Mrs. Burkholder’s

Mrs. Burkholder ran a kindergarten in her basement, a mile’s drive from our house, but only a couple of hundred yards if you took the back way through the fields. I was able to walk there by myself in the morning because my father, with his sickle bar, had cut me a path through the tall grass in Mr. Paoletti’s field. Whether it was fall or spring I cannot tell you now, but the path was straight, very long, and the grass on each side of me was as tall as I was.

One day at kindergarten, probably in an effort to impress Peggy Lindsey, I raised my hand to answer Mrs. Burkholder’s question, even though I did not know the answer. I hadn’t any idea what the word on the card she held up meant. And I will never forget my embarrassment when I could not tell her that the word was ”big”.

There was another large farmer’s field in back of Mrs. Burkholder’s and Mr. Paoletti’s. One day a plane landed or crash-landed back there. It was a big Navy plane with a propeller in front. We children were allowed to rush out of the basement to see. The grinning pilot in his leather helmet and flying straps was walking away from his Navy blue plane, sitting on its belly in the field, towards us. He asked Mrs. Burkholder if he could use the telephone.

One comment

  1. I went to Mrs. Burkholder’s kindergarten one year when Bill was still going. We’d go along the grass path together. There was an electric fence between Burkholders and Paolettis. Bill — ever the curious scientist — took long stems of grass and touched the wire, experimenting to see when he would get a shock. He got other kids to try also.

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