Tag Archives: Mischief



When you walked West from your home
down the main street to the
heart of the town
a car driving in from the country
could slip up silently behind you

A quick blast of the horn
and your knees
would collapse and you’d
drop like a stone

Good sport in a small town

If you were walking down that street
and I was driving behind
I would be sorely tempted to do it again
but this time
I would want to catch you



There were seven students and eight grades
With the inkwells covered to save the braids

The first day of school
the boys all rushed through the door
to fight for their seats
with their father’s initials carved thirty years before

At recess there were garter snakes, and gophers, and mice
which girls who were being chased, and teachers
who had just opened desk drawers didn’t think
were so nice.

At recess you could get on the big teeter totter
on the North side. If you could get high enough,
long enough, you could get a bobbing glimpse of
one of the big boys, hand outstretched for the
well deserved strap.

In winter the pot bellied stove was set up in the
back center of the room. How warm you were
depended on how close you were to the back. The
teacher didn’t always teach from the front of the

There was a big tin shield five feet high around
the stove to keep us from burning ourselves
although it got hot enough itself to do a pretty
good job

Any lapse in supervision added to its décor as
we melted our wax crayons into modern art on
its silver sides

It was always great to hear the lessons
meant for other ears than these
and to sting the older kids in spelling bees

In those days outdoor toilets were cricket

and so was the game we played
with firewood for posts
and baseball bats
for bats.