Sorry it's been so long. Normally I wouldn't comment but I've been busy with personal issues. Let's move right into my second year of grade school. It was the last uneventful year. I had friends. I played. I walked to school. I was still largely a child. The failures and successes of growing up were yet to come. I went to church each Sunday. My friends and I were excused from school for a few hours to attend Mass on Holy Days. All Saints for instance. This was the first year I went trick or treating. My brother and I dressed in costumes and in the company of our parents went door to door seeking candy.
In Wenonah a great deal was made of who was behind the mask. Everyone knew everyone else so everyone offered opinions as to your identity. We collected a bag of candy and devoured it in our room.
Our room. My room and Mick's room.
Two small beds. Red, wooden beds. Small.
Three windows, no, maybe two.
One on the side yard, one on the rear.
Mick and I fought fiercely. Mick was now in First Grade and our lifelong rivalry was now entering it's richest phase. My brother Mick could enrage me with the most foolish acts. He'd sit at the table in the morning and look at me and say yah, yah, yah over and over till I could kill him. My mother said, "Ignore him, he's looking for attention" and attention he got. We'd spill into roiling fights across the linoleum floor. We'd fight over anything. I detested him.
Now he's a beloved brother who saved my life. Then he was a monster from hell. A fat, squat monster, that belched evil curses that demanded recourse.
Plus, everyone liked him. My friends. His friends. My parents. Other parents. He was likeable, amiable, and cute. Evil, little spawn of hell, I hated him.
My brother Ted at this time was just becoming more than a pawn in our games. He was truly mobile and alive. Five years younger than me he was found one afternoon perched on the kitchen table with a stick of butter wedged in his mouth. A boy of prodigious appetite and imagination he dreamed of tools and trucks. As he grew older he loved Tonka trucks but even at this age or perhaps just beyond his favorite toy as a hand propelled, professional grade, Sears push lawn mower. Not motorized. The older variety. A deeply deranged young boy with his own mark on the world.
Together the three of us over the next two years would bumble through the world.
I'll post a photo of Miss Quigley's second grade class tomorrow as well as the photo of Mrs Kaufman's class with names and identities for all the world to see.
You might ask where are the public events in Wenonah? For a second grader during the school year there were none. There were lighted displays in the park for the Christmas Holidays but beyond that we had no role in the life of the town. Happily. We were content to play our games, roam our blocks, fight our foolish battles and dream of the day we could enter Cub Scouts or play Minor League baseball.
It was in 2nd Grade thought that Mario Contarino joined us. His family emigrated from Italy and Mario spoke barely a word in English. But by the end of the year he was as fluent as any of us. What a tiny world. What a small place.