The Crossing Guard Chronicles: The Facts, Just the Facts… ‘Did You Know Abe Lincoln Had A Sense of Humor’?

‘We miss your facts’, a student at my school crossing post offered. ‘Well, here’s something, did you know that President Abraham Lincoln had a great sense of humor?’ No, she didn’t and neither did other students. I didn’t, either, until I recently read* more about Lincoln.

‘His pictures always show him looking sad or serious’, another commented. ‘Well, he was often sad and serious. He had much to be both sad and serious about in his life’.

One can get a potpourri of facts by reading.

This is the stuff we talk about at the Curbside Classroom. Facts. But there’s more. And the kids love the ‘more’.

He changed the world for the better. Dr. Jonas Salk did that. I was working on March 26th and reminded the kids about Dr. Salk and his successful research into developing a polio vaccine on this date in 1953. We discussed what we could in the very brief time before crossing.

Tying the polio epidemic and the successful vaccine then, when I was a kid, to the Covid-19 pandemic, I thought, was interesting for the kids, as well as a couple of teachers or adults who happened to benefit from crossing at the Curbside Classroom, that day. Understanding that events in history often repeat themselves was a good lesson. And to have an eye witness, me, who experienced the anxieties of both, tell them about it, was a plus.

Some of these kids are graduating this year and it’s exciting to see them planning their future. It’s been a challenging year because of the pandemic but kids are resilient and they seem to have handled it fine, for the most part.

I like to think that the Curbside Classroom helped them kick start their days. I hope it will be a fond memory, as they continue along a successful Life journey and maybe, just maybe, change the world for the better.

Congratulations, Class if 2021!


* Team of Rivals’ by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin

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Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative to begin anew as a school crossing guard. SMy essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my blog stories, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Another offered about my blog, “it brings some sense of normalcy not easily found in the modern world.”

43 thoughts on “The Crossing Guard Chronicles: The Facts, Just the Facts… ‘Did You Know Abe Lincoln Had A Sense of Humor’?”

  1. I have often said the same thing—kids are resilient. Distance learning is hard for many kids, but I’d be less concerned about the academics that kids missed than their mental health. I think most children, teachers, and parents are glad to have their children back at in-site school.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What a great slogan. And it’s true. I remember my favorite teacher, Warren C Paige, taught 10th grade Intro to Geometry. I was 16 and it was my favorite class throughout school, including college.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My younger brother had polio in 1953 when he was only 1 year old. He was in the hospital for 3 months and has one leg a bit shorter than the other but is otherwise OK. I was given a vaccination immediately. I have often likened this current pandemic to the polio scare of that time and will be forever grateful to Dr. Salk.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I believe I was 7 at the time and it was a bit scary, even for 7 yr olds. Remember, it was a series of two or three shots. But they also developed an oral vaccine which I much preferred over the needle. Thanks for you story, Darlene, and I’m glad your brother is fine.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Once again Steve you do a great job. Your “classes”
    will remember you and what you taught them for a long while.
    Jim Murdock

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always enjoy this feature, Steve. Children are sponges and it is so great you engage them in such a fun way. I have my two shots and I will encourage everyone I know to do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, get the shots. I have mine also, Moderna. I’m so glad you enjoy these updates. They’re fun to write and more fun exchanging info with the kids. And I’m convinced that with the kids who cross with me, someone among them will change the world for the better. Hope I’m around to see it. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, John. I was only there for a week but we packed a lot into it, including a game of directions. Hopefully, these kids will be back in class full time soon. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Liz. Every year, our neighborhood association puts a big sign on a corner and it tells everyone who is graduating. A strange year to be a senior but they managed. Thanks for contributing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this!! It is just wonderful, Steve. I’m glad you tied the polio vaccine to the Covid vaccine. Yes, I was there getting vaccinated in the early 50’s like you. I remember it well. “We miss your facts” – what a great opener. I’ll be reblogging this in a few days, after I do my final Art Show post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, mr crossing guard, for your steadfast fact conversations! I know you are making an impact and difference in the lives of individuals…
    At hubby’s first Pfizer shot, the pharmacist commented on his small pox vax scar and that he’d seen a lot of ‘those’ scars – amazed that they were still visible…
    I remember the oral sugar cube polio vax as a kid in elementary school as well as a few classmates who were in braces due to the polio. Made it obvious that the true message of science is not malicious – ya know?
    Stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I only did that for a few years followed by a sales career for a manufacturing company, so, two diverse occupations. But, if you’ve been around long enough and read a book from time to time, then you should have enough information to share when the opportunity presents itself. The crossing guard duty did just that, a captive audience. Thanks so much for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am sure they missed you, Steve! For the next lockdown with online teaching you have to establish a “virtual pathway”, half an hour before the lessons will start. 😉
    Thank you for your efforts, and have a lovely weekend! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michael, that would be fun. This ‘thing’ could grow and grow and grow where I’d have to add assistants, the pay them, then incorporate, then… say, would you be available?😂😂😂 But, seriously, if I were a classroom or home room teacher, I’d have a bulletin board with a ‘Did You Know’ section for the kids to see and absorb, however. You have a wonderful day and don’t forget , today is the anniversary of Paul Revere’s famous ride.

      Liked by 1 person

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