Friday, November 10, 2006


I grew up in a small town. I'm talking maybe 3500 people in the town and village, combined. Yes, village, isn't that quaint? Anyway, my town was in the middle of the Adirondack Mountains and the Hudson River ran through it. Makes sense, since the biggest industry and largest employer we had was the International Paper Co.

The Kindergarten I went to was in a small building that had 4, yes 4 classrooms. The downstairs classrooms were for Kindergarten, the upstairs classrooms were for 1st grade. We had a fenced in playground with swings (that I busted my nose on, in the winter), monkey bars, slides, etc.

My teacher was Mrs. Ziegler and for the most part, I liked her, except the time she made me sit UNDER, yes under her desk. I got in trouble for talking which was no surprise, I mean someone asks you something, you answer right?, yeah, well two of us were talking, but I got caught. So under the desk I went. Maybe she had "just had it" with me that day. I can say, my mom was not pleased, in fact, she was PISSED. She went to the school and asked Mrs. Ziegler how she would like it if my mom put her UNDER the desk to sit there.

I can understand getting in trouble, but the under the desk thing, yeah, a bit too much.

In Kindergarten we had nap time on mats, a play area indoors, a cool coat room and we had SPEEDY. Speedy was the Janitor for the WHOLE school, and he was the husband of Mrs. Webber, a first grade teacher. By the way, everyone wanted to have Mrs. Webber for first grade, EVERYONE. But that's another story. Back to Speedy.

Speedy wasn't his real name, of course. I never knew his real name, other than Mr. Webber, but we were all allowed to call him Speedy. And when Speedy came by, the whole classroom, said, in unison, "SPEEDY!!!!" and he'd wave and go about his work. Speedy always seemed so old to me, but then again I was 6 years old, everyone seemed old. I mean I'm 34 now and that, at one time was OLD. Can you imagine, I would think, what it will be like when I'm 30, let alone as old as Speedy.

Speedy was a little like the Tim Conway character on Carol Burnett and he was soooo nice. Always smiling and always pushing his broom.

I remember when Speedy died. Mrs. Ziegler told us and the teacher across the hall, Mrs. Johnson, told her class. Everyone was sad and of course Mrs. Webber, Speedy's wife was out that day too and that was my first memorable experience with death. I just remember being very sad, that's all and went back to school the following day and back to routine. I suppose it was necessary that the teachers kept us on routine for many reasons, and later when I became a teacher, I realized why routine in this vein is so important.

So, yep, that was Kindergarten. I liked Mrs. Ziegler but I LOVED SPEEDY.


Blogger ~Deb said...

It’s shocking when you hear of someone’s death at such a young age. It’s shocking at any age really. Speedy must have had a positive impact on you.

In any event- I wanted to say that I worked for that paper company that you speak of! Small world, huh? I did it when I was temping back and forth from IBM to The International Paper Co. I’m wondering if this is in the general surrounding area. Hmm.

Anyway, great story! Not sure why someone would opt to put their kindergarten student under a desk. I mean, hell, that’s for adults, isn’t it? If it worked for Miss Lewinsky, it certainly works for me!

12:28 PM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwww....the "Speedy" part of your story is so sweet!

The under the desk thing?


Glad your mom went up there and verbally kicked ass.

Needed to be done! :)

3:53 PM  
Blogger hotdrwife said...

I had a great Kindergarten teacher. But my biggest memory of that year was a kid in my class coming in with a cast on his leg. When asked what he did, he told us he fell out of a tree, and then crawled for DAYS to get to his house. And he also prided himself on eating bugs. Not much changed in the years after with him.

And then I went to Prom with him, of course. 'Cause that's how we ROLL in small towns.

Great story!!

5:22 PM  
Blogger dirk.mancuso said...

How sweet you all called him "Speedy."

I called the janitor at my school "Old Boy." And then my mother went and married him.

(Yeah, my story's not as sweet...)

7:52 AM  
Blogger PhreaqueOnaLeash said...

I wish my name was Mrs. Ziegler.

8:50 PM  

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