Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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A Los Angeles Childhood – Astronomy and Quaker Oats 1-1-11
Sunday, 02 January 2011 10:32
{jcomments on}What do you remember about third grade? I remember round oatmeal boxes with “Captain Quaker” on the front. The tempting, nutritious porridge my mother prepared for me, sending me off to school at the age of eight with a hearty breakfast. Oatmeal with Thompson’s seedless raisins and brown sugar, good whole milk delivered by the milk man by way of a metal box that opens into the service porch of our house, fresh, the cream at the top, the glass returnable bottle placed back where the milkman retrieves it. When we finish all the oatmeal, the carton goes off with me to school. It becomes my very own astronomy lab.

Mr. Glascock instructs us to bring them with us to school and that very next day we begin to punch holes in the top creating Orion, the Big Dipper, Oso, the Bear, our big project to be shared with each other.

Look at the belt, the legs, the sword, where the Big Dipper scoops up the northern horizon, Orion, the Hunter in the south.

When each of us completes our assigned constellation, we carefully cut out a small viewing hole that we will place against our eye when we put the round end back on the carton.

As a group, we march out to the school yard, each carrying our assigned group of stars. We make a circle, all fifteen of us, raise our cartons to the sky, put our left eye up to the small round hole and one at a time holler out, Ursa Major, the Big Dipper, Leo, the Lion, Orion, the Hunter, Taurus the Bull. Then we pass our treasures counter clock-wise.

Here, for me, in 1948, at Delevan Drive Elementary School, as we go around the circle saying our assigned grouping, we make the night sky come alive. We sing the stars. We are captains of our own universe.

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Hope O. Kiah
Oh I love this post. What a rich memory. Bless Mr. Glascock and young Jeanne.