On March 1st I had the pleasure of returning to my elementary school in Connecticut, Race Brook Elementary, for a school visit. During a high school reunion, I reconnected with Chris who now teaches second grade there. She said if I was ever in town, to come present at the school.
The presentation was especially fun for me since I could be more personal and talk to the kids about how my neighbors inspired Jalapeno Bagels and An Eye for Color, and show them photos of the house I grew up in on Birchwood Drive and what I looked like when I attended Race Brook.
It was weird – in a good way – to go back to the school where I attended 4th through 6th grade. I remembered the gym where I presented the most, and a few teachers’ names, and the principal’s name, but not the layout of the classrooms. My friend Jane, who was a year behind me, met me after the presentation and we walked the halls with Chris. Jane remembered everything! Where the library used to be. The hallway to the cafeteria, where Mrs. Water’s classroom was (and the principal’s too!). I wondered if my poor recollection was because I moved away from Connecticut when I was 20 and wasn’t around the old gang anymore to keep the memories fresh.
Jane then drove me past the old junior high which is now called Amity Middle School and around my old neighborhood where artist Josef Albers used to live. We visited the tennis club our families belonged to and reminisced about the parties we had there as teens. I’m writing a new chapter book for girls set at the club so it was perfect timing to see the club again and stir up all those wonderful memories. It’ll surely help me add more details to the story.
Thank you, Chris and Jane, for the trip down memory lane.