Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It was forty years ago this week

1969 seems to be the watershed year of the moment. No one is waxing poetic about August 1959, August 1979, 1989 or '99. So I dug around in my picture box and found this little guy, perfectly suited up for an official picture for the family on the eve on first grade at Mercer School in Shaker Heights. No Woodstock hippy for me. It was strictly business in a lovely wool blazer and gold clip on tie and blue slacks.

I think that this was my last school picture until my senior high school picture in which I wore a, take that back...I wore a dark burgundy sport coat for my third grade picture. Not knowing any better for myself, my mother selected this outfit from Howard's Boys and Men's Shop on Chagrin Boulevard. It was the first time that we went there and that I, not my father or my brothers but I, was the center of the attention.

This, by the way, was the last year that I was happy in going to school until we escaped from Shaker Heights and moved to sanctuary in Marion, Ohio. My teacher for the 1969-70 year was Grace Smiley, a saint of a woman if ever there was one. Kids in first grade are still decent to one and other. Second grade is when the turf starts to get mapped out, alliances are made, and enemies and the weak identified. From that point forward kids can become small assholes that grow into giant assholes.

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