A warm June day in 1973, excitedly I walked to school. I was allowed to bring along my niece, Debbie, who I mistakenly made three the last time I posted about her, when she was actually four. The last day of school was brief for the handing out of report cards, dismissal within a half hour. In a manilla holder, a folded white cardboard revealed the final marks of the year. Parents did not have to sign the back of it this time. We kept this one. The final report of the year and our Oakview Elementary years. The last hard report card, from now on, they would be flimsy paper.
Debbie stole the show in Mrs. Janosko's room. We signed our names to the back of all our classmates' envelopes. Everyone wanted Debbie's signature. Being four, she wasn't used to that much writing. It started as "Debbie," then "Deb," and finally her initials, "DR"
"Doctor," everyone laughed.
Miss Doctor did a few more, then she begged, "No more."
Then the kids begged her and she grudgingly did a few more. Her little hand was tired.
9:30 the last dismissal bell rang. The classmates gathered around Debbie, letting her know how glad they were she came and that she signed their cards. I'm not sure how either of us got our heads through the door.
I said, "Good-bye," to Oakview. No more gazing down the hill. I would be in the high school in the fall. But at that moment, anticipation of swimming at the pool filled my mind.