Dear Yakima School District:
Your best effort ever, according to my childhood, was the Cheese Zombie. My favorite childhood hot lunch was paired with a reconstituted, milky tomato soup. Thank you, Mom, for making sure that I had a hot lunch ticket on Cheese Zombie days.
Lunch lady. Ordinary. Plump. Hair net meticulously crowned. Drawn eyebrows. Large chest in a below-the-knee cafeteria dress. Varicose veins above sensible shoes. Apron. She is white, of course. 99.5% of the people at my elementary were white. I was barely aware that people came in an amazing array of flavors. White kids. White lunch ladies. White bread.
The Cheese Zombie was steeped in delicious carby, fatty mystery. That singular hybrid of easy starch and fat required less chewing than food ought. Dip that Zombie into sweet, hot tomato soup. For a few moments your childhood troubles melted away.
Worry over lessons. Worry over playground politics. Worry over what you might encounter on the walk home. Worry over what would be at home once you got there. All of it melted away in the gooey, warm, buttery sensation of a Cheese Zombie and tomato soup.
No wonder I have food issues and a love affair with Cheese Zombies. 🙂
Wall and floor consumed in madness.
Window breaks daylight over steep heaps of God knows what.
Child has just enough room to breathe.
Breathe child, for you can do little else.
A knock on the door strikes terror.
Climb and see.
Potluck ladies balance casserole dishes.
They angle for a peek inside.
Door slightly ajar, child replies.
No, we are not moving.
No, you cannot come in.
Child knows hospitality does not live there.
There is barely enough room for child.
What could potluck ladies bring to the mix, hmmm?
It takes practice to wear the blanket of shame.
It is heavy.
Miss Almira Gulch terrified this child when she came screaming down the Kansas landscape on her bicycle, little Toto trapped in her basket. The Wizard of Oz delivered us a wonderful villain.Actress Margaret Hamilton barged onto the flat, sepia farm with such ferocity that she seemed to suck the very air out of the place.
While Auntie Em would take the brunt of Gulch’s vitriol, it was Uncle Henry who punctuated her visit when he shut the gate, hitting Gulch on the backside as she went through.
If there was an Oscar for best performance by a gate…surely Henry and Em’s gate would have taken the prize that year!
A search re Hamilton this morning revealed she had been a kindergarten teacher. Imagine what lively books she brought to life for her little students!
Wikipedia quotes Hamilton speaking about her personal appearances before children:
“Almost always they want me to laugh like the Witch. And sometimes when I go to schools, if we’re in an auditorium, I’ll do it. And there’s always a funny reaction, like ‘Ye gods, they wish they hadn’t asked.’ They’re scared. They’re really scared for a second. Even adolescents. I guess for a minute they get the feeling they got when they watched the picture. They like to hear it but they ‘don’t’ like to hear it. And then they go, ‘Ohhhhhhhhhh…!’ The picture made a terrible impression of some kind on them, sometimes a ghastly impression, but most of them got over it, I guess…because when I talk like the Witch, and when I laugh, there is a hesitation and then they clap. They’re clapping at hearing the sound again.”
Photo posted by Insomnia Cured Here on Flikr.
Via Daily Prompt: gate
Tetherball was a lifesaver in my childhood. It filled lonely spots on the playground with a zen-like calmness when played alone.
Sometimes boys made it a ‘cage-fight-to-the death’ during recesses at Hoover Elementary.
I was one of the tougher girl players, but not the best. The physics of tetherball were right up my alley. I didn’t need to be a fast runner, but strength and timing were still key.
Funny how a thin pole, a string and a dangling object can keep a cat endlessly entertained.
How much more so an independent little girl!
Via Daily Prompt: Tether
Photo 9/365 by Alexis Nyal