First Grade.

Ever smell that smell?

No, I don’t mean Lynyrd Skynyrd. I can’t tell exactly what it is, but when I walked into Target the other day, they had some cleaning solution that, I swear, was a perfect match for the smell of my first grade room first thing in the morning. I stopped in my tracks and literally said “hey, First Grade”. My wife, Mrs. Claws, immediately agreed.

You know what? Screw Disneyland. I want to go to a First Grade theme park. Remember how awesome it was? I used to go to Sears with my mom during the end of the summer to buy new fall clothes. We’d wander around the aisles, I’d be bribed with a G.I. Joe from the toy department, then off to try stuff on. I won’t be nostalgic here, it sucked. No one likes their mom doing that “tug at your waistband from behind” maneuver. But it was cool to get new clothes – like “Ocean Pacific” and the cool new stuff. Then, sometimes on the same trip, off to T.G.&Y. for school supplies. Nothing says memories like a new pack of wide-ruled notebook paper, a Big Chief pad and some crayons. Granted, I’m mixing memories here, but deal with it.

Ahh the new box of crayons. How I loved the new box of school supplies in a new zipper case. The extravagance of getting a character themed item like a He-Man folder, or Beastman eraser! Those little 50 cent splurges made my month. Funny, adults think kids are hard to please – wrong (at least in my case).

Then, bundling up with all my new junk and heading into the classroom, where new little friends were waiting to be met and discuss the latest coolest toys, and who got to go to Pizza Time Theatre (pre-Chuck E. Cheese) for their birthday. Man, heady times. Wearing brand new clothes and shoes with my pack of crayons with Beastman in my bag, I felt invincible and like the world was full of possibilities.

Then, getting home to watch He-Man and other awesome cartoons – good times. I remember how the fall always led so effortlessly through the chain of holidays into Christmas. October brought Halloween, and the wonderful smells in the dime store as I picked out my plastic cheapo Dracula costume or whatever it was. I was Dracula like 9,000 times. This was always great fun. One year my mom even dressed up like a Bee! Wow, a mom who would have Halloween with you, that rocked.

That would eventually pass into Thanksgiving, coming later. Normally Tgiving would kinda suck, but not in elementary school! We got to make cool headdresses with Indian feathers and Pilgrim hats out of construction paper. These were awesome days. I’d get my rifle (Parris) that mom got me at Silver Dollar City and be a pilgrim settler in Grandmommie’s backyard. No wonder I loved early American history – all of it involved cool outfits and guys with guns!

Then, as the crisp air started and the leaves turned beautiful colors, it was time to look forward to the Sears catalog. Which would lead into Christmas…but more to come later on the march into Christmas.


6 responses to “First Grade.

  1. Nice slingshot back through time. It’s hotter than Paris Hilton or something down here in PHX but you still gave me a brief respite of pleasant fall memories.

    Glad you got a blog, man 🙂 I always dug your screename!

    Too bad I hate you cause you had Beastman 😡


  2. Ah yes, Big Chief. I probably went through a hundred of those when I was a kid.

    I also have some vague memories of TG&Y. They closed in the late 80s or thereabouts, didn’t they?

    In my elementary school, we had this chalkboard cleaner that smelled vaguely like root beer. It was odd. Also, our school had a certain smell that I can still remember. Sorta smelled like old books combined with french fries and some kind of cleaning solution.

  3. I’m convinced there’s nothing better when your a kid than a brand new box of crayons. They’re all sharp and new and that killer waxy crayon smell. And as much as shopping for clothes sucked when you were a kid you always felt cool dressed up in your new clothes that Mom never let you wear till school started. And yes the rush home to catch the newest episode of Voltron or G.I. Joe! Good times indeed.

  4. Soon I’ll do a Christmas blog, but I think maybe I better lay out some awesome summer memories, considering it’s 90 degrees in KC. What should todays entry be?

  5. wow, man! That was awesome. As I had laid out in my blog, i was kind of smell-blind through a major amount of my youth so I kind of envy the fact that you can SMELL first grade.

  6. You nailed it! Took my mind on a trip. Good stuff!!

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