Manuscripts/Mixed Material [William Hall--East Otis]
Bill Hall was in his combination Grocery Store, Post Office and Package Store when I dropped in for a chat. I've known Bill for years, and since I used to live in Otis we had a good deal of gossiping to do. In the course of chatting about this and that, we happened on our youth, and I asked Bill about his school days.
“You didn't always go to school in the country did you, Bill?”
Bill settled in his old arm chair and stroking the black cat
“Well, I was only a kid when the folks moved up to Tolland from Springfield. I'd had a few years in the Springfield Grammar School and I'll never forget how funny the country school was to me. Gosh, I didn't know what to make of only one teacher teaching all the kids in all different grades. The first day I went, the teacher told me I had to do certain chores. There weren't many boys in the school that year and we had to divy up the jobs of keeping the wood box filled, sweeping the floors, cleaning the blackboards and stuff like that. The one job no one wanted to do was the work of policing the outhouses. We hated that like anything. And do you know it was the first job the teacher gave me. Didn't hurt me none. Good for kids to have work to do, but was it a comedown for me? I was a city kid and thought I knew about everything though I wasn't over ten years old.
“I was mad as the deuce and I guess I was fresh enough to talk back to the teacher and tell her so — only she was pretty. I guess most boys fall for a teacher sometime during their school years, but I started out young. I thought there was nobody like her. She was a beauty — all the young bucks in town were waiting on her hand and foot.