This week, we begin with my entering the 5th grade. By the way, that 5th grade year saw us leave McUpton on the Princeton Road and travel back to the main school building on Main Street. We were once again in the back half of the high school building.
My teacher was Judy Thomas, and what a great one she was. If Mrs. Guinn was responsible for my love of reading, it was Mrs. Thomas that instilled my love to write. We wrote a lot of themes about what we wanted to be when we grew up and such. I really think our class began to bond about our 5th grade year. We sort of began to establish our identity as we grew into what was to become the graduating class of 1978. Also, wouldn’t you know it? Many of us were infected that year with severe cases of puppy love – or whatever it is 5th graders get. I didn’t escape the virus. (Let me insert a writer’s note here. It might be better if I just use first names only on the love stories.) As I was saying, I had my first real crush that 5th grade year as I fell in love with a girl named Rhonda. I guess that was my second as I kind of had eyes for Gwenna in the fourth grade. Back to Rhonda. I was so head over heels that I got her a gift for either her birthday, Christmas or Valentines. Can’t remember which. I do remember this, though. My parents took me to Princeton where I purchased a silver identification bracelet. I told the jeweler I wanted the name RHONDA engraved on it. We were told it would be ready in a week or so. I couldn’t wait to pick that bracelet up and present it to RHONDA. I just knew she would love it. Well, the week passed and we went to pick up the bracelet. The jeweler handed it to me, and one glance told me it was perfect. Well, maybe I should have taken a closer look. You see, we got home and wrapped the bracelet. Then I went to school and presented it to my most precious RHONDA. There was one problem. As RHONDA slipped the bracelet on and studied it, her smile turned to a confused look. I had first thought it was love, but it was no doubt downright confusion. RHONDA looked at the bracelet, then she looked I me, I looked at the bracelet, then I looked at her. The jeweler had misspelled my true love’s name. In big bold letters right there on the silver bracelet was the name ROHONDA. You know what? Little ole RHONDA still liked that bracelet and never complained. You know what else? I learned right then and there in the 5th grade that love is a complicated thing.
Next week junior high and the huts.
OT: To this day some of RHONDA’S classmates might occasionally refer to her as ROHONDA.
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference
Mike Wright is the outgoing head coach of boys basketball and cross country at Trigg County High School. Emails concerning Coach’s Corner can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.