Wednesday, January 25, 2012
My brother and I were both in grade five. Alex had failed grade two on the colony. The teacher had failed everyone in the second grade that year and, typically, nobody thought to ask why. Rosie was in grade four. Our teacher was Mrs. Erb. She wore nice clothes and sensible shoes and wasn't as glamorous as Miss Pattimore, Phillip's grade-three teacher who taught the primary grades downstairs. But more than attractive, Miss Pattimore made a concerted effort to help us fit in and wouldn't tolerate other students sneering at us. Once a week, on Friday afternoons, she came upstairs and taught our grades French. It soon became my favourite subject. "I really like the Frenchman, " I once overheard Father telling Mother over Lunschen in Fairholme. I feel myself at home with them." I knew he was referring to the milk truck driver from Modern Dairies who came each week to collect the milk. He was so affable, the company kept him on after he lost his driver's license due to careless driving. They just ad someone else drive him.
Miss Pattimore was young and kind with the most amazing dark hair. Sometimes she startled us by wearing a wig. It was a lighter colour and a different style than her own, and it gave her a whole new look, which I found fascinating.
Yep... sounds like my Mom.