<< ibnelson.com

001 First Memories
002 Hampton Road
003 Cedar Wood
004 A Room Of My Own
005 School Days
006 My Friend Wayne
007 A Great Flood
008 My Mother Makes Biscuits
009 To Disneyland
010 We Go To Mexico
011 The Cabin In The Woods
012 We Go To Yosemite
013 Grandma Nelson
014 Nelson Nursery Early Years

I.B. Nelson according to himself

School Days

I.B. Nelson kindergarten class, Mrs Rickman 1954
©I.B. Nelson

Colonial Acres

Our school, Colonial Acres, was half a mile away at the far west end of Hampton road, across the street on Meekland Avenue. We usually walked to and from school. In the Fall, we scuffed through piles of walnut and chestnut leaves, kicked the fallen oranges from the old Meek Estate orange trees which lined one small part of Hampton Road and peeked down into the creek where it bordered the street. When the weather had turned cold after the fall rains, the puddles that lay in the path alongside the street became glazed with thin sheets of ice which we would pick up on our way to school in the morning, pretending they were pieces of glass.

A Girlfriend

My first girlfriend lived in a house on Meekland, just where we waited for the crossing guard at the signal. Her name was Frances Steele; I suffered my first broken heart when she moved away to San Jose, never to be seen again, when I was a tender 7 years old.

A Little Pest

Being a typical little brother, when my older sister walked home with a boy one day, I followed her all the way home taunting that 'Phyllis has a Boyfriend! Phyllis has a Boyfriend!'. Of course, my sister complained tearfully to our mother that I had been a little pest and ruined her whole life. I pleaded that it was only a little fun, but our mother gave me a good sound spanking for having been rude and unkind. The discipline only increased my desire to find ways to annoy my sister

Acts of War

While the noble aim of the school was to see to our education, we viewed as more important the battles which were fought on the playground at lunch and recess. Sides were chosen and great wars fought. The boys were the soldiers and the girls played the role of nurses and doctors for the wounded. I myself was helped off the field of battle many times with grievous and sometimes fatal wounds, to be nursed back to heath in the 'hospital', in order to return to the scene of carnage once again. Our teachers and parents would have been horrified to the extent of which we were killing each other with such great gusto.

I git Killed

There was a bully of whom I was much afraid and I remember distinctly being killed by him in dreams while asleep in my bed. I think the usual means of murder was stabbing, but in my waking life he never did hurt me; only in my all-too-vivid dreams.

Rabbits and Shoelaces

My teacher in my Kindergarten year at Colonial Acres was Mrs. Rickman. We had a chart that recorded the progress of the class at learning to tie our shoe laces: I was one of the last to figure laces out, but I never forgot the method Mrs. Rickman used. She would pull up one lace into a tall loop and say 'This is the tree', then hold the other lace and loop it around the base of the 'tree', saying, 'and here is the rabbit coming OUT of his hole and running around the tree', as she quickly formed a second loop with the 'rabbit' lace and pulled it through the 'rabbit hole', forming a prettily tied lace. I used the same little story and method to teach my own children to tie THEIR shoe laces.

Here comes Jupiter

We messily fingered painted, listened as Mrs. Rickman read stories, and took naps on the floor on our little blankies. We each had our own storage locker with a wooden door and the alphabet in block letters formed a long green-and-white border around the wall. There was a song we sang accompanied by exercise movements; 'Bend and stretch', as we touched our toes and then reached up high as we could with both hands, trying to 'reach for the stars', 'here comes Jupiter', we swayed to the left with our arms still extended, 'there goes Mars', we swayed to the right with our arms still extended like so many little willow trees swaying in a breeze.

Mrs. Rickman comes calling

We formed a real attachment to Mrs. Rickman and she to us. Many years later she came to our nursery, where it had relocated to Union City, paying a visit to see how her 'little Billy' had gotten along. It had been some 26 years since I had been in her class at Colonial Acres and her visit made me feel really special. It was that close relationship she formed with her students that made her such an outstanding teacher.