Shirley Ann (Patterson) McClure – School Days

SCHOOL DAYS AGES 5-12

When I first went to school it was in the country school and only had about 4 rooms and one inside bathroom. That is what I remember. I remember the long lines to use the bathroom. I was very nervous at school and scared at first. I did have my brothers and sisters there so that helped me. I was happy to be going as my brothers and sisters were going and I did not want to stay at home. I was quiet and got along fine with my classmates. I went to a public school. We had to walk when we went in the country and it was a couple of miles. My mother did not drive and my father left early for work.

We moved when I was 7 so I did not go to that school long at all. Then when we moved to the small town called Wyandotte, the school was just a few blocks from our house. We used to come home for lunch everyday. I went to McKinley Grade School until I got to 7th grade. Then to Lincoln Jr. High and then Roosevelt High. They were all not far to walk to and that is how I got there. I made lots of friends and was not as afraid as the school in the country. I made friends with Arlene Reifsnider and we were friends all through high school. She just lived one block from me. Sometime I would get a candy bar on the way home from school. My mom did not have much money so we did not eat in the cafeteria at all. She always had a hot lunch waiting for us when we got home. Arlene and I were both in our weddings and were godparents for our children. We have stayed in contact with each other to this day.

I loved math and did not like to read at all. I have since changed that and now love to read. I also took cooking and sewing in high school. I loved cooking but did not care for sewing at all. Maybe that is why I ended up as the head in the cafeteria in the schools near us in Oak Park.

I always wanted a bike to ride. One day there was a second hand one for sale near our house. I went to look at it and brought it home for my parents to see it. They got it for me and made me so happy. I loved to ride my bike and feel the wind in my face and hair. My friends and I use to ride our bikes all the time. One day I got in trouble for not coming home on time for dinner. It was because I was so busy riding my bike I did not look at the time. I never did that again. My mom scolded me and had the dishes waiting to dry when I got home. She was very strict on getting home for dinner and doing your chores. The present I remember most was my doll with the hair. I thought she was the best and my fur coaat.

I never got a really bad report card but sometimes my Dad would say that I could do better than that. My Dad and Mom and I got along very well. I had respect for them and they had respect for me. They taught us the rules and how to live a good honest life. I lived by them and still do. We did not attend church but God was there with us. I would say both my parents were an influence on who I am today.

We would eat our dinner all together at the kitchen table. We all would talk about our day and my Dad would talk about things in his life we never heard before. I would love to get him talking and set and listen for a long time after dinnertime. Everyone else would be gone already. We all took turns doing the dishes and you better be there to do them or you were told about it. On Sunday my mom would usually make a pot of chicken and have home made biscuits and they would eat early and we could help our self when we wanted to. We usually went to the movies and we came back at different times. She did not want a schedule on Sunday. Mom and Dad would sit and read the paper from cover to cover. They might have someone stop by and visit or my Dad would take my mom for a ride. She loved to get out, as she did not drive. They might stop for ice cream somewhere.

I also remember my mom taking me out of school one day to go up town with her. Not sure if I needed shoes or what but she got me a pair of skates. I see myself putting the skates on with the little key and putting that key around my neck. She also got me a Hershey candy bar and away I went eating the candy bar and skating. I loved to skate and did a lot of it. We use to play cards a lot and did puzzles. Uncle Wiggle was a favorite game and Chinese checkers and regular checkers. My brothers and I played marbles and knife all the time on the front lawn.

I was very thin growing up and I had a neighbor boy that use to ask me if I had a tape worm. My mom used to have to take in all my clothes that we bought, as I was so small.
I also was a very picky eater. I wore dresses most of the time and my mom use to make some of my cloths. I was shy.

We had a dog name lady and had a cat that had many litters. The dog was a mixed terrier and the cat was just a stray but my mom liked her. We had birds and gold fish also. I got along with my family most of the time. My mother would say we fight more than any other family she knew. But it was all in fun. I would play baseball with my brothers but that is about all the sports I did. We had fun playing in the alley and had friends join us. We never seemed to want for things to do. We all had our chores and we took turns with them. From dishes, racking leaves, shoveling snow and cutting the grass. I did not mind doing any of them.

I started working at the local dime store when I was 14 and stayed there till my senior year and then worked at a credit union in town as a teller. Liked both of the jobs. I loved Christmas the most. Loved the lights, food, and of course the gifts.Family getting together was very important. Our house would be open the weeks between Christmas and new years and you never knew who would show up to visit.There was family all around the town to come and visit.

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3 Comments on “Shirley Ann (Patterson) McClure – School Days”


  1. […] came across this post – Shirley Ann (Patterson) McClure – School Days – and thought it was worth sharing. I hope you find it interesting too and take the time to read […]

  2. Julia Nordquist Says:

    Thanks, Shirley. Enjoyed your straight forward way of telling your story.

  3. Marie Tutino Says:

    Very descriptive. This helped me visualize how my Mom grew up. I enjoyed reading this.


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