Big Sis and I stayed up Thanksgiving night yippety yapping and somewhere along the line of conversation we started talking about grade school. We had the same 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Rankin, and we started comparing events when we were 6 years old, she in 1949; me in 1955.
“Did you have a rhythm band?” Sis asked.
“Oh, yes, and I always wanted to play the water whistle but I never got to. I was a tambourine. Shake, shake, shake, slap. What’s the fun in that?“ I wanted to run out in the hall to the water fountain and fill up a whistle and make a mess on the floor, which was probably the reason I wasn’t selected to be a water whistle. Too sloppy.
“That’s better than what I had,” Sis said. “I played the jingle bells and all I did was shake my wrist.”
“Oh, yeah, that’s right. The bells were worn on a stretchy bracelet.”
“I wanted to play the triangle,” she said.
Life is filled with little disappointments. That's a lesson to be learned in first grade. There were also sticks and blocks in the band, so it could have been worse for us.
Mrs. Rankin played piano accompaniment for the rhythm band The piano was in the northeast corner of the room. We rhythm makers stood to her right.
“She was a pretty good pianist,” Sis said. I’ll say. Mrs. Rankin could play it, sing, and direct 30 hopeless musicians all at the same time.
“Do you remember the song we did?” Sis asked.
“I sure do. Let’s All Sing Like the Birdies Sing!” We both said it at the same time and laughed.
Those first grade memories are like music to our ears--even if somewhat out of tune.