This is a Christmas memory of mine from kindergarten in 1943.
As you enter the school...visualize a huge area with class rooms all around. The highly polished wooden floor was used as a gym and also where we had special programs. There was a piano there as well. I was in kindergarten and looking forward to Santa Claus and everything Christmas. My dad was over seas ...it was war time. We were going to celebrate Christmas without my dad for the first time. It was going to be a rather sparse holiday. I think that teachers were trying their best to make this a good Christmas for little ones. We had a little band in our classroom....we children playing simple instruments and Mrs. Blair playing the piano. I think that most teachers played the piano in those days. I always wanted to play the triangle, but never did. I usually played the wooden blocks that you struck with a stick to keep time. We started the day by saying the pledge of allegiance to our flag. A room full of little children with hands over their hearts....so proud and serious. It was my turn to hold the flag, as my dad was in the army. I remember being so proud.
We went on to do our normal activities....listening to a story, using that big paste jar...finishing up our Christmas projects, we had our little milk cartons...today it was chocolate milk for me. This was a treat because I usually had to have white milk. Joe reminds me that we kept our milk money in little hankies...tied in the corner with a knot. We might have had cookies instead of graham crackers and then nap time, where we would rest on our little individual rugs. Today was a special day, because our teacher, Mrs. Blair, brought her harp to school for our program in the big hall. I can see it now....little children climbing the stairs to the big hall and taking our places sitting on the floor. She began to play....I had never heard such a sound..... not even in Church. Christmas carols seemed to be written for this instrument. We all joined in by singing the songs that we all knew by heart. The children were so attentive and no one spoke out of turn. I don't remember anything else about that program. Maybe there was a Santa...I don't recall. The memory that has lasted all my life was my teacher playing that harp. I had heard of Angels playing harps in Church....and Mrs. Blair played that harp like an Angel.