Archive for October 20th, 2008
Yesterday, I read the Plain Dealer article about Smith’s Dairy going “green” and remembered a field trip from my elementary school years. Today, the same article shows up in the day’s roundup over on Crain’s so I took it as a sign to blog about that field trip.
Every school had a few-the “special” kids. In the 1950′s, there were no special education classes that separated anyone from the “mainstream”. We were just all in it together. Field trips were always a challenge for our teachers with ALL the kids because we were a “rowdy” bunch. The “buddy system” back then was a “must”.
For purposes of this story, “Jimmy” had not one buddy but two buddies. Basically because two of the boys had a disagreement on whose turn it was to team up with Jimmy. By now, you know the lead character’s name in this story is not really Jimmy, but the name is inconsequential, and, it is better to protect the “innocent”.
At our elementary school, there was a traditional sequence of field trips. Kindergarten was a walk through the picturesque town of Shreve and our first trip to the Town Library which was located in the Town Hall topped off with a picnic on school grounds. First grade was a trip to the train depot, boarding a passenger train for our trip to picturesque Wooster followed by a picnic and afternoon of play at Wooster Park.
Second grade was one of the FAVORITES handed down from class to class-Smith’s Dairy in ORRVILLE followed by a picnic and an afternoon of play at Orrville Park. Needless to say at seven years-old as fascinating as watching bottles being washed, placed on a conveyer belt system and filled with milk, capped, and then, boxed would be– the making of the ice cream was the piece d’ resistance. Each of us would be receiving an individual cup of ice cream to be consumed at the park with our brown bag lunches. Before we received this treat, we were told that we would need to find our “buddies” and walk through the HUGE walk in freezer where the ice cream was stored for distribution of our ice cream treats
To this day, I believe that I remember How VERY, VERY cold that walk-in freezer was. No one tarried in that place! Later, as we sat at the picnic tables eating our lunches and ice cream. Someone noticed that “Jimmy” was missing. Everyone immediately looked at the two boys that were assigned to be his buddies. Both of them thought the other one was responsible for being his buddy, and therefore, NO ONE had been his buddy. Obviously, a classic example of miscommunication between teacher and student.
The last time anyone remembered seeing him was right before we walked into that big freezer. Miss Plantain (another alias) screamed and went to wake up the bus driver for the long drive back to the dairy. Twenty minutes later, they returned with a nearly frozen Jimmy in tow. He had been found sitting on a tub of ice cream patiently waiting for rescue by one of the Smith Dairy truck drivers.
We all had to sit through a lecture on responsibility and how when given a task we should follow through. To this day, I do not how our teachers thought we shouldered more responsibility than they did for Jimmy sitting on a block of frozen ice cream waiting for rescue.