George Smith’s wife drove the little school bus that picked my up at the end of our driveway and dropped me off at Liston. One year earlier and I would have walked two miles to the Aarat Country school
I understand that this Thursday will be the first day of school for the El Dorado Springs R-II School.
At five years of age and being vertically challenged, I didn’t just hop on the bus, the bus driver or one of the big kids had to help me up the steps. Since the bus came from the west, that might have been Sue Huff. Later, when the bus started further north, I know that Maurice Fugate gave me a life to get me on the bus.
I spent four school years at Liston which was a source of amusement for my children. By the time they got in school, Liston was 100% kindergarten. I told ‘em I was a little slow.
I had Mrs. Steward for first grade in the northeast room, Mrs. Elizabeth Kirby for second grade in the northwest room, Miss Mildred Porter for third grade in the southwest room and Mrs. Ruth Nicholas for fourth grade in the southeast room. The cafeteria was in the basement. Mrs. Street, the cook, had piercing blue eyes, a high voice and always called me Kenny Wayne.
Come to think of it, the big girls on the bus liked to get me to say my name: “Kenny” “Wayne” “Wong.” And that was just last year.
I had Mrs. Kirby my junior year in high school for English. She assigned us to write a one page essay in class. I chose to write about my favorite time of day. I’d catch my horse, Rocket, and ride him bareback across the creek to a hillside where he loved to graze. I’d give him his head and just relax.
He was careful not to knock me off on low hanging Sycamore limbs. When the whippoorwills started I knew it was time to gather his reins and go home in the evening shade.
The next day I got my essay back. Mrs. Kirby had written. “. This is excellent. Did you write it?”