Pre-Dawn Reflections

Nobody ever saw a bathtub without picturing her in it.  Not because she was a pretty thing.  She wasn’t.  But somehow she managed to draw the attention of every kid in East Ward Grade School those early years of the 1950s.  Not just the fact she needed that bathtub.

Poor girl had stringy hair and in surroundings where half the kids were wearing clothes their mothers sewed for them out of flour sacks, and wore hand-me-downs, she was conspicuously poor.  Conspicuous enough to draw a brand of cruelty most of us probably felt ashamed of while we indulged it.

If she was in line for some reason those coming behind would make a game of trying to not be in line behind her, curling back to force someone else forward, them doing the same.

Patsy Baines wants to be your girlfriend.”  I saw you walking home with Patsy Baines.”

If I hadn’t been so frightened of being treated the way we treated her I’d have realized a lot earlier in life how little respect I have for human beings.

Wonder why the hell she came to mind this morning.  I don’t believe I’ve thought of Patsy Baines in 50 years.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules: War and Peace?

Old Jules, what are some of the disadvantages of war and advantages of peace?

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8 responses to “Pre-Dawn Reflections

  1. That sort of thing happens to me, too. I think of them as old wounds in need of some attention, to help heal and maybe gain a little more peace.

  2. I think most of us have a “Patsy Baines” in our past. Mine was a whole family of children. They attended our little two room county school. I wish I could find them today and apologize!

    • okfever: I expect most of us have more than one. I attended my class 30th reunion in 1992, for the sole purpose of apologizing to some, putting ghosts to sleep. Turned out most didn’t remember what needed apologizing for. The ones who did remember weren’t about to forgive and forget. Gracias, J

  3. I had one, too. She and I were the lowest on the totem pole, but she was lower than I was. Quiet, thin, ugly, no friends… I was often forced to play with her because nobody would play with me either. l lost track of her after grade school, but she was at the 35th high school reunion, wealthy, gregarious, sophisticated in appearance…really weird experience seeing her again.

  4. The Good Luck Duck

    Billy and Debby Brown, second grade. My first time through, Debby’s second and Billy’s third – all of us in the same room of the three-room schoolhouse. Impetigo, nails always dirty. I think some part of me already understood karma, thank goodness.

    Debby and I were friends, but how do you ever find a “Debby Brown” after 45 years? Did you have the urge to look for Patsy?

    • The Good Luck Duck: Hi there. Good seeing you here. Yeah, I did think about it, might even have tried. But she’d be 70 now. Likely next lifetime she’ll be spewing out reciprocity in my direction. We deserve it. Gracias, J

  5. “The ones who did remember weren’t about to forgive and forget.” You are so right, Jules. I was one who even though I forgave I can never forget…. and I don’t think I will spew hate in my next life, that only keeps the cycle going.

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