Skipping School in First Grade

First Grade: Mrs. Novak’s class. By then we were living in the now-non-existent Pleasant Homes Mobile Park on Aviation at the Santa Fe railroad tracks (which, also, are now non-existent). I was allowed to ride my bicycle to school… the first day I was so excited that I was looking back, waving at my mom, when I plowed into the back of a parked car and bloodied my lip. Apparently that didn’t keep me from being able to ride my bike to school, since it wasn’t long before I was skipping school with it.

I’d leave home in the morning pretending to go to school, but instead of going to school I’d veer off and follow the railroad tracks. I’d spend all day just loafing around (I got to know the tracks in town very well) and would return home when I saw the school buses out on their afternoon routes. Got away with it for about two weeks before Mrs. Novak called my mom to see why I was so sick.

Mom got Mr. Almond from next door to drive her around town and look for me. They found me in front of the old Rocket Gas station which used to be where the Burger King ended up being, on Main just south of Fallbrook Street. Interesting how I remember the exact location.

Times were different then, when a 6 year old kid can ride a bike by himself all around town all day long but needless to say, it was one of those "Just wait 'til your father gets home" afternoons.

- another excerpt from my autobiography

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