Thursday, June 20, 2013

Second Grade

How much do you remember from your year in the Second Grade?

I actually have a lot of memories from that year in my life--the 1948-49 school year. But even though I remember a lot of things that affected me that year, I realized today that I have some significant gaps in my general memory of my second grade year.
That's me circled.

I was looking through a packet of photos that my sister Terry sorted out from Mother's photo collection after her death. Terry was giving individual photos to whichever sister--or sister's family--seemed to feature most clearly in the picture. Among the pictures in my packet I found one of my second grade class. It is a very small photo so I scanned and enlarged it. As I studied this picture I came to the realization that I could identify only a small percentage of my classmates. Bear in mind that this was from when Gillette had only 2,000 people total and I went through 12 years of school with most of the same kids. Of course, some people moved away, some new people came, but most of us went through the school system together.

The fact is, I wouldn't have recognized myself in this picture if someone (Mother?) had not circled me!

The people I have identified so far I have recognized because their basic looks did not change much from second grade through high school. The teacher standing behind the class is Miss Trent. I remember her vividly--she was a great teacher, who always had the class in total control. She seemed much older to me when I was seven. I think the man must be our principal, but I don't remember his name.

Over the years I've read a lot of books where a character describes childhood friends, from their looks to their clothes. I realize that for the purposes of telling a story this was necessary. Unfortunately, my memory doesn't work that way!

And I hate to report it, but there is an inscription on the back of the photo. Evidently a parent had copies made for all the classmates. It says, "To Michelle from Mary Bess Kohes." I have absolutely no memory of Mary Bess. She must not have lived here for very long. Maybe a memory will eventually surface, but at the moment the name is not familiar to me!

But I'm really glad to have this picture.


  1. I have quite a few memories from second grade but I am certain I've also lost a lot of memories. I remember my friend, Leslie. She had longish fingernails that really impressed me. For many years I wished my name were Leslie, the coolest name ever! No, wait, there was a boy named Thor THAT is a cool name!

  2. I was struck by the name Thor Isentrigger (interesting names appeal to me), so I just ran a search on it. Didn't find it, but did find a former noise rock musician from Minnesota, born in 1958, by the name of Thor Eisentrager. Where were you for second grade? I'm thinking Scottsbluff.