I looked down at the ground this week and saw something that transported me back to grade school days on the playground at Trinity Lutheran School.
Maple tree seed pods
The little seeds would auto-rotate down like a helicopter whose engine had quit. It was nature’s nifty way to make sure the seeds were distributed over a wide area.
You could get an ear full of them, too
When the seeds had just fallen, and you squeezed them just right, you could sneak up to a buddy and give him an earful of juice.
Before long, the whole playground was full of little squirts giving little squirts to little squirts until a teacher intervened.
I can see sitting in detention when the miscreant next to you whispers, “What are you in for?”
“Assault with a Maple seed.” Not exactly something that earns you playground cred.
Maples and Redbuds Come First
The maple trees and redbuds are the first trees to come alive in the spring. The walnut trees are more conservative: they want to make sure the cold weather is gone for good before they come out of hibernation.
(Speaking of hibernation, I was moving a stack of old walnut logs the other day and disturbed three snakes. They were harmless garter snakes who moved slow until they realized there was a reason the sun was suddenly beating down on them.
I can tell when the term is ending at Southeast Missouri State University. That’s when I start getting requests for information and photos about Cape landmarks and businesses.
In 2013, I compiled a list of Links about Main Street businesses for Katy Beebe’s Historic Preservation class. It would be nice if I could submit my work for extra credit to bring up my grade point average from 1965 – 1967.
Gallery of requests
Here are some of the photos students have requested this time around. The student was planning to print the pictures on 5 x 7 paper, but the images didn’t always scale out to that proportion. To keep from cropping the images, I sent them to the printer with white space around them to make them fit the format.
Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.
Just to show you how your permanent record can come back to haunt you, here is a note I found stuffed away between the pages of a book. I was captain of the Trinity Lutheran School Safety Patrol in the eighth grade.
Mr. Mueller, the eighth grade teacher, was also advisor to the safety patrol. He evidently caught two of my patrolmen leaving their post three minutes early (with an exclamation point, no less). He wanted me to mark them down for five demerits each.
I won’t tell you who they are
At this late date, it’s really not worth it to add to their shame by publishing their last names, but they DO appear in this photo.
Here are other school safety patrol stories and photos:
Buried in a box of old newspaper clips that are crumbling bad enough that I’ve been sneezing all afternoon was my first grade Reading Race Prize.
Mrs. Kelpe, the first grade teacher every kid should have, wrote on the back, “To Kenneth, who was once again the winner of the Reading Race. I am proud of you, Kenneth.” It was dated March 25, 1954, the day after my birthday.
My “sailer” hat
My first grade scrapbook has this photo of me wearing the prize for winning an earlier Reading race.
The account of my big day
Dad’s typewriter didn’t have a spellchecker on it, so some typos crept in from time to time. The fact that he and Mother went to all the trouble to document my young life is much appreciated. As Kid Rel II, Brother David’s scrapbook was a lot shorter. Brother Rel III Mark’s book simply said, “Refer to earlier editions.”
“…Mrs. Kelpe timed up on readying (sic) today and had a prize for the fastest ones. I won as my time was only 1-1/2 minutes. It took one boy 6 minutes. The prize was a white sailer hat. A little bit [big] but I like it. Boy! I was good to win that hat. [OK, so I needed to work on humility.] I told Mrs. Kelpe she was the best teacher I ever had and I’ve had a plenty.“