The Maxwell School was only a couple of blocks away from our house on the same street. Three things I remember about my school days in Spokane.
My teacher sent home a note to my folks to say that I was having problems keeping up in class. In her observations, she suspected that I was not able to read what she wrote on the blackboard, and advised taking me to an eye doctor.
This my mom dutifully did. And I hated every minute of it. More so when the finding came back that I was near-sighted and needed glasses.
The battle royale ensued when I returned for a fitting. I would not allow the doctor to place those things on my head for the necessary adjustments. The doc stood nervously by while my mom pleaded with me to cooperate. I stubbornly refused. Out of frustration she offered up the ultimate capitulation. If I would just allow him this once, I would never again have to put them on if I didn’t want to.
I acquiesced and when departing I triumphantly jammed the devices into my pants pocket.
We had taken a bus to the doctor’s office and had to wait at the bus-stop for our return. I don’t know what prompted me. Perhaps I was just looking across the street. I took out the glasses and put them on.
“Momma, I can see the Payless sign!” And I could actually read the words up on the street signs. Even the colors of everything seemed brighter, more vibrant. And my mother was happier too.
Another note came home. This time with the announcement of a time release program from classes once a week to attend a Bible class. I assume other faiths were included and with their own venue. I only know that I went to the Protestant one.
The class was held in an old downtown building, probably in something akin to a Masonic hall is my guess. (The Masonic meeting scene from Peggy Sue Got Married resonates at this point).
The vestibule was high-ceilinged and paneled in dark wood and wainscoting. A heaviness and dullness permeated everything. We were assembled in an auditorium and there received our instruction. And we each received little pamphlet size books of the Gospel of Luke. I don’t remember a single thing. The birds of the air were no doubt busy, for I am sure that seed was scattered, but for me it probably never hit the ground.
It would be years before I saw clearly.
In the words of the other song I was blind but now I see.
Stay tuned for the third thing.