular person who came
from Washington was Jeanie Bush.
4. Mildred McKern, Washington, nice lady, but she
read us all those damn Margurite Henry
every day, like King of the Wind and Misty of
and then broke down crying when
they had to put Black
Gold down. Once in the All Purpose
room, she played
"Over the Rainbow"
on the violin for us. Classic Old Maid.
Looked considerably like the horses she loved.
5. Eilene Fulton, Washington, my favorite.
gifted and autocratic farm wife with
a patrician streak
big thraoty voice. I was The Pet. She was a total
elitist, adored the smart kids -- especially
me -- though
her technique with the dumb kids
was a little more
-- well -- primative. [She
gave me a fly-swatter to
hit Billy Ray with if he annoyed me.] I never
had to do
those stupid Miss Kittle penmanship practices.
let me play with the science cabinet instead.
I guess that was the Gifted Program. She used
over to my house and hang out with my mom.
gave me the Outstanding Student trophy over
Cartwright, who was sort of the Meryl Streep
Outstanding Student circuit. I polish it daily.
was marred by an ugly incident at the Valentine's Party.
6. Ruth Mickey, Washington. The worst. Crude,
ignorant. Always complaining that someone
go home and "worsch" their sneakers.
She was like a preview for Opal Stafford.
sent me and Larry Ewy to the Principal's Office for
asking her questions she didn't know the answers to.
[How pathetic is that? A tyrant with self-esteem issues.]
Mr. Stevenson said, "What would I do if everybody
asked Mrs. Mickey questions she couldn't answer?"
I said, "Fire her."
I remember hanging around with Kenny Campbell, Merl Stevens,
John Davis, Tommy Hendricks, Sonny Allender and Jerry McDaniels.
Jerry was the bad boy. Did everybody know what he was doing
behind his social studies book?
Myrta Kennon was the school bully. Bruce Strause was the school
victim. Schoolyard cruelty was amazing, and I was the worst. Big
appologies to those I was mean to... Someone should take me on
"Jenny Jones" and expose me for the hateful little creep that I was.
"Yes, Jenny, it's true. I broke Sonny's arm and called Patricia 'Pat
the Fat'." Boo, hiss. Somebody should have kicked my ass.
Had big crushes [usually for about a week at a time] on Sarah
Cunningham, Pam Blackburn, Teresa
Raper, Tamera Balthus,
but was really in Eternal Love
with Twila West. Yeah, I was a
smart kid, but was most identified
as "the Boy who could Draw"...
Twila was "the Girl who could Draw."
I was wild about comic books,
and drew a lot of Superman pictures. Twila drew a lot of glamorous
mermaids sitting on rocks and combing their hair.