Saturday, June 16, 2012

Off to Town, Tra La!

 The bike ride to town yielded some interesting observations.  First, note the blue sky!  It has been dry, the grass in the lawn is going to seed.  BBBH wanted to mow, but I said, "Let it seed.  Maybe it'll fill in some spots that need it."  Ever the optimist.

 The state highway workers were painting the crosswalk stripes.  The job seems to have required six men and two trucks; you know, one to run the blower to get the dust off, one to run the paint machine to lay the stripe, one to stand in the middle of the street with an orange sign, and three to watch the proceedings.  I am gratified to note that we, the public, are doing our part to ease the unemployment situation.

I arrived at the library to find this art display extending thirty feet along the sidewalk.  This immediately prompted memories.

Forty years ago this fall we opened a new school campus housing an elementary school and a middle school.  Quite early in the year, an art teacher asked me if she might allow the children to do chalk drawings on the walkways in an inner courtyard between the library and the fifth grade classrooms.  I thought it a splendid idea, and the kiddos went to work.  What talent, what effort, what a lot of colored chalk they used!  I was invited to view the final result.  I surveyed the entire area very carefully and with real appreciation.  The kids eagerly awaited my assessment.  "It is gorgeous, it is fantastic!" I exclaimed, then proceeded to comment on each area of work.  "What about this one?  Do you like this?"  It was an exciting moment in life of a new school and a new school year.

At 12:35 the following morning the phone awakened me.  Heart thumping, mind racing, for a call this time of night had always been bad news in my experience, I picked up the receiver and managed to mumble a "hello."

"Lacy," a voice demanded, "did you authorize that disfigurement of the grounds that that art teacher allowed in the courtyard?"  Before he finished the question I realized it was my boss, the Superintendent of Schools.  Hastily determining that conservation of words and the briefest and most honest answer would best serve the situation, I replied, "Yes, sir.  I did."  He grunted a "Huh," and said, "Goodnight, then."


Shelly said...

I suppose art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but hopefully the superintendent was able to see the value in what you allowed the kids to do.

And the street workers made me laugh. I assume that's the same protocol all over the country~

vanilla said...

Shelly, that gentleman became a good friend, if a bit hidebound. To the credit of the school corporation, they still support the teaching of the arts in spite of budgetary hard times.

That protocol for road crews does seem to be universal. I've seen it practiced from coast to coast.

Vee said...

What a spoilsport! Unfortunately, school superintendents often deserve that designation. I immediately thought of the song that goes: “Every party needs a pooper, that's why I'm inviting you. Party pooper, party pooper. …” But then he wasn’t invited. Maybe that was the problem.

Chuck said...

Poor super must have been tiptoeing through the tax payers. :) Or perhaps just fearing the same.

vanilla said...

Vee, perhaps; but it is a tough job. He (same super) once told his admin staff that anyone there who didn't aspire to have his job wasn't worthy of the one he had. I didn't tell him that I wouldn't have his on a silver platter.

Chuck, actually I think he was afraid of the custodian who was likely to carp about chalkdust being tracked onto her beautifully waxed hallways.