Second Grade Shelley



Found while de-cluttering, “Happiness” (circa 1977)…check out the awesome drawing of Princess Leia…I’m assuming from the footlights that this rendering was inspired by the little known stage show production of “Star Wars.”


Even back in the days when I was known as “Shelley P.”, I loved “Star Wars” and rainy days. (The snow I encountered in a freak storm in south Mississippi at Christmas when I was six. I didn’t see the stuff again until college…I kid you not.)

The page above was taken from the “My Feelings” book I created in Miss Blakeslee’s class. I found the book while cleaning out my guest room closet this weekend, and I have to say much of it still rings true today.

Other jewels from those pages include…

On the Excitement Page: “I’m glad when my birthday comes Because ti’s the motorcyle races.”

No, I wasn’t some renegade Hell’s Angel second grader, I was the daughter of a man who owned a motorcycle shop. Not only did I spend many, many, many hours (and several birthdays) at enduros and motocrosses, I spent quality time with people who wore wallet chains the way God intended wallet chains be worn…to keep your money on you at 80 mph on the open highway. Daughtry + wallet chain = pfftthhh.

On the Important Page: “I like tosing when they ask me to sing I am apromies I am a poselbeity. I feel important to pray.”

I can honestly say I still feel important to pray..and I still like tosing “I am a Promise. I am a Possibility.”

(Now that I’m reflecting on this…I find it hard to believe second graders were taught this song…I keep picturing Mickey Rooney as a choir director going, “Come on kids, let’s put on a show! Pow! A show!”)

On the Feeling Scared Page: “I feel scared when I see gosts. I am scared of a Kool-Aid can. I feel dume when it is dark.”

First of all…what weirdo second grader uses the word “doom”? (Or, rather, “dume”…which must be the French spelling, n’est pas?)

Secondly…I know I’m not alone about the terrors of Kool-Aid…wonders what Dane Cook is doing Friday night.

(Fair warning: Bad language and inappropriate visuals for kiddos in the clip below.)





37 Responses to “Second Grade Shelley”

  1. sideways721 Says:

    Shelley, what treasures show up when you least expect them.

  2. Laurita Says:

    Such a find!
    You were a real good little printer, S.P. – Prepping for your blogmeister future life, I guess..

    And quite the artiste! I esp. love Leia’s pigtail buns ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Who’s singing Promise..Possibility? Btw, I was never taught this in any grade, but it’s pretty cool…

    P.S. Dane = truly weirdly funny – “Oh YEAH…”; “Thanks, Kool!”

  3. Hickstyeria Says:

    My mother has a schoolbook of mine with similar items. I read some of the entries and wonder what my logic was in writing what I did. Of course, there’s even the odd entry that embarasses your parents but hey, I was a child right?

    How prescient that a Taylor featured in your life even then…

  4. Connie8 Says:

    Funny, but when I read “dume”, I didn’t automatically jump to the French spelling of “doom”, which really is a rather odd word for you to have used. Are you sure that you weren’t misspelling “dumb?” That is probably more like what I would have written.

    How come I never heard that song or saw the ads with the giant kool-aid man? Deprived childhood, I guess.

    What a wonderful thing to find in a closet, a little bit of the you that will always remain a child. I’ve been trying to get in touch with that part of myself lately. Something like that would be helpful. You are so cool, Shel.

  5. Alison B. Says:

    Is that you singing “I Am a Promise”? I really like your voice, Shelley.

    The Princess Leia artwork is interesting; the nose and mouth seem sophisticated for a seven year old (not that I know much about art). So you are a writer, musician and singer…did you ever try your hand at drawing too?

    A biker father! OK, that is exceptionally cool.

  6. Shelley Says:

    Well…I wouldn’t really call Dad a biker. He rides motorcycles. He never owned a “hog”…he went with more conservative, classic bikes like BSA, Norton, and Honda. He raced them, never rode in “clubs” or “gangs.”

  7. Theresa Says:

    That letter is a keeper! What a neat find. You should frame it with the school photo of that grade. At 6:30am I got stuck way too long on wondering what you could have meant by “tosing”. I kept repeating “toesing, toesing…what’s that?” Thanks for explaining.

  8. Alison B. Says:

    He sounds like a nice man. Hope the term ‘biker’ was not offensive. It is not a subject I am familar with!

  9. Quossum Says:

    Cool stuff, cool stuff. Isn’t it strange, that feeling of detachment and yet familiarity when we see something from our childhood like that? Almost a “Was that really me?” feeling.

    I wasn’t scared of the Kool-Aid guy, BUT I distinctly remember an episode of Sesame Street (born the same year as I was, so we grew up together) where Ernie paints a picture of Bert, but when he turned the painting around so we could see it, he had painted Bert with a beard and moustache. I totally freaked out, started screaming and crying…it was terrible. My mom had to reassure me that Bert still really was Bert. (I was, and still am to this day, quite annoyingly Bert-like in character, and so I was totally unamused by Ernie’s shenanagins.)

    Whew, now I have to think of this to get those images out of my head. Ah, much better!


  10. Quossum Says:

    Oh, I hope you forgive this slight off-topic deviation, but it relates to a past post…

    Remember when Traveling Monkbot visited Houston and so kindly helped me with building a rather bizarre quilt?

    Well, here is the finished top. It’s not quilted yet, because it’s freakin’ HUGE and I don’t know if I want to do it myself or have it done by a longarm professional, but I thought my fellow Monkbots would enjoy seeing how it all turned out. ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. Shelley Says:

    Alison…not offended one bit. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I just didn’t want y’all picturing one of the singers from ZZ Top as my dad. Ha! Believe me, with all the real bikers I’ve been around, I know that most of them are salt of the earth people…so really it isn’t a put down at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Q, so glad Monkbot could help with the quilt. Beautiful!

    By the way, you hit the nail on the head with the “was that really me?” thing. That’s how I’ve been feeling with all the reminiscing this week (I’m halfway done! Yeah!)

    Also, I totally remember that episode of Sesame Street. That picture was pretty freaky…Bert looked like a deranged Grizzly Adams. LOL.

  12. shrewspeaks Says:

    I must be a freak of nature. I don’t remember anything scaring me like the KOOL-Aid man or Bert or the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz. I guess a was little creeped out by the Ghost of Christmas Future…but no real strong axiety pangs from that either.

  13. rowan Says:

    Aww Shelley, what a lovely find. Your Princess Leia rawks. I remember as a sarky fourteen year-old, telling my little brother, then eight, who just lived for Star Wars and had all the figures, that her hair coils were actually doughnuts that she took with her and balanced on her ears as a snack to keep her going during long space jaunts. He looked up, knowing he knew all there ws to know about the film, and I knew only what he’d told me…nevertheless, the evidence lay starkly before him, and, with the example of his sister to go by, seemed to make a lot of sense. R2D2 was his all-time fave.

    Our dads would get on well! My dad has been into classic bikes all his life, building old racing Norton’s up from “bits.” he hs an amazing one on the go jut now. I used to spend many a Sunday afternoon with a toothbrush dipped in pink stuff called “gunk” cleaning out what I think were carburettors. The soundrack to all of this ws, “Motorbike Sounds from the Isle of Man TT Races.” ๐Ÿ™‚

    Q – That quilt is awesome and incredible. Am stunned. If I fix a fallen hem with velcro. I’m punching the air.

  14. Claire Says:

    Aww, I had several Blasts From The Past like this when my parents moved house several years ago. I had to clean out my room, and the bottom of my wardrobe was full of years of kiddie memorabilia (I’ve turned into the Declutterer From Hell since, LOL). I spent many happy hours wading through old school reports, personal letters, general sentimental bits and bobs. It was like going back in time. In particular were letters from one particular friend, spanning several years (back when noooobody had cellphones and I often didn’t have a landline in my rented accomodation du jour). Those letters often mentioned her then bf’s Best Friend. Said friend is now married to said (ex)bf’s (ex)Best Friend. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It was amazing what I had kept. Stuff from primary school (ages 5-12) and upwards, towards leaving school at age 17. And in all honesty, I threw out very little of it. Except my college work, I had good fun making a bonfire out of THAT particular pile of crap. Ha. I had several shoe-boxes full of “stuff” which I kept at my parent’s house until I bought my own place and transferred it into one bigger box, which I have in my wardrobe.

    But for all my memories and reminiscing, I NEVER kept a journal or diary. I just couldn’t commit to it. I remember trying, but I would last a few days and then go “meh” and turn on the TV instead. I kinda regret that now. Maybe I should start a blog or sumthin’.

  15. jenfera Says:

    Nothing was quite so scary as the cobras, Nog & Nogarina, from Ricky Ticky Tavvy. (not sure on some of the spellings there.) I’d run out of the room whenever that came on and have bad dreams about them later.

    My first grade teacher had Leia’s side-buns before there was Leia. Her name was Mrs. Geiggles (pronounced GUY-gulls, definitely not giggles.) and she was very old and my mother called her gray buns cootie garages. Probably not the best thing to teach an impressionable 1st-grader, but I was way too shy at the time to have repeated it, and my mom was still pretty young herself at the time!

  16. Shelley Says:

    cootie garages? ha.

    jen…you are SO right about those cobras.

    but how adorable was Rikki Tikki?

  17. jenfera Says:

    Awww, Rikki was adorable! See, that’s how they sucked kids in with the cute little mongoose, only to then terrorize them with cobras. What kind of kids’ show is that??

    Oh, I was also afraid of those flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz! Yikes!

    Monkbot = good
    Flying Monkey = very, very bad

  18. Shelley Says:

    the flying monkeys never scared me…but the guards in the witch’s castle did…and when the Tin Man dressed as one of those guards I almost fainted. that was some scary mess.

  19. justwatchin Says:

    Going to have to go with Jenefera…the flying monkeys were terrifying, but not more than the witch lady bicycling with Todo in the basket….man I hated the witch & monkey music…da da da da.da da………….da..da..da..da.da..da..

    So after all the confrontation talk, I found myself in a situation, unable to speak…and I thought I was well past that. Alas.

  20. leejolem Says:

    We used to have a Viewmaster with the Wizard of Oz reel. I used to have this perverse fascination with the super up close pic of the wicked witch staring into the crystal ball. It scared the be-jesus out of me, but I would keep looking at it. Wizard of Oz is a seriously scary movie for a little kid.

    Shelley, I loved your 2nd grade comments. It seems like we are able to be in touch and share deep feelings easier at a young age. “I feel important to pray.” and “I feel dume when it is dark.”–those are pretty deep comments for a 7-8 yr old. When I was dating my future dh he found a paper I’d written in 2nd grade. We were supposed to describe ourselves. I wrote “My name is Lisa. I have a Mom, 2 sisters and a brother. My dad is dead.” He swears to this day that the poignancy of that phrase was the beginning of him falling in love with me. I have no recollection of my dad’s death defining me so much at that age. What possessed me to include that fact so baldly?

    Thanks for sharing Shelley. I hope you still don’t feel “dume” when it is dark, and the Kool-Aid man doesn’t barge into your living room in your dreams!

  21. leejolem Says:

    P.S.-I totally agree with you justwatchin–the lady flying thru the air on the bike during the tornado was skeery!!!!!!!!

  22. Quossum Says:

    Cobra-haters need not peek… Rikki vs. Nagina

    It’s amazing what people upload. I even found Animalympics!


  23. Staci Says:

    Shelley!! Another connection! My best friend and I sang “I am a Promise” in church so many times I thought the song was written for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I actually have a great version of Junior Asparagus of the VeggieTales performing this song (ah, the joys of motherhood). Found this link (hope it works)
    I Am A Promise – Album Version by VeggieTales

  24. Shelley Says:

    I. Love. Junior. Asparagus.

    Thanks for the link, Staci. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Little Deb Says:

    I used to get scared when watching the Wizard of Oz also. Hated the bicycle/tornado scene, hated the monkeys. I still really don’t like watching those parts.

    The junior high (I think they call it middle school now) that I went to in NJ had a very strange and scary practice. The day before school was out for a holiday, we would have a half day of school. We would show up and all be sent into the auditorium where they would show a movie. Now, here’s the strange part. You think they would show a holiday-related movie to get you into the spirit of the whole thing. Noooooooo – they showed The Pit and the Pendulum, Tales from the Crypt, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Night of the Living Dead. To this day, I cannot watch a scary movie. After the first one, I walked out of the auditorium crying and called my Mom who gave permission to the school for me to go home. After that, I always had permission to “play hookie” the day before a holiday. I mean why even make you go to school if they’re gonna show a movie the whole time. However, it would have been a nice gesture if the movie was related to the corresponding holiday/day off – or at least cheerful, educational or something else beneficial. Tell me – what the heck did I learn from being forced to watch the Pit and the Pendulum?

    What was up with that? Was it the chemicals leaking from the factories in my home town that affected the principals brains? Are there a greater number of serial killers that grew up in NJ? (just kidding on that one)

  26. Shelley Says:

    Little Deb…if you are close to my age (37) then I have to say we just caught a wave of school administration before “sensitivities” set in.

    I remember going to the auditorium in junior high and watching “Night Gallery” and some horror film that featured a guy getting his hand chopped off in an old wooden handled paper cutter.

    It took me YEARS to even attempt to use a paper cutter.

    What WERE those people thinking?

  27. leejolem Says:

    Little Deb, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane–you’re kidding me!! Bette Davis at her freakiest. Can you imagine if they showed that kind of stuff now at schools?

    Shelley and Staci, I lerve Veggie Tales. My fav is Larry the Cucumber singing the Song of the Dancing Cucumber to Bob the Tomato. Their relationship makes me laugh so hard (ok, did I just use the word relationship while referring to vegetables? Is there such a thing as anthropomorphism/veggiemorphism anybody?)

  28. patrickkaddiddlehopper Says:

    I know this one kid who when he watched the spiderman cartoon show the line was “Spiderman, Spiderman, radioactive Spiderman.” He sang these words, “Spiderman, Spiderman, radio-shansen Spiderman.” He sang it like that because he was in second grade.

  29. rowan Says:

    Oooh, love Veggie Tales too. My fave is Jonah. When Jonah the asparagus goes to Nineveh, he finds that the main form of punishment is to be slapped with a fish. “The slap of no return” is to have a huge fish dropped on your head from a great height. Very funny. Was wondering if there might be a sort of literary allusion, Shellz, in the fish-slapping, or just a co-incidence? Was discussing this philosophical premise of great Mobkbot import with Dr Bob, but could not confirm the theoretical hypothesis of a symbiotic intertextuality.:D Lee – yeah – anthropomorphism is the boogie. (Hugs cuddly Larry the cucumber toy.)

  30. Dr. Bob Says:

    Shelley, you sure were cute as a girl. Your budding authorship is clear, as is the foreshadowing of the mad photoshopping skilz in the juxtaposition of Princess Leia and the footlights. Very articulate you were! It is fun to see what you wrote as a child. One benefit from decluttering …

    As to scary things, the flying monkeys gave me the heebie jeebies for years. I think I am still scarred. As to VeggieTales, my son insists on listening every night to them before going to bed.

    Every. Night.

    However, I still love them. I also love the Dancing Cucumber song and Barbara Manatee (manatee, manateeeeee ….) And of course, my ePresent from Shelley, I Love My Lips. A classic.

    And yes, Rowan and I discuss Important Matters such as Jonah and fish slapping and Monkbots. We are deep like that.

  31. Dinah Says:

    (Indulgent story)
    When my son was in the second grade (40 yrs. ago) he brought home a Mother’s Day card he’d crayoned.
    “Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Anybody who doesn’t love Mom
    Is a son of a b****.”

    Top THAT!!

  32. Mos Eisley Says:

    Shelley – I’m very impressed with your Princess Leia drawing. My two boys (3 & 6) are obsessed with Star Wars and draw pictures of the characters all the time. What a phenomenon it is… how many more generations will it influence? Even I’m a pretty big fan (hence my name).

    leejolem – I too can totally relate to your “perverse fascination with the super up close pic” from Viewmaster. Except mine was from the “Alice in Wonderland” reel where she’s mid-air falling down the rabbit hole. Still gives me nightmares.

    All these posts are opening the floodgates to my childhood memories.
    “Night Gallery” being shown at your Jr. High, Shelley? That is ridiculous! At my Jr. High on Halloween we had a screening of “Blacula” in the auditorium.

  33. Julie Says:

    I love love LOVE the “My Feelings” book!

    Does anyone else think it’s significant that Princess Leia doesn’t have any legs? Or arms, now that I look at it again. Shelley, it seems to me you were already commenting, in your innocent seven-year-old way, on the Role of Women in Our Society: permanently onstage, incapacitated, unhappy (note the mouth), expected to perform anyway (“Dance, damn you…DANCE!!”)… Brilliant.

    And your dad is cool! An old boyfriend of mine and I once rode across the Golden Gate bridge on his 1972 BSA. How we made it I’ll never know…I love those old bikes!

  34. boogie Says:

    How adorable. I smiled the whole way through.

  35. suzi-q Says:

    The most awesome song of the veritable gallery of hits from Larry the Cucumber is “Oh, Where is my Hairbrush?” This song reminds me of the growing up years of my children for I could sing this near about everyday (mainly because the four of them would misplace their hairbrushes and new exactly where to find mom’s!

  36. suzi-q Says:

    “knew” sorry about that:) I guess I was reliving the fact that usually they would misplace my hairbrush and I would have to buy a “new” brush:)

  37. Dr. Bob Says:

    Oh, where-oh-where-oh-where-oh-where-oh-wheeeeerrrrreee …..

    is my little hairbrush?

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