Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Google Earth Meme #2, Vidalia Lower Elementary School

Chicken Little

It is hard for me to believe, but I was once an extremely skinny kid.

Sainted Mother likes to tell a story of how, when I was TWO years old and she had taken me to the doctor for a checkup, and I officially weighed 25 pounds (11.4kg).

She says that that evening, when we all went over to my paternal grandparent's house to visit, she walked in carrying me and announced, "Well, he finally weighs as much as a sack of flour."

Bless her heart, Big Brother and I were so skinny when we were little, she lived in fear of someone taking us away because we looked malnourished. So she started pumping us full of vitamins when we were little. I still take vitamins to this day like clockwork.

Another fact about me is that I never attended kindergarten. I just went straight to first grade when I was 5.

This is where Vidalia Lower Elementary School comes into the picture. This school is where I went from 1st through 3rd grades.

Unlike the Upper Elementary I talked about HERE, this school wasn't close to the Mississippi River and the playground wasn't fenced in. But I've always been a decent sort who followed the rules, for the most part, and never considered wandering off the school grounds.

I guess kids all over the world play versions of tag, and I found out in the first grade that I was about the fastest kid on the playground. And for some reason, when I was targeted by whomever was IT, I ran as if my life actually depended on not being tagged.

This became quite a challenge for my pals at recess, I almost never had to be IT. This began to concern them, and the normal game of tag morphed from the normal form into one with everyone simply trying run me down and catch me.

This, of course, heightened my sense of self-preservation, and I avoided each and every attempt to catch me with even more diligence than before.

This brought out the competitor in everyone and they thought it was funny to see me run so fast and they were amazed at how hard it was to catch me.

Some girl started calling me Chicken Little, and the name stuck. So, during first and second grade, when tag was THE game of choice at recess, I was known as Chicken Little.

Knowing how big of a person I ended up being makes it even funnier. But I sure remember running like the wind.

Even in junior high and high school as I became a behemoth, I could run just as fast as the 'normal' people, even at 6' and 220 pounds. On the rare occasion when I ran from someone, they would usually stop in wonder that I was so hard to catch for a big guy.

My friends hated trying to tackle me when we played football as teens on a local playground; big AND fast hurt more to tackle than normal sized and fast. (No touch football for us.)

I never told my teen friends about my youthful nickname of Chicken Little, they would have called me that until my dying day.

Not something I wanted to happen. I was like any other teen, I wanted to be accepted, not singled out. A nickname like Chicken Little would have been funny to my teenage friends, who would have relished calling the big guy I had become by that name.

But for those two brief years in 1st and 2nd grade, when the game of tag was king, I was Chicken Little, and hard to catch.

In 3rd grade, our final year at Vidalia Lower Elementary School, we became enamored of kickball, and the recess games of tag, as well as my nickname, came to an end.

Ok, yeah, I know I should have a better picture for this post, but apparently Vidalia is low on the priority list of detailed shots for satellites, so that's the best I can get.

1 comment:

Hammer said...

Wow, you brought back some memories with that post.

I remember those games of tag really well, the little guys were really tough to catch.