Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Love for Dick and Jane

My love for all things Dick and Jane began in the Fall of 1966. I arrived in first grade at Repton Elementary, a very small community in south Alabama. I did not attend kindergarten as there was no public kindergarten in those days. I can tell you, I was none to happy about starting school and spent the entire first day of school crying. I know I drove everyone nuts!!! I can truly remember the day, and several comments made by my classmates who thought I was completely crazy. 
I might add that I had a September birthday and was the youngest too. 

The truth of the matter was that I had quite a bit of stuff happen to me in a short amount of time. My daddy has just died of cancer in August, and we had moved back to Conecuh County, Alabama where my mom and dad had grown up. Then, September rolled around and off to school I went.

By the time the bus dropped me off that afternoon, my face was one big red puffy mess. Mama snuggled me up close the rest of the evening, but back the next day I had to go. It took me a few weeks to adjust. Now, you would think from that story that I would not have loved first grade, but I did come around and grew to love my life at school. I made two of the best friends, Jane and Debra, who took me under their wing and took good care of me. 

One of my absolute fondest memories of first grade was my introduction to Dick and Jane. I could not wait for my reading group to be called to the front to sit in the chairs arranged in a semicircle. I fell in love with the idyllic life held in the pictures.

I loved Jane, but my most favorite was Spot. I always loved dogs, but my mom.....not so much. She has often commented that she doesn't understand my love for them, and if there were such a thing as reincarnation, that she would want to come back as my dog, since I treat them so well. We do not believe in reincarnation...just a joke between us.  

I can remember staring at Spot dreaming that I might have a dog like that one day. 

Skip forward in time... I got married and Hubby began to talk of getting a dog. I was "Johhny on the spot" with my breed request.  A dog like Spot in our Dick and Jane readers. I came home from work one day to meet our first "child" (first "Springer Spaniel"). We named her Sally. Needless to say, I fell in love with her and she was really was like my first child!!! We have had two more since then... Murphy and Lucy.

I won't debate the pros and cons of the books as a teaching tool, but only that I loved them as a kid.
The family, the kids, the settings, the pets, everything just seemed so perfect to me. 

About 15 years ago, I decided I would find the entire set from my elementary years. I knew which ones because of pictures and yearbooks (which we called annuals back then). Apparently, I liked them so much that I brought them home often. I have several of them in photos that Mama took as I was waited for the bus in the mornings.

I have collected the entire set from the first paperbacks that introduce the characters and the first words, then the Junior Primer, Primer, and then right on up through 5th grade. The emphasis on Dick and Jane are only in the first grade books. From grade two on, other characters are added, and then in grade three they change to more of what would be in any reading book...stories of fiction and nonfiction.

My friends gave me presents with Dick and Jane for a good while there as well....magnets, a purse, etc. I have even made my own bag from fabric I found. In my last classroom, I made the cutest curtains from that fabric.

I might be obsessed.  Many of us like to collect things, and this is one of my favorite collections.

The older grades are special to me as well. I loved the addition of poetry to third grade. Some of my favorite poems as a kid are in these books.

Book 3.1
Here is one of my favorite poems, which leads to another of my obsessions and collections.
ALL ABOUT SPACE. I will share that one another day.

The poem was written in 1958.

One last picture. It has Book 2.1 in it, but get a load of that hair. There is a story there too!!!!!!!!

I love reading about other people's collections. They are varied as we are. This is one of my favorites. 

Sandy said, "Look, look at my collection!"

Do you have a favorite? 


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