My post about summertime brought back memories of how much I wanted to be a safety patrol at my elementary school. The safety patrol did just what it sounds like, patrolled to make sure all the boys at girls got to school safely and behaved in a safe manner during school hours.
The safety patrol girls and boys were all big sixth graders-this was long before middle schools and all that, you went to elementary school until sixth grade, then on to junior high school-none of this middle school nonsense back then. They all got to wear a white belt that had a bandolier type strap that went over one shoulder, and if you saw someone wearing that white safety patrol belt they had almost as much authority as a police officer. You did what they said, no questions asked. Come to think of it, there might have even been a little police officer style badge that went on that white belt.
We went to school in a very safe suburban neighborhood-no crack houses or gangs or major intersections, just a nice neighborhood with mostly middle class white kids-maybe a few hillbillies in the mix there somewhere. I don't think there was a single black kid in the whole school, no hispanics that I can remember, but there was one asian boy named Fred Dong that was in my class. And, no, we didn't make fun of his name. We were innocent back in the 60's and didn't know how much fun we could have had with a name like Dong.
So, the main duty of the safety patrol boys and girls was to make sure that you crossed those suburban streets safely on your way to school. They were our crossing guards and they would hold back the hordes of children from crossing the street by spreading their arms out to the sides and only let them cross when they deemed it safe.
And I wanted to be a safety patrol.
Every year at the end of school the safety patrol was hand picked by our p.e. teacher from the fifth grade classes-yes, schools back in the 60's had lots more money than now and we had p.e. teachers, art teachers, music teachers, french language teachers-unbelievable, huh? So, on our last day of fifth grade here comes the p.e. teacher with the list of the chosen ones, and guess what? I WAS ON THE LIST!!
But, we were moving to California that summer so I wouldn't be going to sixth grade at that school and I wouldn't get to be a safety patrol. Not that I didn't want to move to the land of sunshine and surfers but couldn't we have waited until after I got to be a safety patroller?