On one of our first dates Jeanie and I were driving around Charleston and I realized we were near where I went to nursery school (aka day care). I told Jeanie she was in for a surprise because I was going to show her some place that was part of my history. I stopped the car in front of a house that had been transformed into a day care with a fenced backyard playground. A hand painted sign out front said, “Bells Nursery School”. We called it Bell’s School. She looked at me as if to say, “you are kidding.” What she said was, “I went to daycare here too!”
Of course we would have been too young to remember our time there, but we drove back to my house where we told my mom about it. She reminded me that we had a group photo from when my brother Ken and I were there. We took a look at it and to our joy and disbelief, Jeanie is in the photo! Imagine that. My lovely wife and I went to day care together.
In this photo, I am thinking to myself, “You see that girl behind me and one to my left? No, my left, not your left… I’m going to marry her one day. What’s that? No, I don’t know her name, but I will.”
One thing that stands out in my memory is getting hit by a swing at Bell’s School. I don’t actually remember the getting hit part, but I do remember being in the hospital. I must have walked near a swing that was being swung and it hit me hard. They sent me to the hospital to check me out. I stayed overnight so they could make sure I was ok. In the early 1960’s, when this happened, they put kids like me in wards. I can picture in my memory a crib with tall shiny metal bars so that even if I stood up, I was looking through the bars at other children. I felt lonely.
Mom tells me that she wanted to stay the night with me, but they made her leave because they didn’t have any facility for her to sleep there.
Mom and Dad. What do you remember about the swing incident? Am I telling it the way it happened? What were your thoughts and feelings?