Little Bobby Tolbert
Remembrances of my childhood...
I just remember a few things about Bobby Tolbert and our school days at old Rosemont Elementary School. We weren’t close friends to the point that we spoke each day or were ‘best buddies’ or anything like that. I believe he may have even been in a grade ahead of me, I’m not sure. He didn’t have a lot of friends, was not as personable maybe as most the other kids, in fact I think he may have had trouble with the assignments, the teachers or maybe even school in general. I never heard of him again after I entered Junior High so I don’t know what ever became of Bobby.
I just always knew him as little Bobby Tolbert
He lived right up against the Beaver Creek Knobs just 3 or 4 blocks up in front of the school. I don’t think he had brothers or sisters and there were no neighbors within 3 – 4 hundred feet or more. The house where he lived was up on a rise off street level and I always remember seeing smoke coming out the chimney like maybe his mom cooked on an old wood stove or something. I don’t believe electricity run up to his house and I don’t remember hearing any of the kid’s folks ever speak anything about him or his folks. I just always knew him as little Bobby Tolbert.
I remember seeing him walking all alone
I remember he never ate lunch in the lunch room with the rest of the kids and I just suppose he went home or carried a ‘sack lunch’ or something. The one thing that makes everyone remember little Bobby for was the day he came to school smelling like a skunk. Oh, he didn’t stay long, I remember seeing him walking all alone up Alder Street, which just ran for two blocks, from the front door of the school up to Windsor Avenue where he would turn to the right and go down Windsor for a few blocks before leaving the road and going up a foot path to his house on the little rise I mentioned earlier. But back to that smell, I still remember it and wonder why he even came to school that day?
It just lingered in the halls...
All the kids and the teachers were wondering where that awful smells originated. I remember just hearing others say that little Bobby had been sprayed by a skunk. Well, Miss Bunn the principal said he would have to leave school because the odor was causing a great disturbance. I’d say it was, and the fact that he left the school alright, but, he didn’t take all that smell with him. It just lingered in the halls and in Miss Wilson’s third grade class. Some of my friends said it was making them sick and Mr Carriger, the janitor, tried to dust Bobby’s desk and he swept and used the dust mop everywhere Bobby had stepped as he walked into and out of school that morning.
I don’t remember ever seeing him again.
The smell wasn’t as bad the next day. Nor the next and everybody just didn’t mention it again. All I remember was that suffocating smell that day, and accepting the statement I heard that little Bobby Tolbert must have been sprayed by a skunk. What else could it have been? Neither teachers nor students ever said one way or another what really happened that day the whole school stunk. I don’t know if Bobby ever came back or not and I don’t remember ever seeing him again.
More by this Author
In, "Be'n Sick Just Ain't No Fun", I try to relate that sickness even after childhood can derails plans and activities we have planned for our lives, even for writers...
In, 'Does Birth Order Really Make a Difference' I pose a personal example of comparison. There are certain stigmas associated with birth order...
In the childhood story, The Tree House, I try to convey a time in the early life of a young boy and his friends growing up in the early 1950’s in upper east Tennessee. A time of freedoms and carefree life styles...