My sister wrote this story a while back about what it was like walking to and from school in Globe, Arizona when she was a little kid. I really liked it. Everything she says in this story rings true for me. Even though there are nine years between me and my sister, we both had a lot of the same experiences.
Kids on the Loose
When I was a kid growing up in Globe, we always walked to school. From kindergarten on you walked. Unless you were one of the "wealthy" kids . . . then you were driven in a car. The rest of us walked though. My friend and I always managed to be late for school because on the way there was always a myriad of distractions to keep you from your mission, which was just to get yourself to school by 9:00 a.m.
When I got older I switched schools and started going to East Globe. There was a stairwell that went from East Street up to Sycamore Street. This stairwell contained about a million stairs and was enough to keep you occupied for half an hour or more both on the way to school and on the way home. Sometimes my friend and I would try to run up it, but that only lasted about 20 stairs and then we'd have to sit down and take a break. While we were sitting there trying to catch our breath we would sometimes find a piece of cardboard someone had thrown there, and we could then ride that cardboard down the 20 steps we'd just run up. Unfortunately, this didn't last very long because the stairs were concrete and the cardboard would get shredded pretty quickly. Whoever hadn't been able to ride the cardboard down was mad. So then we'd spend about 5 minutes or so looking in the bushes for another piece, and when that didn't pan out we'd just sit back down again. It was at this point that one of us would realize we'd left our school books somewhere else and we'd have to go find them. By the time it was all said and done we still had about 90,000 steps to go up just to get to the next street . . . and we were now officially late for school.
The only difference between my sister's experiences and mine? The mulberries were pomegranates. Otherwise, it was a lot of the same adventures. Although, I'm pretty sure she was a lot more daring than I was. I think that kids all around the world have similar experiences walking to and from school. I know that when I walk my son home from school, we always have to make stops to look at bugs or spiders. I feel sorry for those kids who always got a ride and never got to have those mini-adventures that my sister wrote about.
The pictures used in this post are by the artist Laurie Manzano. Laurie owns and runs the Blue Mule Art Gallery in Globe and is well loved by my family and many others in the Globe-Miami area. All of the pictures are used with her permission. For more information on Laurie, to view more of her pictures, or for copyright permission, visit her website. And, if you're ever in Globe, make sure to stop by The Blue Mule Art Gallery to stand in awe of Laurie and her amazing work.