Friday, October 18, 2013

Lunchboxes

I only recall having two lunchboxes during my elementary school years.  I think perhaps there was a third around 6th grade but I can't remember it.  Hey Mom, I am relying on you to refresh my memory.

My first lunchbox back in 1972 was the metal Snoopy lunchbox that was shaped like Snoopy's doghouse.  I carried this lunchbox on Bus 43 during 1st through 3rd Grades at Eckhart Elementary School.

At Eckhart School, the cafeteria functioned as not only our lunchroom, but also as the school's gymnasium and auditorium.  We ate breakfast and lunch there, had phys. ed. classes in bad weather, watched plays and concerts, attended assemblies, and would gather the few days before Christmas every year to spend the day watching Christmas cartoons.  It was indeed a simpler time.

The teacher's lounge (that secret sanctum of mystery known to all students) was a room just off of the cafeteria, to the left of the stage.  For some weird reason, it was an honor to take a teacher's empty lunch tray to the dishwasher.  The seat closest to the door was the most coveted in the entire cafeteria.  When the lounge door would open, every kid would raise their hand, begging to be chosen.  And when you were chosen - to take an empty tray to a dishwasher - it was the equivalent to being elected class president.  I once got to do it twice in one week.  It was like winning the lottery.

In 4th Grade, I switched over to something more befitting my now-more mature personality - the Planet of the Apes lunchbox.  This container wasn't based on any of the 5 films, but rather on the short-lived television series during the 1974 season. God, I loved that entire genre.  I had Planet of the Apes Halloween costumes, dolls, tree house, village, action figures, movie soundtracks on vinyl, coloring books - you name it.  Today, my collection includes the 5-movie box set of the original series and a wonderful piece of wall art Kevin created for our apartment a few years ago

It's possible I carried the POTA lunchbox through 6th Grade, but then stopped.  When it was time to move on to junior high school, lunches were now packed in brown paper bags.  How droll!  How was one to project his unique personality by using a brown paper bag?