A New Shoe Year

by cheri block

As is my wish each year for the past three, I volunteer to be the official photographer of my grandson’s  first day of school. Time marches on when you are a second grader.

After photographing the customary front porch,  little brother, sentimental mother and father, crossing guard, new teacher,  buddies, and the mother-son departing words of advice (and a sneaked kiss), I looked down and there the story was told.

The girls:

The boys:

The little brother:

So much tread, arch, and spring! No heels allowed.

And just to make sure all the little ones stay free of coughs and colds:

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
This entry was posted in Education, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to A New Shoe Year

  1. Sara Marek says:


    Thanks for being there today. I always appreciate your photography skills as well as your perspective.


  2. I jealous! I remember when the first day of school meant new leather shoes and blisters.:)

  3. Oh you give new voice to the creative grandmother, Cheri. Seems to me it’s clear whose genes rule in this lineage!

    I vote for no-strings-attached hearts and stars!

    • Cheri says:

      The black converse with the pink shiny bows caught my eye. Almost looked like a dance recital shoe! And what about the creative grandmother in you?

  4. Richard says:

    I never knew my grandparents. I begin to understand what it is to have one.

    A – – tishoo!

  5. jenny says:

    This is too dear not to comment. I was just reading an interview with Dorothy Parker last night. She said that her youthful efforts at writing verse were an attempt to follow in the footsteps of Edna St. Vincent Millay, but in her own dirty tennis shoes.

    What might children in such spiffy sneakers be capable of creating?

  6. sablock says:

    For me, it was Black Converse, white socks, blue jeans rolled up a notch, white T shirt- from 1st grade to 7th grade. Then puberty hit and it was all downhill from there.

    • Cheri says:

      What was all downhill from there? Your choice of shoes?
      Your attitude? Your study habits?

      I don’t remember, Steve. As you know, I neglected you once I entered high school. So many thing more interesting than little brothers.

      You did get even with me by plunging my beloved Willy’s 1942 Jeep into the local canal. It was never the same.

  7. wkkortas says:

    Shoes can be a tough business, even for a 2nd grader. I know that, back in the day, if you showed up for the first day of school sportin’ a pair of factory-second Keds, you were done for the year–and it didn’t get any easier as the years rolled on.

  8. Phil says:

    Bring back the School Uniform, is what I say.

  9. Cheri says:

    Yes! Although my friends who went to Catholic school and wore uniforms found ways to individualize themselves.

  10. On the uniforms may I add that I wore them for 12 years: 8 years maroon and white, 4 years green and white. But it wasn’t until the green and white were celebrated in high school that the real individualization occurred.

    Belts tightened and stockings in place of knee socks. Make room for smoking young divas. The belting brought up the uniform’s length in addition to stopping the breath. But bless her; Sister Mary Cora would make all the girls line up and then she proceeded to measure – with a tape from the ground up – this uniform’s proper length in inches from the floor.

    Keeping with the mores of the early 60’s, it was imperative to be a dignified and modest girl. But we teen females being ever so clever would bend over; therefore, the lengthening of this little wool dress was guaranteed. Sister, on her knees, would look up. “Stand up straight,” she would order but we knew she loved us even without a smile so we would stand erect (while all of the other kids watched and smothered their grins) until, that is, she looked down. So bend again we would and on and on. What delightful innocence. Kids remember the best teachers for so many reasons.

    Now keep in mind, this nun, this divine Sister of Mercy, read Homer out loud to us. She told me if I wanted to win the smartest guy in the class to get an A. She made me recite Milton “When I consider how my light is spent ere half my days in this dark world and wide,” though I had difficulty with this exercise until she agreed to my request of “Could I sing it to What Kind of Fool Am I?”

    I received an A on this exercise but I suspect she honestly didn’t know what to do with me. In parting, may I mention that this good and brilliant nun was a Jewish convert to Catholicism?

  11. Cheri says:

    The rigor and discipline of the Catholic school educational system makes a come-back in California schools where the teacher needs to “earn” her respect.

    Ahhh…those skirts that had to reach the knee. We had those too! Although I was able to bypass that rule at least once a week because I was a cheerleader and we had very short skirts. (just to spite the administration…and of course, attract the boys)

    Go, fight, win!

  12. Well of course you know someone else over here was a cheerleader, too, but we were never allowed ‘those uniforms’ in a proper classroom.

    “Who fights, the team fights, the green and white fight fight!”

  13. Cheri says:

    Don’t get me started…OK, do get me started.
    Our colors were green and white too. Hmmm…let’s see.

    Onward you warriors fight!
    For the honor of the green and white!
    Keep your spirit high,
    Your head toward the sky (see the sky was an early theme for me, even as a cheerleader)
    Bring victory home, we know that you’ll try.
    Vanquish the foe tonight!
    Show them all your courage and might.
    For the warriors who fight,
    For the green and white
    Of Mission San Jose!

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