"Hurry up, Kent, you don't want to be late for your first day of school," mom called as I was eating
my blueberry muffin. I picked up my muffin and bag and headed toward her voice in the hall. I sure didn't
want to miss any of my first day at "Hair-gee House," or Heritage House, as the adults called it.
"Hair-gee House" was a former residence that was converted into a preschool and Kindergarten for
3, 4,and 5 year olds. The building, which seemed immense to me at the time, was white with a large porch.
The side play yard was huge with play equipment of all types and great oak trees that produced delightful
acorns. The acorns could be used for throwing, collecting, or cracking open. There were jungle gyms,
swing sets, seesaws, and other toys, once painted in bright reds, blues, and yellows. I cherish the memories
that I still reflect upon now and again.
I remember being late for school a lot, probably because I was always in my own world and
difficult for my mother to keep up with. She'd drop me of at the front door, and I'd run up to the front, still
holding half a muffin. Miss Virginia, a stately older lady with a deep, frightening voice would open the
front door for me. All Southern children address women, without a care to the lady's marital status or
feminist views, "Miss." "Well, hello Kent!," she'd bellow, which only sent me racing for my class in the
back of the school as fast as my little legs would carry me.
As I entered the door to a room full of 15 hyperactive 3 year olds, the chemical smell of
mimeographed paper filled the room. I still love the scent...