We learned how to read maps in the third grade. I remember this, because it took me a few years to get my mental map straightened out. We sat in our classroom facing up the Silver King draw toward the Zinc Plant. I think it is roughly a southern orientation. However, when we read our maps, the north was always at the top. I equated north with the direction I was facing (top of the map), and south as the direction behind me (bottom of the map.) A few years later, when I was talking to my dad about some of the landmarks around the valley, we both realized that my orientation was backwards. I took me some time get re-oriented. (There have been other times throughout my life, esp, when I first move to a new location, that I get turned around at first. I have to put the new location on my mental map, and force it to comply with the correct directions, until I have the new map correct in my head.)
One of the coolest things about Silver King school, besides the attic, was the ramp to the auditorium. I had only ever seen stairs going up and down between floors in homes and other buildings, but Silver King had a ramp that went from the back of the school down to the lowest floor. It had one or two turns in it. There was a strong temptation on the part of some students to run up or down the ramp. Teachers dealt with this tendency by making us walk single file, with the teacher walking close to those for whom temptation was irresistible. I think it would have been fun to have had a petal car or anything on rollers to "drive" down the ramp. Regardless, it was fun to think we had a secret passageway to get from one floor to another, without utilizing the main staircase at the north end of the school.
I vaguely remember being a Brownie (young Campfire girl) for one year. We made a wreath at the Douglas' out of cardboard with paper leaves glued on it, and then spray painted them all gold. In Brownies was also where I learned to thread a needle and tie a knot at the end, inorder to hand stitch something. It was only one night a week, so on that day I rode the bus to the other side of town and took my $.50 cent piece for dues. The only other thing I remember about Brownies was the time we went for a nature hike and learned to read trail signs left by the group ahead of us. We walked all over the back streets on the hilly side of Smelterville and up the draw, until we found the other group.
Chicken in the Egg
My mom didn't understand my concern. "You've always liked eggs," she would reason, not understanding the depth of my trauma. But I wouldn't budge. Even scrambled, I could imagine all sorts of parts being present, though undetectable by the eye. Heaven forbid, that I should accidentally bite down on a piece of eggshell, and believe it was a beak.
Sonic Booms - fairly new phenomena, used to make me jump in my seat.
Trains of Ore - trains that ran from the Bunker Hill Smelter just over the hill to the Zinc Plant up the draw from the school (and back again).
Playing marbles - my favorite game once Spring came. I loved the clear marbles with the little bubbles in them and some of the cat-eyes. (Especially blues, reds, and greens.) I wasn't crazy about the white opaque marbles with swirls of brown and green.