Mendon School

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Things That I Remember —

My first recollection is starting in the beginner’s grade at six years of age. There were beginners, first and second grades, in the “little room.” Miss Louise Abuscher I remember being so proud that my name was the same as my teacher, “Rhoda Louise.” When she went down the aisle asking our names I was happy to tell her. My aunt was my second grade teacher. Eulalia Sorensen. Each year the room planned a surprise party on the teacher. We each gave a little money for a present. I remember hiding behind sister Wood’s door (that’s where Miss Abuscher lived) to jump out and yell surprise!

The whole school used to run away on April Fools’ Day. We usually made it up to the “slide” and back. In May the school would have a May walk and go down to the meadows and gather flowers. Adelia Lemmon was my teacher in the third and forth grades. Ronella Watkins in the fifth. David Winn in the “big room.” I liked all my teachers, got along fine and enjoyed school. The school bell would ring at eight-thirty a.m. and again at nine. When the principal would sound the triangle we would all line up according to room and march into a march, played on the piano. I always thought that would be the height of excellence to be able to play the march. I well remember the day that Percy and Phyllis Taylor came to school first. The principal called us all together and told us to be very kind to them and not laugh because they dressed and talked different than we did. At election time bigger kids would set the losing ones on the fountain.

Our favorite games were prisoners base, pomp pomp pull away and at spring we would sit on the grass and play mumblety-peg. It was always a treat when mother would let me take my lunch to school. When I reached the seventh grade there were just Wayne Willie, Orval Bird and I. Mr. Winn decided if we did some summer work we could join the eighth grade in the fall. I had the honor of giving the valedictory address on the graduation exercises. I still remember most of it. My mother made me a beautiful dress and sent me to Montgomery Ward store for my shoes. I became so worried for fear the shoes wouldn’t arrive in time and sure enough they didn’t. I had to wear my old shoes to the exercises. Wayne Willie was such a good reader that the teacher almost always called on him to read aloud during our recreational reading period. In retrospect they were “Happy School Days.”

— Rhoda Sorensen Hardman