It’s time for “Back to School!” A trip in the Wayback machine!

It seems everyone with school-age children is taking pictures of their kids today with their backpacks, book bags, brand new clothes, what have you. So why not jump on the bandwagon? I grew up in the 1970s, when parents didn’t feel compelled to take pictures of every single accomplishment of their kids. It wasn’t because they weren’t proud of the accomplishments, whether it was the first free stand, walking, picking the nose and NOT eating the nose gold…you know? Accomplishments! It wasn’t that parents weren’t proud when little Billy or Jennifer drew a horrible stick figure picture or successfully vomited out the poison they’d accidentally ingested (flashback to me eating nightshade berries in 1976 and having to expel my stomach contents…ugh)… Our parents didn’t have the “instant gratification” of posting photos on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and other social media outlets. Our parents took pictures on film cameras, hoped they turned out, turned the film into Fotomat outlets (or the drug store), and waited up to two weeks to see if they turned out. So by the time our parents got the pictures of us on our first day of school, that ship had long sailed.


My brother Mike holding a piece of paper that MUST say something important! His first day of school, 1974. We were moving into a new subdivision, hence the grass-less yard he is standing on.


Here’s a better pic of what I would have looked like “around” when big brother first went to kindergarten. Alice the cat is photobombing – she was named for the “Brady Bunch” housekeeper. Or were we the ones who photobombed HER photo?

By the time I started school, they didn’t even bother taking pictures of the occasion. Why? I was the second kid (so big deal) – and two, I probably didn’t WANT them taking pictures. Maybe I’d been upset or crying about having to go to school, who knows? I do remember being a little nervous about going to school, and actually going into Mrs. Wilcox’s classroom instead of Mrs. Porter’s classroom, which was the one I was supposed to be in! The horror! And thus began years of school angst, lol!


Here the first-day-of-school boy poses with some classic 1970s Americana – the split level house, the Dodge Coronet, and a hippie mom sporting braids. The girl she’s holding isn’t me – she was a neighbor girl my mom would babysit from time to time.  I’m standing in the doorway (evidence of camera shyness at a young age). And I am most likely wearing my brother’s hand-me-downs! That was kind of a “thing” back then!

The school we attended was Lacure Elementary School  in Clio, but my brother spent his kindergarten year at the “Early Elementary” building downtown, which had a YUGE sledding hill. Someone jacked his sled. By the time I was in kindergarten they had “open” classrooms at Lacure, which were kind of a groovy ’70s hippie thing. No walls – different teachers could “team” teach. We could wander over to Mrs. Wilcox’s classroom to hear her acoustic guitar stylings while she played and we sang along to “Puff the Magic Dragon,” or stay put on our side with Mrs. Porter, who played the autoharp. Yes, I learned all the “basics” in kindergarten – which cookies were best, counting, letters, learning how to make a beeline for the best toys before some other stupid kid got to play with them first – and I was even reading by the time I was in kindergarten, and attended reading classes with first graders. An even more important lesson I learned was about punishment. Out on the playground, I wanted to test my throwing arm, and hurled a rock – which just HAPPENED to hit a kid named Jeff P. in the head! Honest…I didn’t do it on purpose! But he turned on the waterworks (I guess I had a pretty good rock throwing arm), and so I was to be punished. So I was escorted inside, and was spanked in front of the whole class. This would be a horror story in today’s educational circles. Spanking? Humiliation? The horror! Actually, it wasn’t very pleasant…but corporal punishment was the norm in the mid 1970s.  It just happened – and if you were a kid, you would toe the line to avoid having teachers be able to touch your ass! And in years later, male bosses, sleazy bar patrons, etc. (JK). My principal had a paddle on his wall! Now how would I know what the inside of the principal’s office looked like? Check my other blog, “Of Course You Realize, This Means War!” OF COURSE YOU REALIZE…THIS MEANS WAR!


Me in kindergarten in one of my more adorable moments. Which were few and far between! 🙂




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