Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Walking to School on a November morning

About this time of year, it was time to give up on wearing the highschool sweater for outer-wear on the way to school.  I saved and saved so I could get that sweater.  Remember them?  They were cardigans, but they were thick-knit and they were BIG, or at least we wore them three sizes too big.  Triton's sweaters were red with blue strips on the sleeves.  I never got any letters for mine, but that was okay.  I liked it "plain."  Oh yeah, I paid only $15 for that sweater, but that was as much as a new coat cost back then!

So, it was now time to break out the winter coat and wear it unbuttoned -- because it wasn't quite cold enough for us hardy folk that walked to school in snow up to our waists, uphill, at 20 below, for six miles.  My winter coat was an old pea jacket and while they are in style now, and I suppose have always been "in", I hated it.  I wanted a leather jacket.  I mean all my friends had leather jackets.  My friends got a new coat every year.  I had mine for two years and it didn't look like I would get a new one this year either.  I made a deal with my mom.  I would earn some money to add to her Christmas fund for my gift and she could get me a leather jacket.  Somewhere I have a picture of my daughter wearing that coat.  It lasted that long.  And I wouldn't be surprised to find out that one of my daughters still had it in her possession.  After all, it is vinitage 50s.

Back to walking to school.  I would leave the house at exactly 6:50 each morning, meeting up with Marilyn Groninger and Peggy Gibson as they passed my house.  We would walk away from the pike to the end of Second Avenue (where 2nd meets Clements Bridge).  We'd cross Clements Bridge Road and walk up Harding which wound around to Shubert Avenue, which is where the school was.  Triton Regional Highschool.  We'd get there and in the doors at 7:00 a.m.  Homeroom started at 7:10 a.m., and the day would begin.

Coming home I was on my own, mainly because either Marilyn or Peggy or I had after-school activities and those activities didn't allow for us to leave school together on most days.  That was okay.  I knew the way home!


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