Monday, October 18, 2010

The Path To School

"I had to walk to school."

Any of us growing up on Neff Road had surely heard those words a few times in our growing up. Now I giggle because if I'm not mistaken, Dad's first school was just over the bridge at the end of the lane of the home place. Not a far walk. But still walking to school was walking to school.

Mom talked of writing on a slate. Books were few, paper and pencils luxuries. Even heat in the old one-room was a luxury. The teacher sometimes came to the house for dinner and often a teacher would even live with a family; however, Grandmother Loxley was a teacher so Dad probably walked to school with his mom. A small community. A history of early education.

We were at the end of the bus route, so we got one mornings in the close to the end. Delivering us home at the end of the day, the bus dropped us off last. When I got into junior high, my brain clicked in. Instead of riding the route at the end of the day, Brenda and I got off at the corner of Byreley and Neff. We got off at the corner where the old one-room school house had once stood. Another generation walking home. Not far, mind you, but we were walking the road, once a path, then a gravel road and finally black topped. We walked home on Neff Road.

Now I tell my grandchildren, "My Dad and Mom walked to school even in very bad weather. Sometimes my Uncle Bob rode his horse. When I was growing up I walked down the lane every day to the bus then after school walked home from the corner."

"Wow, you're old, Grammy."

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