Summer’s over. Don’t bother to check your calendar. It lies. It will say that autumn begins on Sept. 23, but I know better. Summer ends when the kids go back to school. We plan all life events around the school calendar. Even now, though my kids are grown and I’m retired from teaching, school still determines when I go on vacation, but now I go in the off season when kids are in school.
Those lazy days of summer start to wind down in early August. Television commercials remind us to shop for school supplies and kids start to wonder who their teachers will be. Football practice starts in earnest and the band preps for the first game. The tension builds for kids, parents, and teachers, who spend the month getting classrooms and lesson plans ready.
I wonder if the end of summer ritual we had to endure still exists. We weren’t allowed to wear T-shirts and jeans to school, so we had to go shopping for “school clothes.” I remember my mother taking me to Wilkes-Barre on the bus. The mall didn’t exist yet, but there were wonderful stores in “town.” We had to dress up to go to The Boston Store, Isaac Long’s, and Pomeroy’s. We needed dresses, skirts, blouses, and new underwear. Remember slips? The boys bought chinos and button down collar shirts.
Our feet were fitted with penny loafers, saddle shoes, and for gym, canvas Keds or PF Flyers, all needing regular care. I still remember the box of white shoe polish with the picture of a nurse on the front. We had to shake the bottle and apply the liquid with a stiff, scratchy little rectangle that came with it. We even polished the laces.
All that shopping required fuel, so lunch was at Percy Brown’s or, my mom’s favorite, the Spa. When we got off the bus on our return home, there was one more stop. Kluger’s on the corner of Wyoming Avenue and Eighth Street sold a little of everything, but the worst looking garment in the place was required to start school — gym bloomers. Someone, somewhere must have been asked to design the ugliest, least flattering costume to put on a girl at the most insecure stage of her life. I hated gym to begin with. The uniform only added to my weekly despair, but we all had to wear them and we did as we were told, mostly. Our school clothes were washed and ironed, even the bloomers.
Spiffed up in our best outfit for the first day, friends walked to school filled with anticipation. Everything was new and shiny. New tablets, composition books, pencils, and erasers. New teachers. Perfectly cleaned and polished schools that smelled of shellac floors about to take a beating from the cleats newly attached to the toes and heels of our new loafers.
Yes, I loved school, I admit it. I was a dork, but I know that even the most reluctant student, bored since July, is a bit excited to return this week. Summer is over and a new year, filled with promise, begins. Good luck, kids. Behave and pay attention. To all my teacher friends — have a great year! I’ll be on vacation.
Battle of Wyoming tours
The Luzerne County Historical Society announces that its Battle of Wyoming walking tours will run Saturday, Sept. 14, and Sunday, Sept. 15. Join attorney Stephen B. Killian, Luzerne County Historical Society board member, for an account of the disastrous Battle of Wyoming and the massacre that followed.
Killian will lead the group through the battlefield and talk about the tactics, troops and equipment of the Americans, Tories and the Native Americans, as well as discussing, with an audience-driven demonstration, the infamous flanking maneuver and retreat that lead to the massacre. Insight about the area before and after the battle also is included.
This is a two-hour, two-mile outdoor walking tour that takes place rain or shine. Each day, the tour starts at 1 p.m. at the corner of Fourth Street and Susquehanna Avenue in Wyoming.
Cost is $7 for LCHS members, $10 for non-members and $5 for all children under 18. Each tour is limited to the first 45 reservations. Reservations are required. To make reservations, call 570-823-6244, ext. 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kiwanis Club news
Don’t miss the last free movie night of the summer at Daley Park in West Wyoming. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30. Bring a chair or blanket. Popcorn and water will be provided.
It’s time to purchase tickets for the Kiwanis Duck Derby, which will take place Sunday, Sept. 1. Prizes are $500, $300 and $200. Purchase tickets for $5 from any Wyoming Area Kiwanis member.
Paper shredding in Wyoming
A Community Shredding Day will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at Pettibone Park on Monument Avenue, Wyoming. Bring any documents you no longer need that contain personal information, including social security numbers, credit card information, account numbers, etc. Proof of residency is required. There is a limit of three boxes per resident. Shredding is limited to confidential and sensitive materials.
Back to school safety
The 2019 school year begins Monday, Aug. 26. Wyoming Borough asks everyone to be mindful when parking by the Tenth Street school. For the safety of the students and crossing guards, please refrain from blocking the crosswalks and intersections and from parking on lawns.
Wyoming Borough reminds residents of the following ordinances:
Responsibilities of Dog and Cat Owners — It’s unlawful for any person who owns or keeps cats or dogs to allow such cat or dog to run at large in the borough. It is unlawful to own or harbor any dog or cat or other domesticated animal whose barking, howling, yowling, purring or making other loud noises or any other act which causes annoyance, disturbs the peace and quiet enjoyment of persons in Wyoming.
Property Maintenance — No person, firm, or corporation owning or occupying any property within the Borough of Wyoming shall permit any grass or weeds or vegetation whatsoever to exceed a height of 8 inches. Alleyways behind properties also need to be maintained. Any property owner in violation of the borough ordinance will be cited by the Wyoming Borough Code Enforcement Officer.
Residents also are reminded to please rinse jars, bottles, and cans for recycling. Greasy cardboard like pizza boxes cannot be recycled. Please only put out clean, flat cardboard.
Wyoming United Methodist Church bus trip
Seats on the bus trip to Sights and Sound Theater in Lancaster are filling quickly. The show, “Queen Esther,” is a new production for the theater. The date is April 15, 2020, and already there are only a few seats left. The price is $121 and includes bus, show, dinner, and all gratuities. Gift certificates are available if you would like to give this as a birthday or Christmas present.
First United Presbyterian Church news
B.J. Ahearn from the Center for Public Safety, will present information on first aid and bleeding control at First United Presbyterian Church from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18. You can learn how to react in an emergency. The program offers instructions and practice for determining the best course of action until professional help is available. The event is free and will be held at the Wyoming Institute, 40 Institute St. in Wyoming.
A children’s produce market is held at Wyoming Free Library the first Saturday of the month. The next market will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. The Commission on Economic Opportunity distributes canned goods, non-perishables, fruits and vegetables to any Luzerne County family with children. After the children receive their food, what is left over is boxed for senior citizens to pick up later in the day. Registration is required and must be completed by 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26. Applications are available at the library at 570-693-1364.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Club Saturday is set to begin for the fall season. Session 1, on Sept. 28, will focus on engineering. The topic is Keva Planks and Marble Mazes. Oct. 26 will have a Halloween theme, Candy Structures and Puking Pumpkins. Nov. 30, the title is Legos. The club, open to all children ages 7 and up, meets at noon. Only 10 spots are available per session and registration is required.
Fill a Bag book sale will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. Books are $5 per bag; $10 for larger bags. Donations of books are being accepted now.
Exeter Fire Department chicken barbecue
Exeter Borough Fire Department will hold its annual chicken barbecue at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the fire station, 1405 Susquehanna Ave.
Exeter trash change
Exeter Borough is now using Waste Management for garbage collection. Garbage still has to be placed curbside by 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. Trash can be placed curbside Tuesday night.
Missed garbage may not be picked up until the following week, depending on the circumstances.
Extra bag tags are $3.25 each. Bulk tags are $33 each. A list of acceptable bulk items suitable for collection is available at the Exeter Borough Building.
For information, call Lynda at 570-654-3001, ext. 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
State office hours
State Rep. Aaron Kaufer’s Exeter office at 1101 Wyoming Ave., is open from noon to 2 p.m. the third Friday of the month.
Barbara Bullions writes about Exeter, Wyoming and West Wyoming every week. To list an item, email email@example.com or call 570-301-2185 by Monday.