Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fifty Years Later

Thanks to Facebook, I have recently been in contact with Wendy, a woman who was in my fifth grade class at Belmont Boulevard School way back in the 1961-62 school year. We had not seen nor heard from one another since the end of sixth grade, when, due to the way the district was set up, I (and a very few classmates) moved on to Elmont Memorial while the rest of the class went on to Alva T. Stanforth JHS and then Sewanhaka HS.

Among the photos on Wendy's page is the one above, with many members of the class and our teacher, Miss Carroll. (That's yours truly second from the left in the top row, wearing the very fashionable bolo tie.) Fifty years after it was taken, it's not easy to put names to the faces, though I find I remember one or two more each time I look at the photo.

I was only in Belmont Boulevard for fifth and sixth grade.My kindegarten through fourth grade years were spent in Elmont Road School, the smallest building in the district, but also the closest to my home. As a result, I was a "newcomer" in fifth grade, among students who had already been together for half a decade and in spite of this (or, perhaps, because of it), I was elected president of our class.

Memories are fuzzy now, but at one point during the year, some of my classmates wanted to "impeach" me. I remember Miss Carroll sending me out of the room on an errand so that she could discuss this with the rest of the class. She sent me to another classroom with a note, where the teacher kept me waiting for about fifteen minutes and then handed me a stapler to bring back to Miss Carroll. I certainly hope neither teacher thought I was fooled about why I was being sent out of the classroom, especially after Miss Carroll took the stapler I'd brought back and put it on her desk right next to her own stapler. In any case, after the class meeting that took place in my absence, there was no more talk about my being "removed from office."

I have no idea where any of the other members of the class are, what they've done in the ensuing half-century, or if our lives have intersected along the way. But Facebook is an amazing thing, so who knows when the next classmate will turn up?


  1. Is that Clara Carlson School? Did they rename it after you left? I never heard it called Belmont Boulevard School before. (Me, I went to Gotham Avenue School... and was in first grade when the Batman TV show debuted. There was a certain feeling of kinship, going to Gotham when Batmania was big.)

  2. It was renamed for Clara H. Carlson when I was in sixth grade. She was the principal at Elmont Road School when I was there and, I believe, retired in 1962.