The Day I Skipped School

Here's the whole story, as best I can remember. It was the Fall of 1959. I was in the second grade in Illmo, which is now part of Scott City, in southeast Missouri.

I decided not to board the bus one morning, and went instead to a nearby playground. One of our church members—Dad was Pastor at FBC Illmo—had called Dad to alert him about my status. I have no doubt this was an unselfish effort to try to save me from a life of crime, which I guess in a way is what it did.

As I was walking down the sidewalk, I noticed a car had pulled beside me, and was going very slowly, staying right next to me. I finally looked, and immediately recognized our blue and white 1957 Chevy. Grandpa had bought a more expensive, black model that had the three stripes on the front of the fenders, but Dad, who was always quite cheap, had the cheaper model.

Dad had me lie down in the back seat. He knelt down in the front seat, and spanked me very effectively. He then took me to school and told my teacher, Mrs. Tricky—yes her name was really Tricky—to also spank me. Fortunately, she was compassionate; she could tell I had been punished enough.

I never skipped school again, all the way through to earning a doctor's degree. I still feel uneasy when I get too close to a 1957 Chevy, especially if it is blue and white.

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