Four Corners Elementary
1957 - 1960
Grades 4 through 6
My youngest brother Jim was born when I was nine years old. It was then that
we moved to a house in the "toolies", out at the edge of town. Our street
was unpaved (and still was, the last time I checked, although it is now
in a well-developed area). When it rained, the low spots in the road worn
away by traffic filled with water. It seems that the same potholes are
still there. I remember walking in the grass along side the ditch and
scaring grasshoppers into the water. I made boats out of small boards and
nails and sailed them in the puddles. I learned early how to straighten
nails for reuse.
Jim had the bedroom with the crib on the south end of the house, Jim and I
had the bedroom on the north end, Mom and Dad had the bedroom in the middle.
The bedrooms were on the west (back) side of the house with the living room,
bathroom, and kitchen (south to north) on the East side. John and I each had
a twin bed and I remember jumping between the beds and having pillow fights.
I started Fourth Grade at Four Corners with my arm in a cast. I can only
imagine the difficulty it caused for my teacher, Mrs. Empey, while I
wrote illegibly with my left hand. I had developed a keen interest
in science. My Fourth Grade teacher gave me a book to encourage me, and
her father, a Dr. Reeh, gave me two more books. One of the books was
The Wonderful World of Medicine and another was a one-volume
Encyclopedia of Natural History.
My Uncle Jim, Mom's brother, died while I was in the 5th Grade.
At least one time that I remember, I didn't go directly home after school.
I got interested in some large puddles, or seasonal ponds, on the back of
the school grounds and was collecting little frogs when Mom came to get me.
I did a lot of that sort of thing in my free time. There was a large empty
tract of land several blocks to the east of the house, and on the far
eastern edge of that area of unmown grass was a small forest. That land
was called Lincoln Park by developers, but for a long time it was my
wilderness. There was a drainage ditch running from the little stub of
Pennsylvania Avenue on the west to the forest in the east. I would catch
frogs and snakes (I had six snakes at one time once). I never saw anything
but varieties of garden snakes there. I caught a Fowler's toad once.