Well, it’s funny, but I don’t have any really exciting memories from when I was nine years old. I was in fourth grade, and I had a teacher that everyone loved – Mrs. Sullivan. She was the nicest 4th grade teacher (at least that is what all of the other kids said). Our school was a lot smaller than the one that Grant and Carter go to – I think there were only three or four fourth grade classes instead of the 8 or 9 that Sope Creek Elementary has. Our school days were very similar to days that you all have, but there are many things that you are learning now that didn’t even exist when I was in school. For example, did you know that not even ONE computer was in our entire school (we didn’t have one at home, either) because they didn’t make them small enough or cheap enough for classroom use. So think about all of the things that you use the computer for at home and at school – we didn’t have any of that!! No televisions in the classroom, either. As a matter of fact, our television at home only got three channels. Also, to change the channel, you actually had to get off of the couch and turn a knob – there was no such thing as a remote control! Let’s see, what else….oh yes, there were no DVD players or even VHS players, so we could not record shows on television and there were no places like Blockbuster that you could go to to rent movies. Of course there were no Gameboys or Nintendo DS players or Xboxes.
You are probably thinking WHAT DID YOU DO WITH ALL OF YOUR TIME!!?? Well, we played a lot of board games – some of the same ones that we play now – like Monopoly and Twister and Sorry. I remember playing pretend school with my sister (I was always the teacher and she was the student), and playing outside a lot with other neighborhood kids. Card games like “Crazy 8’s” and “Go Fish” and “War” were some of our favorites. We always looked forward to Saturday mornings, because that was the only time during the week that cartoons were on television! We loved Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse, and Sesame Street was brand new!
Ask Mimi and Papa how difficult it was to travel with four young children for six or seven hours without ipods or DVD players in the car. The only thing left to do is bother and annoy your brothers and sisters!! I remember Papa pulling off of the side of the road many times threatening to get all of us out and give us spankings on the side of the road!! We must have driven them totally crazy – I don’t know how they did it. I’m sure that they said a lot of prayers before setting out on the journey to see our grandparents!
I loved going to Fitzgerald to visit Grandma and Grandpa Henderson and Grandma Jessie. Grandpa Henderson would always sit in his brown leather chair and I loved sitting on his lap until I got too big. He always smelled like tobacco (not cigarettes, but pipe tobacco) and he had a moustache that always tickled when he kissed my cheek. Grandma Henderson had the softest skin on her cheeks and she always loved showing us her shell collection that she had picked up along the beaches of Jekyll Island – she had jars and jars full of beautiful shells. Grandma Jessie would sit at the kitchen table and drink coffee every morning – I remember thinking I was so grown up because she would make me some coffee with LOTS of milk and LOTS of sugar and I would drink out of a coffee cup. We had some great meals when we went to Fitzgerald – lots of good southern cooking like green beans, cornbread, corn on the cob, and fried chicken. We got to spend some time with cousins, but it was very rare for us to all be together at the same time like you all get to do now, especially without our parents. I hope that you are all having a wonderful time together creating memories that you can share with YOUR children someday!!