My brother Don and I visited our country school, Chain O Lake, west of Wild Rose, on Saturday. The woman who had made the old school her home had a moving sale, an excuse for us to stop by and look around. On the outside the school building was much as we remembered it. And some of the inside was familiar, too. The entryway was the same. The place where we left our muddy boots, and stored our lard pail lunch buckets on shelves. It seemed a little smaller. But I was a little smaller then, too.
We could see where the woodstove had stood, the source of the heat for the drafty building. I saw the back corner where our meager school library took up a few book shelves. And in the opposite corner a Red Wing water cooler once stood that provided us drinking water. We had to carry water from the outside pump.
Back outside we examined our softball diamond. I spotted what had been third base, a white oak tree in my memory, a scraggly, skinny, white oak. Now, 63 years later, it is a magnificent stately tree.
It was here under the tutelage of a string of teachers, starting with Teresa Piechowski my first grade teacher and ending with Faith Jenks, my eighth grade teacher that I learned how to read and write, and do my numbers. Eight years in that building, no electricity the first years, never indoor plumbing, no central heating, one teacher for eight grades where I and many other kids gained a solid foundation for future learning.
Today, the old school building stands on the corner of County Highway A and 15th Road. A building filled with stories and memories.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: You are never too old to learn. And remember, what you learn will forever be yours to keep.
UPCOMING WRITING WORKSHOPS:
Writing From Your Life. The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI. August 2-8.
Writing From Your Life. Sheboygan Public Library, August 23, P.M.
Writing From Your Life. The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI. October 17. A.M. & P.M.
June 30, 7:00 P.M. Prairie du Sac Library. Old Farm.
July 16, 2:00 P.M. Wisconsin Historical Society Museum, Casper Jaggi, Master Cheese Maker.
July 19-24. School of the Arts, Rhinelander.
August 2-8. The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI.
August 15. Creekside Books, Cedarburg. 12-3:00. Old Farm.
August 16. Railroad Days, Stonefield Village, Cassville.
August 20. Sheboygan Public Library. Writing Workshop, P.M.s