[Click for a larger view.]
See? Little ladies and gentlemen, every one of us. Still our teacher is not satisfied. She turns to principal I.O. Gimprich. Why me? she asks. Just because, says Dr. Gimprich, climbing a wall, just out of the picture.
The above photograph shows Mrs. Roslyn Vistreich’s third-grade class, P.S. 131, Boro Park, Brooklyn, New York, 1964–1965. Mrs. Vistreich was not my favorite teacher, nor I her favorite pupil. She called me a clockwatcher — at 2:58 or 2:59, if you can believe it, which you should, because it’s true, I think. She called me Mr. Dooley, perhaps a diss of my Irish-American ancestry. She didn’t like my habit of whistling (melodies, not wolf calls). She charged me — on my report card — with being a danger to myself and my classmates: “Must try to walk up & down stairs more carefully to avoid accidents to self and others.” Yet she sent me off during class time to travel from floor to floor delivering notes to other teachers. I read the notes and found out her first name.
I once told a joke about Schaefer beer in Mrs. Vistreich’s class. Surely it confirmed whatever she already thought of me. But still, I “did good.” Under the words “Our Best Work” is my report “Building Materials.” It’s the one in the middle, the work of a tileman’s kid.
Do click for a larger view and enjoy the props on the desks, which I don’t think were standard in class pictures. Look at the MacBook on Barry’s desk. How’d that get there?
[I’m uneasy about identifying fellow third-graders by last name without permission, so I haven’t. These photographs have faded and remain so here, as unimproved scans. I’m the kid with the blue shirt and necktie.]
More from the P.S. 131 collection
1962–1963 1963–1964 1965–1966 1966–1967
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
By Michael Leddy at 6:22 AM