Friday, December 07, 2007

Those Were The Days

Amy, over at Mish Mash, wrote about her hard ass and her first grade experience, so I thought I would tell you about my seventh grade endeavor to be like my older brothers. Back in the 50's Atlanta there were no kindergartens or middle schools. You started the first grade and went through the seventh grade in elementary school. Then you went to high school, starting in the eighth grade (as a sub-freshman.)

My seventh grade teacher, Mrs. Stringfellow, pulled hair if you misbehaved. One day she came down the isle and grabbed me by the hair and shook my head telling me to stop talking in class. That afternoon, when I got home, one of my older brothers (10 and 15 years older) rubbed my head and said, “How’d it go today, squirt?”

I must have flinched, because he asked me what was wrong. I told him Mrs. Stringfellow had pulled my hair. He said something like; you probably deserved it, too. But when I walked out of the room I heard him tell my other brother, “If the bitch did that to me I would knock her teeth out.” That was good enough for me. If my brothers thought that was the thing to do, then it had to be the right thing. I mean, they were older and wiser.

The next day, down the row she came, grabbed a handful of hair and started shaking my head like a dog with an old shoe (guess I really got on her nerves sometimes.) So, I gave her an uppercut that caused her to bit her tongue. My feet didn’t touch the floor until I was in the Principle’s office. Then I was suspended for three days and kick out of school like an old drunk being thrown out of the saloon in a western movie (okay that was an exaggeration.) But I was suspended and my mom beat my butt, my dad beat my butt and my brother beat my butt for telling mom it was his fault. I walked funny for those three days.

But when I went back to school I had a “flat-top” haircut - complete with Butch Hair Wax. Let the bitch try and grab me by the hair now. So she used my ears. That's why, if you look at my head from behind, it looks like a car with the doors open.

Those were the days. I wonder what would happen to Mrs. Stringfellow if she pulled hair today. Maybe a coffeypot wanna-be would pop a cap in her ass. Or the PTA would burn her at the stake. Or the ACLU would sue her for denying the wanna-be their Constitutional Rights of Free Speech. But I do know that my mom and dad would still have beat my butt. That was their favorite pastime.

23 comments:

clew said...

LOL ....... You're a hell of a storyteller, friend! I *love* the saloon analogy!

One of my EARLIEST lessons in life was to NEVER trust an older brother's advice.

Cooper Green said...

With any luck she's playing Mrs. Santa at a Senior's home, and all the catheter babes are leaving puddles in her whatnot. That would be great, but unfortunately she's probably dead by now. Bummer.

Teri said...

Sorry but that was freaking hysterical!

back in those days the kids were always wrong and the whole neighborhood could wup your ass and your parents would be okay with it.

Electronic Goose said...

Too funny.

e.Craig said...

I 'spect I was lucky. We had some strict teachers but never any physical abuse.
But it must have been a great feeling to deliver that uppercut to Mrs. Stringfellow. Even if the feeling lasted only a couple seconds. ;-)

coffeypot said...

Clew, I had to learn the hard way, too. I never could please them, though.

Cooper, I have a feeling she is gone to that great chalkboard in the sky, too. Or is teaching torture in hell.

Teri, I have to admit, I have had many a mother’s hands on my butt. I wasn’t really bad, but I had my moments.

Electronic goose, I’m glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping by.

e.craig, I would like to say it did, but as soon as I felt fist meet skin I knew I had fucked up royally and I was scared to death. I’m just glad they didn’t take me out back and shoot me.

Biddie said...

LOL. Those were the days, alright.
We had a teacher in our school that would pull us by our ears, too. He would literally lift you off of your feet.
A couple of years ago, this smae teacher was a sub in my oldest daughters class. He was lamenting the fact that he was no longr allowed to hit/grab/pull/thrash the kids.
I NEVER listen to my older brother!

Olly said...

Ah...the days when the strap (or the cane in England) was still used. Now it's the behaviour support room and everyone is on ritalin.

I had this french teacher who used to totally LOSE it and throw chalk brushes, usually missing her target. Once she slammed a heavy text book on the glass top of an overhead projector. Smashed it to bits, then yelled "look what you made me do!". No one could contain their laughter. I'm amazed she didn't have a stroke.

katy said...

not really laughing at your misfortunes but its just the way you tell us, you are so funny!

RWA said...

"Those were the days. I wonder what would happen to Mrs. Stringfellow if she pulled hair today. Maybe a coffeypot wanna-be would pop a cap in her ass. Or the PTA would burn her at the stake. Or the ACLU would sue her for denying the wanna-be their Constitutional Rights of Free Speech. But I do know that my mom and dad would still have beat my butt. That was their favorite pastime."

That is absolutely HILARIOUS.

And, in most aspects, unfortunately true.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

YAY! She deserved it! Hit her again for me!

Of course these days, you'd prolly go to a juvenile detention home.

Those were the days.

Here's one for you if you haven't seen it yet:

To make your day, here is a good chuckle!!!


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Alix said...

I popped over from Her indoors because I saw your comment and thought your blog name was cool!
So glad I did as that was a very funny story - now adays she'd definitely be burnt at the stake!

kittenpower said...

yikes!
you were a brave kid!
good story. i can't believe beating kids in school was acceptable! yes, you're right though, now we have ritalin instead. hopefully, we'll find a happy medium someday!

Heidi the Hick said...

"like an old drunk being thrown out of the saloon in a western movie"

Well said!

Teachers were allowed to be stupidly cruel. But, not kids get away with anything. Where's the balance???

Amy said...

Wow. I got off pretty easy!

Great story!

GrizzBabe said...

Mrs. Stringfellow sounds like a name a hair pulling teacher would have! We had to stand up and recite Bible verses until the cows came home. To this day, I hate memorizing Bible verses.

gawilli said...

My seventh grade Social Studies teacher left welts on one of my friends behind that bruised. He was a tyrant. If he called on you in class and you didn't know the answer, he put you in the row far to the right known as "Deadwood". You weren't allowed to speak there. The only way you could get out was if he asked you a question and you knew the answer. Neither of these practices would be acceptable today. Neither the bruised butt or the bruised psyche.

Great story, Coffeypot.

Gawilli

BottleBlonde said...

You were in first grade in the 50s?! And you're still alive?! ;-)

But really, the bit about the ACLU had me roaring ... because that's EXACTLY what would happen today.

coffeypot said...

biddie, I think some of the teachers from back in the day got off on some of the brutality.

olly, maybe she needed an uppercut. I bet she would have stroked out if that happened.

katy, yes you are laughing at me and my misfortune. But that’s okay! I do it, too.

rwa, it is true, but now days I would have been put on drugs or in special ed classes - or both.

mst, that was great. I’ve emailed it to my email clan, and I did have my hand on the mouse. Dammit!

alix, thanks for stopping by. You came over from good company.

Kittenpower, the beating of students had ended by the time I started school. At least it had in Atlanta. But the hair and ear pulling was quiet common. I wasn’t brave either. I just reacted instead of thinking. I still do that a lot.

Heidi, you are right. Teachers can get away with most anything because the kids are still looking up to adults as the authority figure. That is why teaching is so important. Teachers are dealing with kids physique and can actually do damage in their development.

amy, I don’t think any of us ever got off easy in school.

Gawilli, I went to school with plenty of welts and bruses, but, other than the damage to my selfesteme, I got off with just hair and ear pulling. But I was told many a time that I was lazy. When I was told that I would just roll over and go back to sleep – ‘till I got my hair pulled.

bottleblond, yep! I stated grammar (elementary) school in September, 1950. And, yes, parts of me are still alive.

katy said...

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Special K said...

Mrs. Stringfellow was a tough old bitch wasn't she?

Sounds like my typing teacher: retired navy officer. She would throw erasers at us and only had two volumes: Silent and Screaming.

Pamela said...

I think kids should be taught to behave... BUT, some of those old school teachers were just sadistic.

Christine said...

One of the things I am most proud of is that my children are too afraid to tell me anything they were accused of at school. Why risk two ass whippings for one offense?
I don't mean to say the teacher is always right but if they get a beatin' needlessly, it makes up for the time I didn't catch them for something else they did.

It all evens out in the end.