Retro Kindergarten A.M. Class Act

Well, it seems that the boogeyman of the Fair Haven Youth Center basement didn’t eat kindergarten a.m. class.

It’s more like the p.m. class never saw them, because they were never early risers. Whether or not you were an early-on early riser, the choice for kindergarten session was always a gamble.

And, well before pre-school was trendy and competitive, to boot, kindergarten was the first time a kid was held hostage in a classroom by usually kindly, patient teachers. Usually. Unless, of course, they were chiding you for not paying attention. Ahem …

I don’t know if it was the fact that I was always doing some afternoon daydreaming or still asleep in class, but that classroom seemed much bigger, more like monster-mouth engulfing, than the present police station. No, I wasn’t locked up in it.

Former Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge and I chatted about it all while sitting in his office in the very spot where he and I attended kindergarten — albeit in different years.

The building symbolized a beginning and end for him — right at home. For me, and most of those kindergarten kids, what seemed like an ominous, vacuous space with tall stranger ladies, creepy cartoony bunnies on the walls, and a mammoth, echoing stairway to the bathroom boogeyman wasn’t that scary at all. Turns out it was a small, embracing niche filled with futures that would end up entwining and always winding their way back home — together.

Some of these kids are gone now. Most, though, are still somehow connected, some good friends. Now, that’s a class act!

Recognize anyone in this early morning starter group? Who’s still friends?