The Milk Wagon


Mrs. Ivy Parker and Ellen’s adventures with the milk wagon.

Mrs. Parker was our very strict second grade teacher. Very tall and extremely thin, she wielded a mean ruler which she used when we misbehaved, and was a stickler for doing things in just the right way. She could have been your typical schoolmarm, were it not for her husband, mild mannered slow Joe Parker, a quiet and gentle soul who spoke softly and smoked cigars. Anyway, Mrs. Parker taught second grade, and every day, we would take turns going to the kitchen with the milk wagon, putting the milk on the wagon, returning and opening the milk, and giving each child a carton of milk with a straw in it. Don’t ask. The straws were of the paper variety, and there was the oft chance that you could open the waxy cartons the wrong way. In the very likely event that a child failed at any of these chores, it only took one to fail, another day was added to your milk run. I suffered through two straight weeks of going for milk, you can believe it, and to this very day, I am an expert at opening paper milk cartons.

Ellen Goldfon