The Pink School House



During the summertime in Michigan we would occasionally drive north to my aunt and uncle’s cottages just north of Port Huron.
 
The main road going there at that time was Gratiot Avenue. On the way we would always make two stops. One, a treat for the time. The other, something more lasting.
 
The first was Brown’s Creamery in Mt. Clemens. I would always get their one of a kind orange-pineapple ice cream on a cone. Fruity juicy good with bits of orange and pineapple studded throughout.
 
The second stop was a ways further up the road near Richmond where my father grew up on a farm. He had a job as a boy up very early each morning and working on a horse drawn milk truck. Sometimes in the dead of winter; it took a toll on his health.
 
The second stop was my dad's little one room school house. Painted pink. The Pink School House was just off the road on the right. It seemed deserted to me, but I don’t know for sure if it was still in use at that time in the mid-1950s. It was summer and school would have been out. My dad would have us all get out of the car and trot over to a well with an old hand pump. We would give it a couple of strokes and soon water flowed. We let it go for a while to clear, and then he would insist we all take a sip. It seemed very important to him that we had a drink from that well.
 
Dad boasted about the mineral content of the water. I remember the water being so very mineral rich it tasted like iron nails. 
 
He left me with vivid memories. I sort of understood that those two stops were landmarks in my life. Browns Creamery is long gone, and I suspect so is the Pink School House. And, I believe my father understood at the time that he was giving us that memory, links to his past and later to our own.
 
My father was a poet.

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