April 14, 2007

Bell’s School

Posted in memories at 9:20 am by jimazing

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!”

bells-nurseryschool-blog.gifOf 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?


  1. curt said,

    I hear “It’s a Small World After All” playing in the background somewhere!How cool!

    Wouldn’t it be great if there were a recording of the interactions between you and Jeannie from back then? May explain the “swing thing”… Hmmmmm??? Jeannie???

    God has always liked you guys and had a great future in mind. With so many wonderful,recent family developments, it looks like that future is being lived out.

    re: What’s next?- More and better and deeper and ________ (you fill in the blank!)He really does like you, you know!

    Thx for sharing!

  2. MLou said,

    My memories of that time are very clear. I went to pick you up from Bell’s School and they told me your dad had already picked you up. They called him and told him something was wrong and he immediately took you to the doctor, whose office was very near our home. I went straight to the doctor’s office where you were already being examined. Something was quite obviously wrong. You had to strain to talk. I don’t know how to explain your actions, but I was so worried. The only thing for sure was that your white blood count was extremely high, which indicated your body was fighting some injury or illness. Dr. Harvey sent you directly to the hospital. By that time it was evening. You were admitted to the hospital, and no private room was available. They put you in a ward and promised me they would let us have the first private room available so I could stay with you. We didn’t sleep at all that night and returned to the hospital quite early. They told us you had has a good night and that they were preparing a private room for us. Your Dad had to go to work, but I didn’t leave your side again. Mrs. Bell came to see you at the hospital and no one had seen anything happen to you. She was quite concerned as we all were. As the days went by and you began to improve and became able to talk, you told us that a swing had hit you in the stomach and pushed you down. It must have been quite a blow to your stomach. You quickly improved and were back to normal pretty soon. I was so scared, and it broke my heart that I couldn’t stay with you at the hospital. I was also so very thankful that your recovery was quick. I don’t remember how many days you were in the hospital. I was pregnant with Ken at that time too – so you were almost 3 years old. My memory of my feelings is of worry and fear.
    I also remember being happy and excited when we discovered that you and Jeanie were at Bell’s School at the same time. I don’t think she was there though when you got hurt. You only went about 3 or 4 months a year. When you two were there at the same time was after Ken was born.


    I don’t remember anything about this accident love dad

  4. Curtis said,

    Jim–what a cool story. I recall you telling this to me in person–but it’s fun to read about and see the picture. I enjoyed reading your mother’s thoughts.

    Thanks for sharing-

  5. Judy said,

    Oh, I remember that day very clearly…I was working at my very first job as a Legal Secretary downtown on Broad Street and my mom (Nanny to you) called me at work and told me that you had been hurt at daycare and she was afraid it was really bad, but didn’t know for sure. You were the sparkle in EVERYONE’S eyes back then and the world seemed to revolve around you so I immediately left work and rushed home. Nanny told me that you were at the doctors office and your mom was gonna call us when she knew anything. I know that the doctor sent you straight to to the hospital and I do remember you spending at least one night there, but I dont remember going to the hospital, but I’m sure I must have…with Nanny. I can remember one thing for sure and very clearly…me and Nanny got down on our knees at the bed and prayed for a long time. We were soooo very worried about you. I had forgotten all about it until now.

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