Tuesday, June 3, 2008

life and school lunches

Good morning!
I see where the Winnemucca school Board has approved "on-line" purchasing of school lunches.

ah....I so miss our little rectangle hard/orange cardboard, daily hot lunch tickets that we got at Westgate Elementary School, in Kennewick, WA. One of our esteemed School Board members went to the same school for a couple of years. She, too must have a nostalgia feel for the old system.

If you bought a whole "week's" worth of lunches, you got a punch ticket....either a five day punch ticket or a whole month! I never got the whole month, because I would take my lunch to school in my "oh-so-groovy" MONKEES lunch box most days. (although one year it was a Barbie lunch box....black vinyl, not metal, shiny pink faced Barbie on the cover....(sigh!)

Once in a while, my mom would hand us some money and tell us to buy a hot lunch ticket for the day.
You had to miss a bit of morning (before school) recess to stand in line in the hallway in front of the gym-cafeteria. A Lunch-Lady would be waiting (hair in net--frown on face) to take your money and place it in the silver/gray metal change box. She would then check your name off and hand you your ticket.
OH, the fear of losing it!! Such responsibility for someone so young.

We all put our tickets in the pencil holders inside our desks (and open our desks periodically to check on them--to make sure they were still there). But that was in the upper grads (3rd, 4th and 5th) when we had desks. I'm not sure what we did as 1st and 2nd graders.

Lunch time would come and if we had cold lunch, we would go to the coat closet and trip over each other as well as snow boots and galoshes (spelling??), and gloves that had fallen out of coat pockets to get to our lunch boxes on the shelve above the coats. By this time many fur lined coats and mufflers would be on the floor as well, getting stepped on by our 5th grade feet.

In our School, Westgate Elementary, only the 5th graders got to actually walk to the cafeteria to get their hot lunches. Once again standing in line while the lunch-ladies readied your tray. then you go to carefully......very carefully, walk back to class holding your tray of food, oh-so-carefully....balance, balance, oh no, here comes the janitor with his mop and bucket, someone had a spill....balance, yes, ahhh, the room at last. You can see your desk, your confidence strengthened...until Gene McLauglin runs by and bumps you, smashing your tray into your chest, so you have tomato sauce stained breasts all afternoon....okay in the 5th grade you didn't actually have breasts, but still....you wanted them. And you wanted Gene McLaughlin to notice them...but not with tomato sauce stains. (3 years later, while dancing on your fireplace hearth to Nancy Sinatra singing "These boots are made for Walking"...that's when Gene McLaughlin really begins to notice you, when he is outside cutting your dad's lawn, and all you can think about is how much cooler you look in your mini-skirt and white go-go boots than you did in a plaid skirt, knee high socks and white blouse with tomato stained breassts...albeit flat breasts. He has to notice you now!) I digress.
We sat and ate at our desks.

If you were in a lower grade, the lunch-ladies brought a cart around and served you from the cart right in front of your classroom door. then you had only to balance the tray back to your desk.
We would all open our desks at the same time and take out our hot lunch or milk ticket and stand in line, while the lunch-ladies ladled the mystery meat into separate compartments on your hard plastic tray.

To be honest, I can't remember what we did with our trays once we were done. But I know as soon as we were done, we could get those boots and coats and mufflers and run outside to play.

Our teachers ate at their desks at the same time we did. It was always interesting to see what they would bring. Left over casseroles were huge in the winter. For the teachers, not for the kids of course. Our lunches consisted of three things: a sandwich (your standard bologna, peanut butter or tuna fish), chips and either a dessert (cookies or cupcakes) or a piece of fruit (apple or banana) and milk. Always milk. Easter did bring some hard-boiled eggs to school, and Thanksgiving was good for a turkey sandwich or two, but basically in the 1960's bologna, pbj and tuna-fish..those were your staple lunches.

My point? I have no point. It's just that I noticed the school board approved "on-line" purchasing of lunch tickets and I was thinking how different things have become. :~)
Probably for the best...as I like doing things "on-line" Gives me more time to dance on my own fireplace hearth with my mini skirt and white go-go boots. And believe you me (an idiom...you/me LOL) I get more notice (and action) from Rich Stone than I ever did from Gene McLaughlin!!

Have a nice day.
Debbie