A Bed in the Principal's Office

Margaret Matthew Patzer

Seldom did we kids know each others problem in the 30's; we tended not to talk about it. In fact, I remember hearing more than once that "little children should be seen and not heard"

The summer of 1934 was an example. While relatives were here for the funeral of my uncle, George Hare, I developed double pnuemonia and spent much time in the Hallock Hospital. (No antibiotics at that time). I followed that with tonsilitis before I finally recovered.

So, when I started high school, an arrangement had been made that I come to the principal's office to rest each afternoon in a bed he had made for me. I didn't want other students to know about it so I did not rest as often as I should because I felt ashamed that I was not strong. I'm sure they thought I was o.k.

I was also the first person on a long bus ride each morning and the last person off at night. I would fall asleep on the davenport as soon as I returned home and slept until mother would come to my bedside with a delicious hot meal. I relished those meals!

Then for the next two years I missed a month of school with bronchitis attacks.

In order to receive a C on my report card I had to turn in A papers. The reason? I had missed class discussions during the time I was absent.

In later years, I researched nutrition so that today I am a hale and hearty 81 years

September 16, 2001