|Me in front of The Red Brick Building|
The Red Brick Building, as we called it, housed third and fourth grade classrooms; there were three of each. Walking in to that old building, you knew you were in a school. The unmistakable scent of crayons, paste, and 50 years of floor wax on hardwood floors was like a pleasant bouquet. The classrooms featured those old school desks that were all connected by steel rails on the floor; the seat of the desk in front of you was attached to the front of your desk, and likewise the seat you were sitting on was connected to the front of the desk behind you. The wooden surface of the desk featured a hole at the upper left-hand corner to accommodate an inkwell. Never say that the Waldron School District didn't get it's money's worth out of school equipment.
Recess was fun. The playground featured a merry-go-round, upon which I and my classmates spent countless hours in total. We also played games, and the south side of the Red Brick Building was particularly suited for dodge ball. One day, when we were playing dodge ball, we invited our custodian, Troxie Taylor, to participate. Troxie was a wonderful, kind, and gentle old man who was loved by all the kids. It happened that, on that day, I had brought to school a piece of paper with Japanese writing on it that I hand found in a new wallet that my dad had bought. I was quite proud of it, and was showing it around to everyone. For some reason, we played dodge ball with joined hands, and when Troxie joined the group, he took hold of my hand in which I was holding my treasure. After a minute or two of the game, Troxie went back to work, and somehow my precious piece of Japanese writing had managed to transfer from my hand to Troxie's. I guess he figured that it would be one less piece of paper to have to pick up off the playground later.
In January of 1966, the TV show Batman premiered. We were all quite taken with the show, and sometimes at recess we would play Batman. Randy Jones was Batman, and Terry Nichols was his sidekick Robin. The rest of us were bats. We would swoop around the playground, arms outstretched, doing whatever we figured bats did to fight crime.