Sunday, February 22, 2009


December 1942


1942- District # 9 School

Friday, Feb.20th, 2009
Grade school memories. District #9 Elementary School

Was sorting out some old papers today and came across an old newspaper clipping that I had saved in the old scrapbook I kept while in school. This clipping was from back in 1942 - a few months after my youngest sister was born. She was the good news. But all news wasn`t good. I had an older brother, a younger brother and a younger sister still attending this grade school with me at the time. Well, the older brother was in the hospital when things happened, so he never went back to this school. You see, we were all home for the week-end when the school burned, so the School decided to start our school`s Christmas vacation early while they decided what to do next. The whole school burned down. It was a 2 story brick building and only the 4 brick walls remained standing once the fire was out. Even the roof had caved in. I am sure there probably were some kids who used to wish the school would burn so they wouldn`t have to keep going to school. But, no one thought it would ever happen, at least not while we were young enough to be going to school. This was an old building- built back in 1911. But, still it was only a 31 year old building when it burned down.

This school only held 8 grades-the first grade up to the eighth grade. No Headstart or kindergarten in those days. When you turned 5 you went to first grade. Actually if your 5th Birthday was before December 1st, you started school in September. My 2 older brothers, my younger brother and myself started school at age 4, but had out 5th Birthday soon after, younger brother and I later in September and the 2 oldest brothers in November. Only 2 of my sisters were already 5 before school started, one turned 5 in March and the other one in July. The youngest sister was almost 4 months old when the school burned, so she never knew our school.

I have a lot of memories from attending that school. My third grade teacher was an older cousin and another cousin my age was in the same grades with me. We stayed in the same grade right up till we graduated from High School together in 1949. We often would forget to call our teacher cousin by Mrs and would call her Katie like we did out of school. Then she would send us to the cloak room for a few minutes to teach us we couldn`t do that during school hours or the other kids might start copying us. I still remember all the sets of swings- must have been at least 4 swings in each set. Then there was the teeter tauters ( also called see-saws by some). Each set consisted of about 4 separate sets all hooked together on one main frame. There was a whirly machine you pumped with your feet and a lot could sit and ride around in a circle on it at the same time, and a very tall slide. I can`t remember any one fighting on school property and everyone stood in line and waited for their turn to use the playground equipment. There was no gym in this school, but there was a large auditorium.

Another item this school had was the large fire escape to quickly get kids off the second floor in case of fire. We used to have a fire drill once or twice a month. We never knew when it would be until we would hear the school fire siren start blowing and then we would calmly line up in a neat row in front of our rooms doorway and follow our teacher out of our school room and down the long corridor with her walking beside us. As we got near the outside door, I remember her standing there just inside the door and telling us to keep walking outside and to wait in the designated area we had practiced to in the past. Then once all the kids from our room were outside, our teacher would follow us and take a head count to be sure no one was missing. The lower grades were all on the first floor, while the older grades were held on the second floor. The second floor had a kind of closed slide to get them from the top floor faster to the ground outside. It was called a fire Escape. It looked like a long snake with a curve near the top shortly after you left the building. You would sit on the top and start sliding down like you were sliding down a regular playground slide. Only big difference is this slide was completely closed all the way from the top till it stopped about 2-3 feet from the ground. it looked like a round, huge, over sized furnace heat pipe that carries the heat from the furnace to the house grates. Us younger kids used to wish we could ride down that huge fire escape like all the older kids did.

Well, along came a day when a girlfriend suggested we climb up inside that fire escape and slide down in it. There was this girlfriend, another friend and my cousin and myself there that time. School had just let out for the day and just the 4 of us were standing there. The other kids were already heading home. The metal gate door to the escape was left open, which just made it look more tempting to us. First the friend started climbing inside and then the other friend, then my cousin started inside while calling me to follow her. I hesitated for a few minutes, but finally gave in and joined them. I knew I would be in a lot of trouble at home if my parents found out. I remember that the further up you climb, the darker it got. Once around the top bend, it was so dark we couldn`t see anything, even the bottom of the escape was hidden by the curve near the top of the slide. We were all sitting there in the dark thinking of what it would be like when we slid down. We had no idea how fast or slow we would be going on the way out. We only had about 5 minutes to think about it before I heard a noise sounding like a chain and knew the janitor must be starting to chain the closed metal door for the night. Actually this was on a Friday, so it wouldn`t be re-opened again until school started again on the following Monday. The thought of spending all week-end locked up in this dark place was more than I wan ted to do. So, I knew , since I was the last one to climb up this long high slide, then I had to be the first one to slide back down ahead of the others. Fear mad me move faster and down I went, followed by the other 3 girls. I remember my feet hit that metal door, knocking it back open and once my feet hit the ground, they never stopped running till I was off the school property. The others were running right behind me. We found out it might take a few minutes to climb up to the top, but just a few seconds to slide down it. I remember seeing the janitor almost fall as my feet knocked the door and chain out of his hands. The chain was like one of those thick heavy chains my father used to tow cars with. The chain used to have a padlock on it to keep the door closed when not in use.

All that week-end us girls worried that the janitor might have turned us in to the Principal. When Monday came around we were in no hurry to get to school. We used to hurry so we would have more time to play with our friends before the school bell rang. When the bell rang we entered the school. There standing just in side the large double doors stood the janitor. We had to walk past him to go to out class room. As we passed him, he said this to us " Did you girls have fun last Friday". Now we knew he had recognized all of us. Funny how you never forget what was said when you were afraid of what might happen. All that day, we worried, waiting to be told to go to the Principals office, but it never happened. We continued to be afraid for the rest of that week. Finally, after a whole week had passed we started to relax again. He never did turn us in or mention the ordeal ever again after that time. Now that was our only time to experience what it was like to slide down that closed up fire escape because the school burned before we were old enough to be in the top floor classes.

Now, that might have been the last for us going to District # School. They talked about dividing up the 260 kids and sending them to two neighboring school. But some people started offering their buildings to use as class rooms, so the school kept going with classes scattered all over the small district. I spent my 6th, 7th and 8th grades going to a building that was originally called "The Half Way House"- it originally was a beer joint or tavern- depending who you asked. I guess it got it`s name due to it`s location. District No. 9 was located between the Town of Fort Edward and the City of Hudson Falls - so halfway between them. They never did rebuild our school. Instead, they joined with Hudson Falls school district and became a part of the Hudson falls School district.
originally all the District #9 school students had their choice of whether they wanted to attend the Fort Edward high School or the Hudson Falls high School once they graduated from District #9 school. Two of my sister, one brother and I attended Fort Edward high, while the other 2 brothers attended High School in Hudson Falls. By the time our youngest sister started school, there was no District # 9 school and she had no choice and had to go to Hudson Falls Schools.
School taxes went up a lot higher after the schools consolidated together. So, my parents, like many of the others who lived near us were listed as living in the Town of Fort Edward, receiving mail from Fort Edward and paying Fort Edward property taxes, but from then on were also paying their School property taxes to the city of Hudson Falls.

I remember another thing I did in District # 9 school. They used the building to hold Bingo games on the week-end. My Aunt once took me with her. I remember winning a pretty set of salt and pepper shakers that night. I still have one of those shakers today. Can`t remember what ever happened to the other one. Can`t even remember what room was used to hold the bingo games in.
I also remember how we had to make up all the time we missed from the time the school burned and they were able to set up desks in all those other building used to hold the 8 classes. I remember the 1 and 2 grades were held in a vacant house, 3rd and 4th in a large place that used to be a store, I forget where the 5th was, but the 6th was first held in the Half way house. Then the following two years this same building held the 7th and 8th and I do not recall where they moved the 6th grade to. So, I spent three years in this same building. My 8th grade teacher was the same man who was our Principal. Later when I took up drivers training in High School he was working there as the Instructor. Since there was no longer a Principals office after the school burned, no one had to worry about being sent to his office. I had three different teachers in the 4th grade. Our first teacher was drafted into the Army in the second World War, the second teacher got sick and her sister became out teacher for the remainder of that year. it is a wonder any of us passed that year.
To make up the weeks of school we had missed while they found places and set them up into classrooms, we had to start going to school on Saturdays. None of the other schools had Saturday classes, so friends from nearby schools used to show up and look through the large windows and make faces at us. The teacher was forever going out to tell them to run along. One time this drunk walked into our clss room asking for a beer. The teacher kept trying to get him to leave but he kept saying he would leave after he had his beer. Teacher finally had to phone for help to have the drunk removed. He came back once more after that and then we never saw him again. In these separate building we no longer had a playground. There was a car junk yard way out in back of the building I went to, but we did have enough room to play made up games. I also remember that things were rationed during the war so every Monday morning we were given a paper cup and told to write our name on it. We had to use this same cup for the 5 school days that week and would be given another new cup the next Monday morning. We would sit it up on the window sill over the sink in the back room. I remember you held up one finger to get a drink and 2 fingers for permission to go to the bathroom. The old school had lockers , but here we just had a hook to hang our coats on. You pushed your mittens into your jacket pockets so you wouldn`t lose them. If you wore a hat , it also was pushed into your coat pocket. I can`t remember ever wearing a hat back then. If you wore boots in the winter, they sat on the floor right under where you hung your coat.
Once they no longer needed the building for school rooms, the building I attended went back to being the Original Halfway House and that bar is still in operation today.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Cell phone/ great Stuff/ Marshmallows- what a day.

Cell phone/ great Stuff/ Marshmallows- what a day.

Things are looking up again and as cold as it was today, even the sun was trying to shine.The bad snow storm we were expecting ended up further south so we were spared this time. Mighty nippy outside all day. Reminded me of the old days when we had to walk a mile to school and since we had to walk home for lunch, we started walking 4 miles a day from the age of 5. I remember how sometimes we would try walking backwards to keep the cold wind from burning and freezing our uncovered faces. The cold also made our bare legs so red and raw looking since girls were not allowed to wear slacks to school in those days. It was dresses and short ankle socks. I sometimes wonder if they ache today from freezing my legs for so many years always walking back and forth four trips a day in the cold blistering winter weather. Four miles a day for the first 8 years of school, then when we entered High School we walked even further every school day.
This morning I had to zip my jacket all the way to the top so I could tuck my chin in out of the cold while walking from the workout clinic back to my car in the further parking lot. I was wishing i could hide my whole face out of the cold wind and that i had my scarf with me. All the closer parking spaces were filled and I had to park up by the Hospital and walk to the building out behind the hospital.

Now, Just an update on the cell phone minutes. I finally found a place in my account on-line where It listed the words -support ticket- never seeing those words before, I didn`t know what they stood for. Since all my e-mails were not being answered, I decided to click on it and see what happened. Up came a place where I could write about any problem that I had. This actually was answered with a reply saying they would look into the problem and someone in the support group would get back to me. Then I received an e-mail giving me a phone number and asking me to call them asap so they could help with this matter. In no time they understood my problem and told me something was funny and they would definitely check it out further. He also told me within two minutes I would be receiving an e-mail with a corrected re-fill number. Took me only a few minutes to have the new minutes added to my phone. So, this dilemma was finally taken care of.

Then I went to work out at the Wellness Clinic and when I got back there was another e-mail from the lad I had e-mailed yesterday when no one was answering the other e-mails. I found this lads e-mail address still in my address book from when he helped me over a year ago. His e-mail told me he would have the matter straightened out for me by early this afternoon. I had to reply to his e-mail to let him know that another fellow had already helped me this morning. But, I thanked him for answering my e-mail and for offering to help. I received back another e-mail from this lad telling me it was no problem and for me to have a nice day. Now, I should have sent the problem to the " support ticket" place instead of to the " support at prepaid wireless .com" that their papers always say to use if there is a problem.
You can be sure I will know where to go for faster service in the future. I never knew what the support ticket meant.

I bought a bag of small marshmallows a few days ago and when I went to add some to a cup of cocoa I discovered the whole bag was all stuck together. I was trying to think up a way to still use them. So, I used a tablespoon to dig some out of the bag, melted them and stirred in some puffed wheat and dropped some into small chunks onto waxed paper. The stickiness is drying up as they sit. next time I might trying adding some chopped raspberry chips, or some cinnamon flavored chips, or maybe butterscotch, or peanut butter chips. Even the chocolate chips would work with the marshmallow. Maybe even add some finely chopped nuts. Or might just melt some of the raspberry chips and swirl it through the melted marshmallow. Bought all the different flavored chips to make Christmas Cookies, but never go to use most of them. Knew if I put my thinking cap on I could figure out something to use this bag of partly melted stuck together small marshmallows so I wouldn`t have to just throw them away. And the cereal is better for me than the Brownies I love so much. I seldom make brownies because I have trouble looking and not eating too many. They are one of my downfalls where sweets are concerned. Not a big sweet eater, but Brownies are hard to resist.

Still peeling more Great Stuff off my hands, but had enough removed so I didn`t have to hide my hands to hit the Hosp gym center. But, my hands do look shiny where the plastic coating still remains on my hands. Guess the only thing it can`t be removed from is the skin. Who ever would have thought one of those cans had that much pressure in it. The last can I used was easy- all I did was push the nail into the opening to shut off the flow. This time when it kept trying to push the nail back out, I quickly grabbed the can cover and added it over the nail and was pushing hard to keep the cover on- hoping it would thicken and stop the flow. I have never before seen a nail crack through the cover and fly across the room while the contents kept flowing and pouring up through the cracked cover. I have used this Great Stuff before and never before had this strong pressure in the can to work against. The nail I was using was the same nail I had removed from the last can I used. I am just glad there was no one standing in front of me when that nail broke through the plastic cover and went flying. I have seen the nails in a power nail gun go flying with this kind of force, but never before saw a nail crack a cover and fly out through the crack. If anyone had told me this was possible i probably wouldn`t have believed it. My nails look the worst. I hope it doesn`t weaken the nails before it wears off them. If only the nail polish remover had worked. I once read that wearing fake nails for any length of time could weaken the nails, so I wonder what having this plastic like cover will do to them. But I can smile again knowing in time this problem will also be solved.

I was feeling a little down the past few days, but now things are starting to look up again. :) In case someday one of my great grandchildren might be reading this, maybe I should explain that the symbol " :) " stands for a smile. I wonder what new symbols will be used by the time they are grown with kids of their own?

Monday, February 02, 2009


February 2,2009, What to do now?

Monday, February 2,2009

What to do now?

I finally was able to get back doing the full workouts again last Saturday. Sure felt good. Then yesterday I decided to check out the upstairs eaves to see if I could find the cause of the leaks I am suddenly getting- both dripping down between the screen and back door, and also dripping down over the bathroom window. I had the tin added to the edge of the back high roof hoping to stop the icicle build up, but this year the ice build up seems to be bad for lots of people. Well, I did locate a place where the insulation had unhooked and I could see sunlight through the tin. So, I got out the Great Stuff to fill up the crack in the eaves before I re-hook the insulation. I was too tired to got out to get some gloves from the shop. All went well till I was finished filling in the opening where I could see some light. Then I grabbed the nail that I had used before to close up the top of the can spout. Worked well before, so why not now? The pressure in the can was soo strong that it kept trying to push out the nail. So, I grabbed the can cover to put on the can to hold the nail. Was I ever surprised with what happened next. The nail suddenly cracked the center of the cover and flew right through the crack. If I hadn`t seen it, I do not think I would have believed. It was like watching a dart flying with no target waiting to stop it.
Anyone who has ever used the can of Great Stuff (sold by the Dow Chemical Co) knows that with that much pressure the filler will just keep flowing out so fast and get onto anything in it`s path. It never stops until the can is empty and this was a full can. Being upstairs there was no place I could think to cover the can with, so I hurried downstairs and carried it outside, grabbing a garbage bag on my way through the laundry room. I am sure you have already come to the conclusion that it had gotten all over my hands. That is always a no no, since there is no cleaner that will remove it from your skin. Still, I did try many many cleaners, even peanut butter, with no good result.
So, I went on line and looked up the Dow Chemical Co, hoping something might have been invented that I didn`t know about. Their report on Great Stuff said there was only two ways of removing it from the skin- one was mechanically ( ????) and the other way was to just let it wear off. I wonder what they mean by " mechanically"? All day yesterday and again today I have spent a lot of time trying to peel off the plastic like coating that covers my hands. Using a lot of hand moisturizing lotion hoping to soften it for pealing. It peels off in such very tiny specks at a time.

Now, I am hoping to get my hands cleaned before going back to workout again.
Now, if that was my only problem right now, it wouldn`t be as bad. But, I have a cell phone that I buy minutes for on line. Last week I bought more minutes and was approved. Problem came when I tried to add the new minutes to my phone account. I was told that the minutes I was trying to add was the same numbers that they had added to another customers cell phone back in November. I was told to contact the on-line where I bought the refill minutes. Well, here it is a week later and five e-mails written with not a single reply from them. I checked and -yes, they have already charged the amount for these fraud minutes onto my credit card. Hard to know what to do since it would coat me as much to have the payment stopped as it did for the minutes. My type cell phone only keeps the minutes still on my phone if I add on more minutes before the 3 month limit is up. That runs out in 2 more days, so if I do not add on more, I will also lose what I still have left from the last time. I keep this cell phone because it is lots cheaper as there is no monthly charges and I do not use it enough to warrant buying a more expensive one. Plus, for a year I also have the Star service in my new car which has a phone service with it. I wish they had a phone number I could call when no one answers their e-mails.

So, here I sit, trying to stay cheerful and not let things get to me. Of couse it will not hurt if I say a little prayer for an e-mail to arrive correcting the re-fill numbers so I can add them in time to save my present minutes and so the charge on my credit card is for proper minutes.

Keep smiling :):) . When my Dr asked me why I didn`t come in complaining a lot more, I told him that complaining only brings a person down further and makes it harder to handle problems- medical or otherwise. Guess he wishes I would complain more so he can tell more about my condition. My last back X-rays surprised him. but they didn`t tell me anything new that other Dr`s hadn`t already told me over the years. He will just have to depend on what he learns from tests and so forth. Besides, isn`t he supposed to be the one who tells me what is wrong. I got tired of telling my old Dr what to treat me for. This time I want it to be the Dr`s job.

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