Thursday, August 20, 2009

Old yellers ...

School started here yesterday, notable (a) if you have school-age kids or (b) if you live half a block from a school as I do. So the big yellow buses were back, lined up from top to bottom of the big hill this house is perched atop, staging area for the intricate dance of the motorized levathons that moves hundreds of youngsters from attendance center to attendance center, home to school and back again.

Columbus School, an elementary, has been on this site for almost as long as there's been a Chariton, and I remember the wonderful old Columbus --- a Second Empire creation complete with turrets and towers that has long since fallen to a more practical low-slung modern edition. Before the school, the lot was the original city cemetery (the older Douglass Cemetery is just beyond town to the southwest). But this was not a practical location and when the "new" Chariton Cemetery was created along ridges defining the river valley due south of here in the early 1860s, the bodies were moved, or at least we hope they all were.

Moving bodies around the neighborhood remains a challenge --- it was not designed for a time when nearly every kid would be picked up and delivered by something bulky --- a bus or a private vehicle with a frustraned parent behind the wheel. The first few days are especially rough as Columbus parents discover or rediscover the challenges: vehicles lined up as far as the eye can see, no place to park, head-on vehicular confrontrations on streets narrowed to barely one-way.

Those of us who live here soon learn that if you're at home between say 3 and 3:20 p.m. it's best to plan on staying there; and if you're away, to plan on staying away.

So the school buses are among the old yellers just reappearing now.

The others form the amazing array of yellows and golds now bursting forth everywhere --- golden rod (just beginning), yellow coneflowers, black-eyed susans, sunflowers of various sorts and many more.

September and October are among my favorite months and I'm looking forward to more of the show.

1 comment:

Ed Abbey said...

As someone who lives about 150 feet diagonal from an elementary school, I hear you! I have a work schedule that allows me to avoid the crowds but occasionally when I get off early, I remember what I've been missing all those days when I get caught in the traffic trying to make it into the safety of my driveway. I will appreciate the closeness a little more when my daughter goes to school in a couple years.