[Click for a larger view.]
The above photograph shows Mrs. Marcia Schorr’s fifth-grade class, P.S. 131, Boro Park, Brooklyn, New York, 1966–1967. Not a cross tie in the crowd.
I remember Mrs. Schorr as very capable, very calm. The envelope that holds my fifth-grade report card holds a note from her to my dad (on a note-card, in an envelope, of course), thanking him for a card he had made for her. Mrs. Schorr was wishing us well on leaving the city for New Jersey: “Brooklyn will be losing a fine family!” What a gracious and generous thing to say.
As a kid, I liked the effect that the horrible lighting had on the boys in the top row: it gave them long hair. Looking at this photograph now, I wonder whether Albert’s shirt pocket (third row, middle) was holding what we called an I.D. wallet. Such wallets were accessories in our work as school-aged secret agents in The Black Cat Club. (Secret agents always carry I.D., right?) And I now remember something I haven’t thought of in years: a lunch hour during which Donald (top row, left) and I stood on safety patrol and I told him what menstruation was. My mom and dad believed in reality-based parenting — no birds, no bees, no storks.
That concludes class pictures at Orange Crate Art. In the suburbs of New Jersey, all school pictures were of individual students. So the class picture was a set of separate little rectangles on a white background, young suburbanites each with her or his own little bit of property.
[I’m uneasy about identifying fellow fifth-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 in the second row, left, looking rather short.]
More from the P.S. 131 collection
1962–1963 1963–1964 1964–1965 1965–1966
Thursday, January 28, 2010
By Michael Leddy at 6:29 AM