Monday, July 28, 2014

Rant #1,256: Go To the Head of the Class

This weekend was as dry and as boring for me as possible.

My wife worked the entire weekend, so really nothing much happened at all.

I did whatever chores I had to do, went to the eye doctor--I need new lenses, which are going to cost me a pretty penny--and basically watched TV--baseball--the entire weekend.

Yes, I did nothing.

I saw my mother on Saturday, and she gave me something that really brought everything into focus, something that I had not seen for probably 30 years--

My class photo from first grade.

I thought that this thing was forever lost, but searching through various things in her house, she managed to find this photo, buried away for decades.

I put it right up on Facebook, it got a good reaction, and now is preserved for posterity both there and here, as well as on my computer.

Here is what I put up with the photo on Facebook:

"My mother found this photo buried somewhere in her house.

It is my first grade photo from P.S. 165, Flushing, New York, way back in 1963-1964.

This was taken when I lived in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, and I am barely noticeable. That is why my mother said years ago, she drew the arrow on the photo. I am sure it can be removed, but I figured I would leave it on for posterity, I guess.

Anyway, the teacher was Mrs. Gold, but I don't think that is her in the back, leading me to believe this photo was taken in 1964.

I was in an experimental class, where they took kids who had shown that they were a little advanced educationally for their age and put us in a class where we were taught work from not just first grade, but pretty much through third and fourth grade.

Mrs. Gold was an older woman who had never taught grade school before our class. She was a college instructor, and was chosen to be our teacher because of her background in higher education.

She tripped over a wire from a film strip machine one afternoon, and was never seen or heard from again.

The woman in the back must have been her successor, so I am guessing this was taken in March or April of 1964, after Mrs. Gold hurt herself.

This was the class where we all grew up quickly, when we were told that JFK had been assassinated.

I don't remember too many of the kids' names. A boy named Hal was the kid sitting up front, and I believe that another boy named David Kosloff was in the back, five kids from the right.

Another interesting boy I think was the kid standing next to me on my right. His last name was Marx, I think, and he was the son of the doctor who claimed that he could "create" children with genius intellects with the proper learning environment. He proved his point with his children, who both graduated college when they were 16 years old or so. His work created a lot of controversy 50 years ago, but I do know that he was successful with his own kids.

I hadn't seen this photo in literally about 40 years when my mom gave it to me today, and it obviously brought back lots of memories.

Since then, I have had a chance to really look at the photo, and a couple of things came to light.

The kid I called Marx, his last name was actually Marcus. I do not remember his first name. I think his sister actually graduated college when she was 12 or 13, and he graduated when he was about 16. What happened to either one of them since ... I haven't a clue.

The kid I called simply Hal, I believe his last name was Kessler.

And no, I cannot remember a single name of any of the girls in the class.

Heck, I was six or seven years old here, so I guess I still hated girls at this point in time.

Anyway, I do wonder what happened to all of these kids, and even the teacher in back, whose name completely escapes me.

How many are still alive? How many went on to have families, nice careers, and good lives?

The school is still standing, by the way, although it goes under a different name now--I can't remember what that is, either.

So during a dull and boring weekend, this was a highlight, as it would be for any weekend.

I just love class pictures, and this one has risen to the top of the class as my favorite of all time.

I wonder if my mother has any other hidden treasures like this stored away somewhere.

I sure hope she does.

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