Friday, January 13, 2012


                                          MY THIRD GRADE SMELLED GOOD         

So, do I  remember the smells associated with my elementary school classroom? Yes. The most intoxicating smells I remember is when I started the third grade at Nance School in Clinton, Oklahoma. I was so excited about starting  at a new school with new school supplies.

The Red Chief Tablet had an exciting aroma. It must have been the glue that bound the pages together. But, I do remember the anticipation about what I was going to write on the pages of the tablet.

There was also the fragrant aroma that seeped from the color crayons, we called,  “crayolas”. They smelled almost like bubblegum. And bubble gum was a cherished fragrance connected with my taste buds. Mainly, because there was such a short supply of bubble gum and it was rationed just a couple of years before, during World War ll.   But I couldn’t eat or chew crayons, like I did bubble gum, though some kids did.

Pencils had the woodsy smell, of course. And when you smell the shavings of pencils from a room full of students, it was like smelling sawdust in a lumberyard.

When the school bell rang, we happily ran outside for recess to play and meet our new school mates. One pretty girl in French style pigtails came up to me and asked,
          “Are you a third grader?”                                       
          I proudly answered, “Yes I am.”
          She said, “Hi I am Carol. Here is some liquorice".
          I chose not to declare my ignorance and ask, what is liquorice? So, when I saw Carol put the long black rubbery looking piece in her mouth, I did the same. The chewy aromatic black substance teased my taste buds and the smell was one I had no familiarity with at all, but it was one that I remembered fondly thereafter. Bits of the chewy tasty candy stayed in my teeth all afternoon until I went home and brushed them.     
What I  also remember,  I was so proud to finally make it to the third grade and be rewarded by new friends like Carol. Ahhhh, the third grade smelled so good.


  1. Smells are such powerful triggers for our memories. I love what you recall about third grade. I too used to love to crack open a new box of Crayola crayons--a 64 pack when I was lucky, which usually meant I had been good enough or sick enough to deserve a special treat. And the pencils. Recently when I was in Oregon visiting my co-author and business partner Matilda Butler, we drove through a small mill town on our way to visit the Pacific Ocean. Well, the whole town smelled like No. 2 pencils. Turns out the town milled a lot of cedar wood. What an evocative aroma. Thanks for sharing your memories.


  2. That is so cool. See how we women relate. Thanks for commenting on my blog, Kendra. Kendra and Matilda have a super blog. When I can I will show others how to link up to it.