I enjoyed my book signing at Old World Wisconsin last Saturday, December 14th in the beautiful gift shop. I was near the hot chocolate, which was a great place to chat with folks who came in to warm up after visiting Santa, taking a sleigh ride, or singing carols in St. Peter’s Church. Many people stopped by the table to share a story and a memory about their years in a one-room schoolhouse.
One visitor, Bob, said proudly that he attended the Beech Grove School in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin for all eight grades.
I asked, “Do you remember any of the songs or poems from the Christmas programs?”
He paused for a moment, then to the surprise of everyone around us (and especially his wife) started in singing, “I’m a little teapot, short and stout, here is my handle here is my spout…” He even acted it out!
He mentioned, “The Christmas program just became too big; too many people came to watch, so they moved it to the tavern.”
“Your Christmas program was in a tavern?” I smiled and asked him to clarify.
“Oh, I guess that does sound a bit strange. But, there was a ballroom up above the tavern. That’s where the school program was.”
Bob also spent time sharing his recollection of the food at the last day of school party. He remembers a big milk can full of lemonade, big slices of chocolate cake with an “inch of chocolate frosting”, and ice cream in leather-insulated coolers. “There were no pans of brownies, this was before brownie mixes. You couldn’t beat that chocolate cake.” , said Bob as he warmed up with a cup of hot chocolate.