School is Out!


School is out! What wonderful words!

When we were growing up in rural south Alabama, Ben and I went to school near Latitude, Mississippi (name changed to avoid the unlikely scenario of me being sued).

As I exited the squat, brick building, even the air above me seemed lighter. The possibilities endless.

When we were in early elementary school, Mom would take us the rest of the way to Latitude. Latitude was a real town with buildings, the mall, and McDonalds! We would enjoy a feast at the popular chain and then go to a store to buy a kiddie pool.

One year when we were in junior high school, and Mom had started teaching school again, we got out of school earlier than Mom. We must have ridden home on the bus, because were home, alone. Ben took wild pleasure in tossing his papers and workbooks into our wood-burning stove. He lit a match…or a few matches… to torch the trash. I left him a few minutes but returned when I heard the fire alarm squalking. Instead of a nice, steady flame, the rubbish had burned out and churned out a room full of smoke. In a panic, Ben opened doors and windows so that Mom would not find out.

But she knew when she opened the front door.

When we got to high school and our parents had trusted me to drive our Chevy Nova to school (by this time, our school was much closer to home), Ben and I went to a drive-thru in Canterbury. It was one of those small-town hamburger chains…for some reason, I’m thinking that it was called “Wards.” So I was driving us. It was the first time that I’d ever driven us through a drive-thru. For some reason, I felt so funny ordering (rather than Mom placing the order), that I started laughing. Ben started laughing. We were laughing so hard that I couldn’t even order. I finally pulled myself together and placed our order.

Those are some of my memories of getting out of school for the summer. The pictures that I’m enclosing are of Ben and me at Silver Dollar City on a summer vacation trip. It is the Silver Dollar City in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Did you know that this is what the amusement park was called before it became Dollywood?

The Silver Dollar City train.

The Silver Dollar City train.

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