Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Friday, June 6, 2008

School's over for the summer

I was thinking about this again, because it was on this day 51 years ago that I graduated from elementary school (grade 8). I have written about my graduation from grade school before. Just click on the graduation link for more stories about graduations that have made me what I am today!

It's June. June is hot. June has always been hot. Sometimes it's been hotter than August. Well, I graduated from grade school at the Runnemede Little League field. None of the schools in Runnemede at that time had an auditorium large enough to house the class and all the guests that would attend, so we had the ceremony at the Little League field.

I don't know how many years this tradition continued. For all I know they may still hold their 8th grade graduations at the ball field. But it was a hot night, and it was dusty. We had to wear white. White is not a color (or lack thereof) that you want to wear when it is dusty. My dress was already "gray" because it was NOT new -- it was used. So adding dust to it, didn't help anything as far as I was concerned.

It was a very depressing event for me. Puberty was in full swing and I was still skinny as a bean pole, wearing a dress that was made for a larger person than I was, held in at the waist with a satin ribbon. My dear mother didn't know what to make of my tears. They were NOT tears of joy or happiness over the dress. Mom tried to make the dress prettier for me, but nothing she could do with her needle and thread helped. It was hopeless. I was hopeless. I think you can see how ugly the dress was. It was see through, too, which didn't help matters. I had to wear a full slip and it was a little girl's slip, not a grown-up girl's slip, you know the kind with the adjustable straps.
Maybe you don't know. Back in the 50s/60s slips were an undergarment women wore no matter what, just like under pants and a bra. It was part of your under apparel. Well, a grown-up slip had straps that you could adjust (like on some bras) to make the slip shorter or longer in length. Little girl slips were just elongated little girl undershirts (sleeveless). I would post a picture of what I'm talking about here, but I might get hate mail for leud and lascivious pictures. So, my verbal picture will have to do.

Anyway, it was on a hot, dusty night in June, 51 years ago, that I left elementary school and was promoted to go on to high school. Well, that -- high school -- was really a shock for me. Some other time I'll talk about that (again).

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