FROM THE EYES OF A FIRST GRADER
by Tony Wynn

Tony Wynn - Rison Elementary

Somewhere around 1960 I got my experience with Rison School. The one and only year that I went there was my first grade year. I was familiar with the school because we had lived on Lee High Drive for a period of time and because my 2 older brothers, Collins and Don, had attended Rison.

Shortly before this we had moved to a house on Oakwood Ave., 1723 Oakwood to be exact. It was east of the 4way stop at Maysville Rd. just past where the big ditch crosses under Oakwood. We moved here about 1958 or 1959 and our family lived there until about 1981.

One thing about starting school that is vivid in my memory is that my older brother, Don, taught me how to tie my shoes. Mom went to work early in the morning and was not home when we left for school. Being a little boy during that day and time I never wore shoes, at least during the warm months, and even if I did Mom always tied them for me.

Anyway, back to Rison. That was a magnificent place, full of children, laughter and smells. If memory serves me, all of the classrooms had a cloak room and the building was heated with coal through radiators. Outside there were huge Oak trees that surrounded the school. During the fall these trees would drop their leaves and these would collect against the fence. I can still remember the smell of them as they lay on the ground and the wind blew them against that fence.

Ms. Howard was my first grade teacher. She taught me the ABCs and how to read. This first grade year is the only time that I ever attended school with either one of my older brothers. Don, 5 years older, must have been in about the 6th grade while Collins, 9years older, had already gone on to Lee.

Although I only attended Rison for 1 year (I went to the new Chapman School the next year), it was magical. It was the place where this child's world opened up, a place of knowledge, mystery and friendship. When a baby is born a life begins, when a child begins school a person begins. SO IT BEGANů..