Should I have created a more genteel title? Okay, how about “Looking for class of 1945-1946?” Misleading because it sounds like a graduating class. Maybe, “Looking for Stephens Elementary first-grade classmates?” There were nearly one hundred first graders back then and only 39 in Mrs. Buffington’s class of 1945-46. (Did I say only 39? That was a huge class with no teacher’s assistant.)
How about this title?
Wanted Dead or Alive
Mrs. Buffington’s first grade class of 1945-46
While my twin, Vi Parsons, and I prepared for our March 10th book launch of Double Take, our stories of growing up in Chowchilla, California, we dug out childhood photos and memorabilia to display at two hometown authors events. Well, not exactly our hometown since we were born hundreds of miles southeast of Highway 99, but the town where life unfolded for us like purple morning glories on a spring day.
We compared first grade class photos, but they were different. Mine is the original with Mrs. Buffington dressed in her schoolteacher black dress, hatless, with 33 students looking like World War II refugees. Somehow, she wrangled a second photoshoot to include all 39 students after she donned her Sunday best hat and frock and prepped all of us to dress a little less like ragamuffins.
That’s me, front row, dead center, sitting between girls I don’t remember. My twin is second from the left between Betty and Judy. I also recognize Necia, Eva, Pearl, Margaret, and Donald, maybe Lawrence in the front row. The second row stretches my sketchy memory cells with positive IDs for Keith and Loretta and Lorelei. In the back row, I recognize Philip and Gene, but a couple of others look familiar.
My twin and I are planning to organize a reunion of the “live” bunch and gather memorial information for the others. If you or family members are in this photo, or if you recognize a friend, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Double Take by Vi Parsons and Violet Moore, published by Carr Twins & Co., is available from Amazon and www.carrtwins.com.