Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mrs. Rogers 6th Grade Class

One of my most favorite things about elementary school was when the teacher would read aloud to us.  There was something so soothing about the teacher's voice.  My favorite teacher was Mrs. Rogers, my 6th grade teacher.  She selected the most wonderful books.  They were invariably humorous, touching and topical to us crazy 6th graders.  (One example:  How to Eat Fried Worms!)

My absolute favorite book (and sequel) was, "Me and Caleb."  (and the sequel was, "Me and Caleb Again)  The books were written by a man from Missouri, which is where I lived at the time.   He wrote about two brothers in Missouri.  (I had two brothers in Missouri)  The boys had a dog.  (I had a dog)  The book was stories about their adventures in their smalltown, Christmases, experiences with girls, and Halloween and fire hydrants. 

Each day I would listen to the shenanigans that Bud and Caleb would get themselves into.  Most of the stories were funny.   The illustrations were minimal, but they really hit home.  I remember the part where Bud was hunting with an old friend's dog.  The dog ends up saving him from a rattler, but gets bit.  Bud watches the dog die, knowing there's nothing he can do to save him.  I am sure that every kid in our class cried that day.


Fast forward a bunch of years.  I had been looking for these books everywhere.  I wanted to have them on hand, since they brought me so much happiness as a child.  I wanted to share them with Steven and with my kids.  (even if they were older than I was when I read them)  I looked everywhere for these books.  I could find them on line, but they were super expensive. 

I came home one day to a package.  Steven had found some reprints for me. I keep them on my nightstand and look at them every single day.  These books mean more to me than I can express.   They remind me of a time when 25 boys and girls sat raptly listening to tales of two young boys.  No internet.  No cable TV.  They take me back to my youth and Mrs. Rogers.

They show me that Steven gets me and what is important to me.    Me and Caleb (and Bud) are together again.


Darla said...

Judi, it is so ironic that you should write about this topic! Jeff and I were just talking about our elementary school days, and I mentioned that one of my favorite memories was being read to by my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Thompson.

Would 6th graders now think this was a neat way to pass some time in class? Probably not; and would the teachers now take the time to read to the students...I surely hope so. :)

Dusti said...

My mom read to me and my brother every Sunday - Old Yellar/Where the Red Fern Grows. I loved it (she would also read some of the Bible to us too since it was Sunday). I loved it. Steven is the cat's meow for getting you those books.

angie128 said...


KarenSue said...

The Box Car Children was my favorite book. Thanks for the memory! I love this story.
Enjoy your weekday!

Mary said...

Ju, this post made me get all teary eyed. It's the little things, isn't it? I am so happy that Griffin likes to be read to already, I just hope he continues to enjoy it so we can have a tradition not unlike Dusti's Sunday family time. Love that Dusti! And, for the record, my 6th grade teacher was crazy awful but Ms. Neighbors, my 7th grade teacher, used to read to us regularly and I remember enjoying it immensely.

mel said...

Steven is a keeper. For sure.