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Happy School Days Again

A lot of folks are enjoying and reminiscing their happy school days and are calling to remind me of other fun activities. So here is one you might probably not believe, but is true.

Embroidery is considered a girl’s thing traditionally, but did you know that boys were also taught embroidery in primary school in the 1960’s? Oh yes, and no boy could laugh at you because everyone had his piece of plain cloth, needles, thread and the round apparatus that is used to stretch the material. It was called a “bastidor” in Spanish. The first thing you had to do was to come up with a design or picture of something you wanted to embroider. You had to draw it or trace it with carbon paper.

The boys usually had pictures of animals and birds, while the girls had flowers, cupids among other things. Only girls were to embroider the picture of a little lamb – boys were not, for some reason.

Wednesday afternoon it was sewing and embroidery time. The female teachers taught the children the different stitches and the kids practiced them on their pieces of cloth. I always wondered why the male teachers did not know how to embroider. The children were also required to take them home for homework and advance on their projects. When the embroidery was completed the teacher gave it a grade and they could then take them home. As you can appreciate, all teachers had to have knowledge of embroidery and all parents too.

Another popular work of art in school was a floor mat. This was made with the red bags in which onions were shipped. These bags had large meshes through which little pieces of cloth of all colors, one inch wide by 6 inches long, were intertwined. The result was a very fluffy floor rug ideal for the main door or at the foot of your “hammock”. I must have done about 20 floor mats during my childhood. I remember that when we misbehaved at home mom would say, “no street for you; sit down right now and work on your rug.”

So here is the final of the Happy Days in school 25 years ago. Next I will be writing on some ugly days in school, days that we would like to forget but can’t. Stay tuned children; you are living in heaven!

– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist

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