West End Elementary School
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2018 02:16 PM

West End Elementary school was grades K-4 and served New Village kids and kids from the homes that Whitins Machine works built in the area.  It has been torn down for several years.  But I remember those years of innocence we had.  In kindergarten, I remember our nap times when we get out our blankets and nap on the floor.  I remember milk cartons being delivered to Mrs. Olsen 's office and we were lined up to put down our 3 cents and pick up a warm carton of milk and return to our classroom for lunch.  I remember in the first grade we had a teacher with a French name and accent.  Each day someone was selected to past out the straws for the milk.  Well, my turn came and as I was walking around passing out the straws the bottom of the box flipped open and all the straws fell on the floor.  Well, the teacher started yelling at me, saying I did it on purpose and started hitting me with a yardstick numerous times.  I was sent to Mrs. Olsen's office.  Long story short, the teacher apparently had a breakdown and was relieved from duty and disappeared.  I remember in the third grade we were using crayons to color in pictures (and stay within the lines).  That turned out to be a problem and my parents were called in by Mrs. Hayworth for a discussion.  Apparently, I was using too much purple in my drawings and she wanted to know if I was having problems at home, or elsewhere.  My first shrink test.  I have never used purple again, although I still like the color.  I remember on rainy days half the kids wore yellow rain slickers and half wore black rain slickers.  I and Richie Piper would form "gangs" of black slickers versus yellow slickers.  We would just run around the schoolyard and "capture" the big tree, and then we would capture the "Jungle Jim".  That was really exciting.  There was never any violence like there is today, but there was on a shooting incident that did take place.  One morning while walking to school by the Whitins plant there were strikers blocking the exit from the plant.  Whitins was trying to get a truck out to bring goods to a trade show.  Well  at recess that day, the truck did get out and the stickers were chasing it in their cars, but they also were shooting their guns at the truck.  I remember the teachers yelling and screaming "get down" "get down" which we did.   That was the only violence I remember from all of my Northbridge School years with the exception of a few "pea shooters" and slingshots.  So do you have any memories to add to this forum?  I know you do.