Sunday, July 14, 2013

This is Home, Part 19 - The times improve, Miss Evelyn plays detective

This is part 19 of my mother's book about her life, written in 2004.

The times improve

President Roosevelt had reopened the banks soon after he took office and instigated a number of different work programs to put people back to work. When it was time for one of his fireside chats, we were all in front of the radio listening. There were no more soup lines. The tramps stopped coming by, and business executives were no longer selling apples on street corners.

Miss Evelyn plays detective

Miss Hazel only taught during my first year at school. We managed to get through three more years of school in spite of the fact that we had Miss Evelyn as the teacher. She was absolutely unbelievable. I kept telling Uncle Doc that I wanted him to get rid of her. He just said, "I have to hire whoever has the best qualifications."

Every winter Jean and I managed to come down with bad colds, heavy croupy coughs, sore throats and sometimes lung congestion. Mom used to use something similar to Vicks on our throats and, if need be, chests. Then she tore a flannel cloth into a square, held it around the lamp chimney to heat it, and put it on us. The heat felt really good.

We even managed to get flu sometimes. Then the doctor came.

One time when we got back to school, Miss Evelyn interrogated us separately in the cloak room. I think Mom had sent a note. She wanted to know why when one got sick the other one did. She wanted to know why we had missed school. She wanted to know where the one she was talking to felt sick and where the other one felt sick. She asked what the family said about it. She also wanted to know if a doctor had been called. Those are just some of the questions. She thought of more.

We went home after school and told Mom, Daddy and Uncle Doc.

Next day, Mom and Uncle Doc went to school with us. Mom was really mad and Uncle Doc wasn't too happy. Mom told her that she (Mom) didn't understand what she had been trying to do and that when she was told that the children had been ill, she should accept that and not question them about where they had felt bad and who in the family had said what. Mom said that she had never heard of such a thing.

Uncle Doc told her that she had been hired to teach and that was what he expected her to do. He sounded quite calm and firm. He also said questioning any of the students in the cloak room was not part of her job.

I really couldn't stand that teacher. I used to have dreams that I was flying just out of her reach and she couldn't catch me. I used to swoop down toward her in the dreams and fly back up when she grabbed for me.

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