Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thinking about schools (my peripatetic youth)

I rather enjoyed going to Northgate, a brand new school that wasn't quite finished when I began attending there in whatever year it was.  I recall them playing rock and roll music in the lunch room, and kids dancing in the hall after they finished eating.  According to this article I found, it was projected to open in the fall of 1959.  When I look at old pictures and such, I'm sure it opened much earlier than that, because in the fall of 1959 I was back attending North Kansas City High School.    

I think I figured out one reason Mother left out so many of our moves.  There wasn't room in her personal history book for all of them:
As you can see, she took to writing in the margins toward the last, and there were more moves after she stopped entering them.  Of course, she began with her childhood, so that covers a lot of time.  She never moved, though, until she married.  The gypsy fever evidently overtook my parents after they got together.  They were married in 1932, right in the middle of the depression, so I'm sure many of the moves were just a way of finding a job that would keep food on the table; maybe that's what set the pattern.  

I wasn't born until 1944, and by then moving seemed to be a habit with them.  I assume they thought I was adjusting just fine to one school after another.  I kept my thoughts to myself and never complained, but I hated going to unfamiliar schools, often switching in the middle of the school year, trying to adjust to completely different teachers and agendas.  My sister expressed to me how uncomfortable it was for her, too.  Yes, they were moving throughout her childhood too (she is sixteen years older than I).

During their first twenty-five years of marriage, my parents had never owned a home, but that was about to change.  They found a place for sale at a bargain-basement price in Harlem, so I was due for another move and another school switch, back to good old North Kansas City High.  Perhaps one reason they had a tendency to gravitate to Harlem was that Daddy still had two brothers living there.  They weren't in the old apartment building by this time, though.  Both of them had mobile homes in a trailer park there.  
I wasn't thrilled about the school change, but I was happy to return to Harlem, where I had places to roam and cousins who were, actually, the only friends I had at that time.  I loved having the Municipal Airport within walking distance, although it was a bit annoying when planes took off and messed up our television reception.  I still enjoyed climbing the steps up to the ASB bridge, or ascending the levee to get to the riverside.  

I believe this move was in the fall of 1958, because I got a Brownie camera for Christmas that year, and a lot of the pictures I took with it were in 1959; and all those pictures are at the Harlem house.  

I guess I took this picture because my most prized possessions were my stereo and my radio.  Fabian was a cutie, wasn't he?  Terrible singer, though.  You can see my Pat Boone album sticking out from underneath the Fabian one.  Because we lived so close to the airport, my mom and I met his plane and got the backs of our curly heads in the Kansas City paper.  Lots of church friends called to tell us we were in the paper.

My mom and I are in the lower left-hand corner.  She is holding my camera.


1 comment:


How neat that you got to see Pat Boone up close. And then to have it in the newspaper.