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Bud Grossmann’s
Words of the Week
for the Week of
January 23, 2022
Family History.
© 2022 by Bud Grossmann
All Rights Reserved.

Note to a Teacher (1955)
  Note to a Teacher (by Bud’s Mom, 1955)
© 2022 by Bud Grossmann


My brother Larry recently found, at our dad’s house, and set aside for me to read, a note, demonstrably a draft, that my mother wrote, in the blue ink of a fountain pen, to my first-grade teacher at Parkway Elementary School in Hyattsville, Maryland. It reads, in its entirety, as follows:

14 October 1955

Dear Mrs. Simonds:
    Gordon was absent from
school yesterday afternoon
because he was sent on account
home after he had had two
“nosebleeds.” He rested well
all afternoon. I believe he is
able to be at school today.

    Mrs. Gordon E. Grossmann, Sr.

The note has raised in my mind a few questions, none of them, probably, in great need of an answer.

Did Mom rewrite the note and send it with me to school on Friday, October 14, 1955? Or did I perhaps persuade her I would benefit from an additional day of recuperation? Did I make it through Friday without any further quote nosebleeds unquote? Why the quotation marks? How was Mom, five months pregnant, feeling that day? (Larry was born Wednesday, February 15, 1956.) How did my parents get me to school, and home again, each day? (The school was only a half mile from our home in Kirkwood Apartments, Google Maps now reveals, but my mother, legally blind (please observe the scrawl of her signature), did not drive, and my dad, a soldier, worked at the Pentagon or Arlington Hall, a half-hour distant from our home). How did I, with my bloody nose, travel from school to home on Thursday, October 13? How did Mom get through a typical day, when I was in school but she was at home with a rambunctious three-year-old son, a one-year-old daughter, and a bellyful of Larry?

I shall stop now. After all, we have been warned that curiosity, not multiple quote nosebleeds unquote, killed the proverbial cat.

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This page was published Sun, Jan 23, 2022, 12:22AM CST.

© 2022 by Bud Grossmann