‘we saw the man go up in space today’

may-5th-croppedA NOTHER SELECTION FROM MY EARLIEST PROSE, circa 1961, unearthed in a bout of housecleaning here this winter. This one earned me a star (which seems just right for a penmanship exercise about space travel), and marked the day the first American, Alan Shepard (who in 1971 would walk on the moon) went up in space. The day before, my mind had been on matters more befitting a gardener in the making:

may-4thYes, indeed they are, and isn’t it delightful?

Categorieswoo woo
  1. susan says:

    Coming home from work and having time in the garden is the best. Longer days give you a better chance at dirt filled evenings.

  2. Erin says:

    What a treasure those are. And I bet you got an A (or a checkmark or a plus or whatever crazy grades they give in elementary school) for penmanship!

  3. Cindy says:

    The site of five grown men (my husband and sons 19- 23 years old) peering hungrily out the window at the crazy woman still half dressed in office clothes pulling weeds and wondering, “Should we ask her?” or should we just eat cereal.

  4. margaret says:

    Welcome, Katherine the painter, and also to Erin.

    Truth be told, I was a disaster in penmanship…such a struggle for me from the start. To make things worse, I then skipped the grade where one learns “cursive” letters, as we called them, so I was always being scolded about my inadequacy. Today my writing is OK (even without a keyboard). :)

    See you both soon I hope.

  5. Dan Shaw says:

    If you frame these I will buy them. Truly.After all I just bought a piece of art made of cigarette butts by Norman Rockwell’s son.

  6. Bobster says:

    Margaret, thanks for sharing such a simple, yet beautiful childhood memento. I think we’re all celebrating the lengthened time in the garden and giddily chanting to ourselves, “the days are longer, the days are longer…”.

    You put a smile on my face this morning!

  7. Michelle says:

    I’m curious about the faint, ghost-letters that appear on the page. . . a previous assignment that bled through? or had you written and erased something? Either way, good to see that you were “improving.”

  8. How cool to have this little window into your childhood world, Margaret. Do you think you noticed that the days were longer by yourself, or were the words set out for you?
    My favorite part is the way “Space” is capitalized – the astronauts turned the word into a proper noun that was a real place!

    By 1961 I had started high school and we heard the radio news coverage over the intercom. You skipped second? I skipped third, the year when kids began learning the times-tables. My godfather bought a chalkboard for the kitchen so I could practice them at home. Reason I’m spilling this is because May 5th was his birthday and I miss him. Thanks for the memory triggers.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  9. cindee says:

    That is a great childhood paper to have! I love how the teacher marked it improved too(-:
    I don’t remember the first man in space. I was born in January 1961(-: I am sure my parents were talking about it though so maybe somewhere in my memory its there(-:
    I always enjoy those extra hours of daylight. It is my favorite time of the year!!!!

  10. dennis r says:

    being the crack detective that i am…i make out the ghost letters on the may 5th entry as …
    “Go to bed early”
    “Go to bed early”
    “Go to bed early”

    1. margaret says:

      You may be right, Dennis…I didn’t get out the books again, and I know there are two sessions of “Days are Longer,” one of which is on the back of “We Saw the Man Go Up In Space Today.” So this must be the other. I was quite the writer, huh–what prose!

  11. chris says:

    odd day today.


    consecutive odd numbers. rare actually.

    will make you want to look carefully at a fern and think about fibonacci a bit…or maybe not

  12. Katie says:

    Love the “improving” scrawled under the star May 5.

    And, yes, the days ARE longer. I couldn’t be more relieved. :-)

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Patia. Funny, isn’t it? My mother tossed my precious Barbies and trolls, but saved my school notebooks, various signs of my extreme rebellion and politics in the late 68s (and my Girl Scout sash with the various badges on it). From this odd heap I have reconstructed the story of my childhood. :) See you again soon.

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