Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kindergarten and a birthdate fib

A friend of mine from high school - Richard Shirley - sent me an early happy birthday noting that he was unaware I was so young.   He was 71 in January - I turn same in about a week.   It reminded me of a stone that I could relate.

First of all, let me say - I believe that many of my problems going to school - what there were - came because I started to school a year early.   My maturity level never did match many of my classmates even though my grades held their own usually.

I was born on November 4, 1940 - that was the day that FDR (Roosevelt for those of you who get confused)  was elected for this 3rd term.

My mom taught school.   We were living in Dodge City, Kansas, of Gunsmoke fame, when I was 4.  I was cute with my precious ears (FYI).   Kindergarten in Dodge was a half day class for little kids.   She was teaching Kindergarten at one elementary.  We lived in another elementary area.

In Dodge City, during those years, you had to be 5 by November 2nd - or you waited another year.  I do think Kindergarten was a volunteer offering.  I don't know that.

My mom took my birth certificate and a bottle of clorox.  She put a small drop on the birthday - November 4, and with black ink wrote in a "2."  Thus, since I had no idea about anything, my birthday became Nov. 2nd - it remained that way for many years to come.   Eventually she became honest and brought me up to date.   Since then I have celebrated the 4th - bring on the gifts. 

I have the original birth certificate in a safety deposit box.  You can look at the "2" and see the faint lines of a "4" beneath.   So I went to kindergarten in the morning in my mother's class.  In the afternoon, it was kindergarten in the other school.  I don't remember much about either class.  My mom said that I was not an ideal student - taking advantage of mom being the teacher.

In the other class I remember having a special rug for taking a nap.  We all laid down for an afternoon nap.  Mine was one of those rag rugs with multi multi colors - rows of colors.  It was wonderful.  That's it.


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