Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

old names, new places

 Every once and a while a memory will appear for no particular reason. I was writing yesterday when I remembered being in elementary school. When we came in we were told to hang our coats in the cloak closet. I hadn't given that a thought in over fifty years. It was just as I was writing my story that word just naturally came out. I have found that I remember most things in that fashion, in sentences. I can recall the teacher or whoever saying whatever it is I want to remember. I can even remember myself reading it almost as someone else was reading it to me. Unfortunately the last method isn't as effective. But, whatever the case or reason I do remember those cloak closets. They were grey in color and on wheels,two to a classroom, one for boys and one for girls.
 Those cloak closets, I always had trouble pronouncing that phrase, did serve another purpose. At least in one class there were used as a barrier. If you were to be paddled for misbehaving you were instructed to go behind the cloak closet. I can see my classmates going back there and shortly thereafter hearing a howl. I do remember a boy named Douglas Coleman going back there. The teacher hit him with that paddle, we all heard a yelp and then his glasses come flying over the top of that cloak closet ! It is just a picture I have never forgotten. I'm certain I made a few trips back there, although I can't honestly remember doing so. If so, I hoped Mom and Dad didn't find out. The punishment I would get from them would be worse. The wise person just kept their mouth shut and took whatever punishment was handed out.
 I wonder why that memory surfaced ? I guess it is simply because I was telling the story. Yesterday on Facebook some friends were talking about something similar. They were saying how we have a tendency to use old place names long after the place is gone. To be correct about it, they were talking businesses. You know how we will say the old post office building or whatever. Well in elementary school we had cloak closets and so it will always be so to me. The " new " high school was built 45 years ago. It is still the new school to me. Sometimes the old names go away for a while, then reappear. That usually happens when the new generation wants people to think they are old generation. They either read about it in a history book or some old timer informs them. For instance, here in Greensboro some years back where Main street and Sunset Avenue intersect was called " four corners. " The old timers know that and I was told about it. There is place called Hokum, the name revived by a developer. That is usually why they get revived, those old names, to be used as a marketing tool. The old name imparts a sense of history to whatever, it is just a psychological thing. I'm so old now that I remember having a cloak closet ! Maybe that term will come around again in a million dollar home. You know we put our galoshes in there too. I carried a lunch bucket, at least that is what Dad called it. I called it a lunch box. That was stored in the cloak closet too. My favorite was shaped like a barn and had a wide mouth thermos. My sandwich would be wrapped in waxed paper, neatly folded. Some cookies and a piece of fruit may be there as well. The thermos had milk in it. Sometimes it had Tang ! If it was good enough for an astronaut, it was good enough for me.