Saturday, October 7, 2017



Oakland Mills Fall Festival, 11 am - 4 pm
OPUS 1 Merriweather , 4 - 11 pm


Behind the Scenes at the Chrysalis: a tour with the designers, 1 pm
Out of the Darkness Community Walk, 1 - 3pm


Going a bit far afield this morning. This photo popped up in a Facebook group I belong to about my old elementary school in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The beautiful old school was torn down in the mid-seventies to be replaced with a one-level, open classroom space. 

This photo is from a soft cover “yearbook” that the photo company sold every year. I have long ago parted with all of mine. Today when I looked at it something leapt out at me that I had never seen before. Do you see?

The list at the bottom tells me her name is Tessie Martin. I have absolutely no recollection of her. Was she really in our class? Was she there for the whole year? I have plenty of memories of most of the other children in this picture. The fact that I don’t have any of Tessie means that I didn’t play with her in the playground, we never played st each other’s houses, she wasn’t in my reading group. In those days it was the tradition a girl would invite all the girls in the class to her birthday party. Did we invite her? I don’t think my mother would have omitted her. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t there.

One African-American child in a sea of white faces and I have no memory of her. I certainly remember that my teacher was African-American because, for most of us, that was our first experience having a teacher that was not white. But what kind of memories does Tessie have? Was she largely ignored and excluded by her peers? Did she have friends in other classes? Did she have friends in our class but I just never noticed because she wasn’t in my little geeky, bookish group?

I wonder if she was lonely.

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