Friday, July 25, 2008

Day In And Day Out

In 1952 when I was 5 years old and not yet ready for public school my mother thought it was important that I learn to read and write. She always was buying me toys that I could play with by myself. “I don’t want you to be dependent on anyone to play with” She would tell me this all the time, so board games were out of the question and as as long as it was “creative and educational” as she liked to say, she would buy it for me. There were paint sets, modeling clay, puppet making kits, big white sketchpads and the best crayons. Rarely would she buy me coloring books. There were Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse movie projectors, my own little record player with records that came with cut out figures for me to put together as I listened to the records. There was the wonderful View Master set, which I still have, toy supermarkets, and play schools, toy cameras and sun picture kits, and there were books lots of books. So in 1952 when I was 5 years old a friend of my mother’s suggested that she send away for a book titled “Day In And Day Out The Alice And Jerry Books which would help me with my writing and reading. My mother did, and I soon was learning how to read and write. My teacher was our small black and white Philco TV, we were the first family in our building to have one, and during the afternoons I would watch the TV. and fill the my Alice and Jerry book with words that I saw flash across the small screen. These words were product names and on the table of contents pages I wrote the names of soap suds like Duz and Lux along with my name and some odd words like Pugo (was that some kind of a product). And I drew. I filled the blank end sheets and pastedowns with drawings. So in the fall of 1952 it was time for my mother to enroll me in kindergarten at P.S. 131 and I was excited of course because I would be able to play with all those wonderful bright and shiny toys all day. But for some reason, maybe it was the pre-school tests that I had to take or something else, but the people in charge decided that I would go directly into the first grade and skip kindergarten. I don’t recall if I was happy or not about this, but this is what happened.


Blogger Alex Gildzen said...

I still have my Viewmaster as well. some wonderful images.

6:38 AM  

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