Mrs. Fletcher was my fifth grade teacher. I think her husband was a teacher in college. They seemed to be intelligent people. All of my teachers from 5th and below were quiet and seemingly old, except for Mrs. Secrest. Mrs. Fletcher was low-key and from what I remember was a very good teacher. The fifth grade was the year when the students did there United States research project. This is where you wrote all 50 states and asked for information about each state and you also researched each state and wrote a report. The project had flyers and other information in it about each state. This was a fun and anticipated project for me. I do not know why it was fun, but I did enjoy it. It may have been because it was not so much about intelligence as it was about work, research and presentation. Because of a strong work ethic I could do the work to make a good project.
It was in the fifth grade that I first laid eyes on Teri Absher, my longtime love desire from that point on until the 12th grade. It is interesting that the day before I got married at 19 years old I saw Teri in the Monroe Mall with my bride to be and still had longings to be with her. I went into marriage wondering if she was the one for me. I suspect she cared not for me from my perspective and I was too shy to pursue her. We dated briefly in the 7th grade and that was the end of it. Teri went to Marshville Elementary. They came over for some school event between the two schools. I saw her in the auditorium that day and never saw her before or after until I got to the 7th grade, middle school. I think she was wearing a pink skirt. I waited and anticipated that I was going to meet the girl of my dreams in two years.
Ellen Sue Hinton, who liked to be called Sissy, used to put her shoes under her desk in the 5th grade and her feet stunk. That was a memory.
The most embarrassing moment in the fifth grade was when Tim Adams had a birthday party and he gave a lot of the guys an invitation. I got one, but put it in my desk and forgot to take it home with me. I finally remembered to get it and opened it up only to find out the party was the day I opened it. The card requested we not bring presents. I went to Mama Grant’s house that day after school because she lived in Wingate and I could walk to her house from the school. I called mother about the party and she asked if she needed to get a present. I said, “No” because the card said not to bring any. That was where I learned that such cards do not necessarily mean what they say. Everybody brought a present but me. I was totally humiliated. I took the card at face value. I had no clue I was supposed to bring something. It was very clear. It was one those most embarrassing moments in one’s life. I’m not sure where I became so literal about life, but it was certainly formulating in my mind at an early age. Tim said, “no presents”.