Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Five

I've been reading Anne Lamott's Bird By Bird, a memoir on the writer's life. One exercise she suggested was writing about your childhood experiences, particularly those relating to school lunch. So here goes.
Five things I remember from School Lunch:
1. Hageman Elementary School, Salina, Kansas. Jerry Short threw his meatloaf up against the wall just to see what would happen. It bounced, tumbled under the table, and lay there in a quivering mass. (Okay, side note here: I just searched for Jerry Short on line. The bane of my elementary school existance has become a respected firefighter in my hometown of Salina, Kansas! Who would've thought?)
2. There was a table for kids who were naughty in the lunch room. They had to sit up front by the lunch ladies.
3. Our lunchroom monitor once blew her whistle behind Doug Holsligh's head and it startled him so bad, milk shot out of his nose.
4. Faith Christian School, Salina, Kansas. Brown Bag Central. One day, Robbie Ronning went to shell his hard boiled egg only to find out it wasn't hard boiled. As you can tell, this made such an impression on his classmates, whenever we think of lunch at Faith, someone will mention Robbie's Egg Disaster.
5. Not to pick on Robbie, but he also once had his apple escape his lunch bag and roll across the lunchroom and into the church kitchen. (School met at the church.)
When you think of school lunch, what comes to mind?


  1. What fun five! What do I think of? St. Patrick's School first grade, hot lunch line. Grilled cheese day. The entire line came to a grinding halt as Mrs. Burns, the head dietician and my neighbor, put a peanut butter sandwich on my plate. I don't do cheese and there was hell to pay if one didn't finish every single bite on one's plate. Had to remember all those starving pagan babies. Guess it wasn't hard for her to miss The Little Princess. In 8 yrs, at the school, grilled cheese never passed through my lips. Oh dear, I blogged on your blog. LOL

  2. LOL! I know a Jerry Short! Who knew there was more than one? All I remember is that my dad faithfully packed my lunch every single day, and all I really wanted to do was buy school lunch. But as I think on it now, I really appreciate the love he put into it!

  3. I may have to try that writing exercise. My first thought was what could be interesting from elementary lunch? Looks like you've got some potential for funny scenes there.

  4. I read that too and couldn't come up with much. Remember the hamburger patties at every school I ever attended were like thin, flat circles of something resembling meat. Also remember the one true revelation of my schooling life---one did not HAVE to eat ketchup on hamburgers and mustard on hot dogs. I hated ketchup but some kid told me you could only eat mustard, which I loved, on hot dogs. What daring to squirt that little packet of mustard on my meat circle and enjoy a hamburger for a change. Things like that can change your whole life.

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  6. Loma Heights Elementary--square pizza, tacos warmed under heat lamps so long even the cheese was crisp, fried fish Fridays during Lent, and the best peanut-butter cookies I've ever had--especially if you took a swig of milk with the bite of cookie still in your mouth.

    Don't really remember much about events--I was very much a kid who kept to myself and didn't get involved in stuff going on around me.

  7. Wow, what an exercise. I've got Bird by Bird on my shelf but haven't read it. GUess I'd better give it a try.

    All I remember about my lunch room is fear:

    Fear of dropping my tray and having everyone turn and stare.
    Fear of slipping down on the greasy linoleum.
    Fear of not finding a place to sit.
    Fear of doing something stupid and getting laughed at.
    Fear of not having enough money to pay for my lunch.

    Yeah, I was a scaredy cat--still am.
    Pitiful huh?

  8. Anonymous3:59 PM

    Wow, I'm feeling a little old! I went home to eat lunch during my elementary years. But I do remember buying milk in glass bottles for snack and we used to collect the tops. They had a picture of a president and we would be lucky if we could collect the whole set.


  9. Jo-Ann! So good to hear from you again. Bet those milk bottle tops would be a cool collection to have now.

  10. My small town Texas school had the best homemade rolls this side of the moon. After school, on the way to the bus, we walked past the lunchroom, and the lunch ladies put the leftover rolls on a pan so that the bus kids could grab a snack for the long ride home (30 minutes). I can still smell those yeasty rolls and remember the light, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Very fun Friday Five, Erica.