At the beginning of 4th grade, I went to the same school where I had gone to 3rd grade. Even though it was the same school, it felt very different. My teacher was a MAN and not only did we have our own desks, but we stayed at them all the time. The only time we left our desks was for recess or lunch. I don’t remember his name, but I do remember him seeming very strict. About a month after school started, we moved.
Gramma had changed jobs and decided that we needed to move to Modesto to be closer to her job. The lady we moved in with had a nice house with 3 or 4 bedrooms and a two car garage. Instead of getting rid of all our stuff like she usually did, Gramma stored our stuff in the lady’s garage. I really don’t remember much about the inside of that house, but I do remember spending lots of time hiding in a fort that I had created in our stuff in the garage. When I would get home from school Gramma was at work and Allan was at a babysitter. I would take my homework and a book to read and go hide in my fort until dinner time. The lady we lived with had two teenage daughters who weren’t very nice to me, but if I hid, they couldn’t tease me.
The school I went to was called CF Brown. It was a fairly new school and was unlike any other school I ever attended. All of the inside walls could be moved to change the size and number of rooms depending on what was needed. In the center was an area where we had assemblies. When I started school there I knew how to write in cursive and they had not started cursive yet. I didn’t know my multiplication tables and they were about to start division. It took me over a month to get caught up with them. Just before Christmas we moved again.
This time we moved to a house. The house had 3 bedrooms, a one car garage and a fenced backyard. There were a lot of firsts in this house. This was the first time I had my own room since Allan had been born. It was also the first house I remember living in that had a garage. We got our first electric clothes dryer, we had our first color tv and we got cable for the first time.
After Christmas break, I started going to El Vista. This is the same school where Morgan went to preschool. I don’t remember my teacher’s name. But my favorite memory of her was that every day after lunch recess she would have us put our heads down on our desks and she would read to us. She would only read one or two chaptesr per day, but it was my favorite part of the whole day. I can remember her reading Island of the Blue Dolphin and Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing to us and I’m sure there were a few others. This was also the year that I discovered kickball and tetherball on the playground at recess.
At the beginning of Summer, I went to Summer school at Rose Avenue. At that time, anyone that wanted to go to Summer school could. I walked to El Vista and took a bus over to Rose Avenue. They would feed us breakfast when we got there, then we had 4 fun classes and then lunch before the bus would take us back to El Vista. One of the classes I had that year was dance. We learned “The hustle” which was a popular line dance of the time. I’m pretty sure that I also got to fly to New Jersey again for part of the Summer to see my Dad.