Flashback Friday, Second Grade Hell

This post doesn’t mean I’m not feeling great. It is inspired by a post by Candy’s Daily Dandy yesterday.

GLAD IT’S FRIDAY!!!!

In first grade, I liked school and I got A’s. Then we moved half way across the country over the summer.

In second grade, I got bussed to this old, nasty school. I hated it especially because there was a new school very near my house.

My second grade school was all brown, brown bricks, brown wood, walls and floor, brown desks. Everything seemed dirty and stinky and unsanitary. I remember sitting in my nasty brown desk, trying not to touch the desk or anything at all, except what I had brought from home.

I remember there was a secret panel in the hallway (I shit you not) and at lunch the secret panel was opened and it led down to the dungeon/cafeteria. It was white-green florescent lights in a windowless stinking hellhole. I didn’t want to eat any of the food because it seemed dirty and unsanitary. And the dungeon smelled like nasty food, steam, and dirty dishwater.

When I got home from school, every day my Mom said I stank. I knew it was from that dirty nasty school. She didn’t seem to believe me when I said how bad it was.

My teacher was Miss Bolware. To me she was a disgusting filthy hag. When she first saw me she gave me a hug, and I hated being touched by her. She didn’t stay nice long, she would yell and grab you by the arm and whack you with her filthy brown ruler. I hated it when she touched me with her nasty old witch hands.

I felt trapped, and I couldn’t run away because I was seven years old and didn’t even know where I was, just some nasty place on the other side of town. I lived in that town for ten years and I don’t think I ever learned where that school was. I don’t remember ever seeing it again.  I was in Junior High School before I saw any kids from that second grade year again.

From third grade on, I went to the new school, walking distance to my house. But I never got good grades. Second grade is probably what destroyed my relationship with my parents. I didn’t get good grades in second grade, and I got punished. Then I figured that if I started getting good grades, my parents would think their punishment was effective, so I didn’t get good grades, and was more or less in a state of constant punishment for bad grades till the 11th grade, (when I had a teacher I had a crush on, Mrs Berry, I got A’s in her class!)

Incredibly, we then moved again and I went to 12th grade and graduated from a different school. The idea crossed my mind that maybe we moved because I got some good grades again, but I didn’t really think that. But I got crappy grades in 12th grade too, just to be safe.

One year later, when I turned 18, I joined the navy, and got out of my parents lives as much as I could.

Flashback Friday: Hurricane Michelle

Michelle_2001_track

Hurricane Michelle didn’t come too close to the Cayman Islands, but we got big waves. I was living in an apartment about 100 feet from the sea and the waves started coming up to the porch. I was trying to nail some plywood into the concrete to cover my sliding glass door, when a huge wave came up. It was easily neck or head high to me, standing on the porch.. I was kind of in the corner of the porch, and as the wave wrapped around me, I put my back against the wall and tried to dig my fingernails into the concrete and not get swept out to sea. I was moving towards the two foot dropoff at the edge of the porch when the water started going down. My feet hit the floor again and I looked to my right and saw a waist high river of water coming out of my apartment where the sliding glass door was. I saw a cardboard box flow out the river. I was getting ready to grab it when I see the nose of my kayak start to come out the door. (I had put it inside because of the hurricane) My dog Ditto was standing on the kayak. I let the box go and grabbed the kayak instead.

My apartment and everything in it was smashed. The bed was smashed, the bookshelves were smashed to splinters. All my books and my computer was destroyed, as were a lot of my CDs. My tool box had saltwater in it, and I didn’t know it for a few days and the tools were ruined.

The cardboard box that floated away had, among other things, my dive log in it, and it was there I lost track of my number of dives. That logbook was number 19, of my scuba log books I had filled up diving at that time. Anyone who knows me knows I log all my dives, and I always have.

In the apartment, you could see how the wave  came in at an angle, bounced off the wall, hit the kitchen, lifted the refrigerator. (I found my underwater camera UNDER the fridge). Then it went in the bathroom and you could see like a whirlpool pattern in the wreckage. The glass dinner table was in a million pieces and the wave busted the window unit air conditioner out if it’s hole in the concrete wall. All the windows were broken and the window frames were ripped out of the concrete. There was glass everywhere, and if it had happened at night when I was asleep, I probably would not have survived.

It washed the tiles off the floor.

Hurricane Michelle is the hurricane that broke open the Turtle Farm. Before the big wave, all my neighbors and I were picking up turtles and putting them in the bathtubs. It was a nice, sunny day. Huge giant sea turtles were crashing ashore in the waves, breaking their shells. These big ones were so big that only one would fit in the bed of a full sized pick up truck.

I had insurance, but got ripped off bad. For Hurricane Ivan, I had much less damage but I was ready for the insurance sucker punch to the stomach and I didn’t get cheated, like everyone else did. (All the insurance companies blatantly ripped everyone off and then changed their names after Ivan)

I was the only one who stayed in the apartments. But things kept getting worse. The landlord was fixing all the apartments except mine. There was no tile on my floor, just black glue. Ditto was getting sick, and slowly getting covered in glue.

One Saturday, I couldn’t take it any more. I went to my office at work, made a cup of coffee and sat down with the paper in the cool air conditioning. I found one apartment, made one phone call, went and looked, and moved into the apartment. I stayed there six years, and it was the apartment I had before I moved into this house.

And that’s my Flashback Friday. Have a good weekend!!!!

Flashback Friday: First Time Driving

cars-2-500x393

The first car I ever drove was a 1973 AMC Gremlin. It was a snowy Missouri day and my friend Doug and I were out cruising around. We were way back on a dirt road, snowy and icy when he decided to let me drive.

Gremlin2

Gremlin

He said, “don’t use the brakes, you’ll skid if you use the brakes”.

So. I started driving, got going to a pretty good speed, then took my foot off the gas to slow down for a curve. Since it was a dirt road, the turn was really banked. As per instruction, I didn’t use the brakes

Well, I hit that curve pretty fast, and didn’t make the turn. I ended up airborne and landed in this snow filled cornfield. You could see where all four tires left the ground in the snow.

It didn’t hurt the car, because aeronautical race car driving is in my genes.  We reversed out and headed on our way. Doug driving.

And that was the first time I ever drove a car. Another thing I remember, worth mentioning, is the first time I drove solo, after I got my license. But that was uneventful.

HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND!!!

Flashback Friday: The Baby Snake

snake_590This makes me sad. I wish I could un-do it.

Years ago, I was walking on the beach and I found a brand new looking, plastic mouse cage. It was about twice as big as your grade school milk carton, Clear plastic with a fluorescent pink lid with bars. I thought WTF? and picked up and took it home.

Later that day, I was getting some dirt for a plant from a pile of dirt at the apartment and found a baby black snake. He was the size of a worm. The cage was perfect for him.

I had him in the cage for an hour or so, and decided he deserved to be free, so I let him go back where I found him. The cage rotted in the sun and I ended up throwing it away.

Two or three or four years later, I found a big blacksnake under my welcome mat. I killed it.

After I killed it, it occurred to me, “Maybe that was the same baby snake I found years ago” And as soon as I thought it, I knew it was true.

And I immediately regretted killing that snake and I still wish I hadn’t killed that snake. Why did I find that snake and that cage on the same day? I feel I definitely strayed from my path either the day I found the snake, or the day I killed the snake. Or both.

Flashback Friday: The Warm Breeze

mo-moberly_logoWhen I was younger I delivered newspapers. At one point I delivered to a route in downtown Moberly Missouri, USA. I remember Sunday mornings I’d get up at 4 to go downtown to the paper office, get my papers, and deliver them. I remember the winters were cold and miserable and a lot of times the pressman in the paper office couldn’t hear me banging on the doors, or wasn’t there yet, and I’d have to wait on the street, in this little indentation where the front door was.

One Sunday, I woke up, rode my bike to the paper office, locked out, middle of the night, ice and snow everywhere. I got ready to hunker down in my cubbyhole when the wind began to blow. Except it was warm, like a tropical breeze. It was nothing short of spectacular! Imagine being braced for the coldest, nastiest, biting-est knife edged winter wind and getting a soft warm breeze. I remember the feel of it on my face. I unzipped my coat. I knew spring was coming.

Now that little town in Missouri has gotten 26 inches of snow. What fun it would be to be a 10 year old there now! I remember the good snows, sledding and frozen ponds.

Today is March 1st, spring will soon be here. This is winters final fling before spring up there in the north. Enjoy it! (I’ll be at the beach!)

Flashback Friday: Johnny Walker

Not that one, the other one.
Keep walkingI went to Bradley 6th grade school with a kid named Johnny Walker. Not the booze, the kid.

So one day, it was before school, I walked into the classroom and Johnny Walker slapped me on the back with a chalky eraser. We started duking it out and wrestling all over the classroom. It was early so there were no teachers. We wrecked the whole classroom, tipped over all the desks and scooted them from their neat grid to a train wreck of a circle around the edges of the classroom, we spilled everything that was in jars in the class, and generally destructively re arranged the furniture. The hallway was full of kids watching. We were pretty evenly matched.

Finally a teacher turned up and broke it up. We were following the teacher to the principals office and Johnny looked at me and broke out in this big toothy grin. I smiled back and we both started laughing.

We were pretty good friends from then on.

Flashback Friday: Finger Lakes Mudslide

When I was in my middle teens, we used to go to this place called Finger Lakes, near Colombia Missouri, USA. There were several lakes, next to each other, like the fingers of a hand, without the palm. You could swim across one lake, climb over a hill, and there was another lake. I only went to the first two, but I think there were more.

It was at Finger Lakes I saw my first topless girl. She was laying on a raft and I never will forget it! My first real live boobies in the sun!

Anyway, in between the first two lakes, there was a bug mudhole. And there was a bucket and a sort of like a ditch, that ran from the top of the hill, down to the mudhole. You’d get a bucket of mud, climb up the hill, pour the mud into the ditch and jump in and slide down, rocket fast. Then you’d be propelled into the mud, which was about three feet deep and very liquidy.

mud mud bathThen you’d crawl and grope and feel your way over the hill to the lake (you probably had a faceful of mud) and dive into the lake and get clean. Then you’d go do it again. Apparently it’s very popular, because there’s plenty of images on Google under mud bath.

It was very fun, and I remember it like it was yesterday!

Flashback Friday: Peeing on the Neighbors Porch

I couldn’t get on my blog this morning for a while, almost wish I hadn’t tried just now, because I’m running late. Glad it’s Friday though!

When I was little(r), we lived in Charleston South Carolina, in the USA. (That’s where my sister was born). I was probably 4 years old.

We had next door neighbors and I remember they had a female maid who smoked a mans big tobacco pipe. I remember turtles were common and frogs were rare. (everywhere else I’ve ever been, the opposite has been true). I remember putting Popsicle sticks in a snapping turtles face and he would crush the Popsicle stick, then I stuck my finger near his mouth and he bit me and I bled a lot, and I was thinking “That was a really stupid thing to do”.

Anyway: Our neighbors had a carport with about a 4 step staircase going up to the kitchen. Nobody was home, I thought, and I had to pee. I don’t know why I did it, I guess because I thought I wouldn’t get caught, but I remember thinking that it was a big inconvenience to go all the way inside my house next door to pee when I could just pee right there. So I did. I peed on their brick steps in their carport. As soon as I was done, somebody came outside. Apparently someone was home. I don’t remember if it was the maid or one of the family. (my Mom knows their names still)

But whoever it was asked why I peed on the porch. I said that their “dog did it.” I vaguely remember their dog, a brown lab I think. Also I think it was the mommy of the house that came out.

Anyway, .. She said “Honey, the dog ran away last week” I remember pausing, thinking “Ya know, I haven’t seen that dog in a while…” I think the man of the house was there too, I remember him looking at me when she said the dog ran away.

Anyway- Busted. I had to scrub their porch with a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush. I remember the bucket was yellow, and the suds were bright white and the water was warm.

soapy-scrub-brush-and-bucketI don’t remember why I did it, I wasn’t mad at anyone or anything that I remember. I just thought it would be easier than going all the way inside and didn’t think anyone would know I did it.

Running really late, gotta go! Have a good weekend!

Flashback Friday: Kindergarten Kite

kiteThe year was 1965, the place was Brookhaven Elementary School, Rockville Maryland USA. I was in Kindergarten, 5 years old, first year of real school. Kindergarten was half day, either in the mornings or afternoons. I was in the morning class.

One day, my class and I made kites out of construction paper. Then we went out on the huge vast playground to fly them. In my memory, this playground was huge. Huge paved section, huge grassy section, with trees way far far away on the horizon.

I was running and trying to get my kite in the air, the kite was pretty small, so it didn’t fly too good, but I was really trying to get it up there. All of a sudden, I noticed that all the other kids on the playground were really big, and I looked and looked and didn’t see anybody from my class.

I started crying.

Eventually a teacher asked my why I was crying.

“I can’t find anybody with a kite like mine” I whined, and held up my kite for her to see.

Turns out, morning kindergarten was over, I was trying so hard to make my kite fly that I missed the bell that signaled the end of recess, missed the end of school, everybody in my class had gone home and I had stayed in school late. So I went home.

That’s my Flashback Friday for today. Have a good weekend.

I was thinking about an advantage of the Free Blogger or WordPress blog over the pay-for-your-own blog. When you die, the free blog will stay up, but with a pay-for-your-own, when the payment is due and you can’t pay (because you’re dead) the blog will come down. A free blog would theoretically remain up forever, a tribute to the bloggers life and history.

Flashback Friday: Missy the Dog

Yesterday I mentioned cats in heat, today I’m going to mention dogs in heat.

When I was younger I delivered newspapers. I think I delivered papers about 6 years total. I started helping my friends big brother deliver the route their house was on, then I got my own route. First I had two routes downtown, then I got the route that my house was on.

My neighbors four doors down, the Boots’es, (I remember Randy Boots, older than us by probably 10 years and he had a sister, if you said her name I’d remember, she was a few years older than us. I had a crush on her, she was cute.)

(We used to put my friend Gregs little brother, Danny, through the Boots’es doggie door in their garage and he’d let us in, and we’d play pool on the pool table in their garage. And we used to climb up on their roof when they weren’t home. One time Mr Boots came home when we were on the roof, and we ran up over the top, down the back, and straight off the edge without even slowing down. We were out of the yard before he got around back and looked up on the roof. He asked us how we got down? Jumped? and we said yes. He just shook his head and walked in his house.)

The Boots’es had a dog named Missy, who hung out at my friend Gregs house. Missy was a pure outdoor mutt. Tangled fur, grey, old. If you howled like a wolf. Missy would howl like a wolf. If you said “sickem” she would bark at whoever you were looking at. She had gnarley teeth, was stinky and ugly.This picture is sorta close, but Missy had longer cheekhair…

MissySoooo, Missy would come on my paper route with me every day. I’d deliver the few papers behind my house, then pick up my Paper Bag (not paper bag) and head down the street to the neighborhood. And every day, two doors down, Missy would come angling out from the Gunn-ses and walk beside me, just me and Missy.

Except when she was in heat, then I had about a million dogs walking with me on my route.