My first day was wonderful. First the smell in the class room. I have often wondered what it was that smelled so promising. Was it coming from the pencil sharpeners, or was from the black surface on the floors.
Somewhere in a drawer I have a picture of our first class. Most of us looked scared but my face showed no fear. Froken Andersson, our teacher, looked happy to be there. She was old. Now that I am ninety, it seems wrong to say she was old. I know she was under 65 for that was when people were pensioned. And I know she taught many years after my one year stint in her class. So maybe she was in her fifties.
We had a small class. I remember a girl whose name was Gerd. Her father was something like a coast guard. She was next to the youngest in her family of many children. It was before the birth of Kleenex and the poor girl had a nose that needed one, but she had learned how to keep whatever was happening to herself. She had to keep her mouth open so she could breathe. I think it held her back. There was one of the Petterson girls. Stina, Brita and Greta. I don't remember which one was in my class for all three of them became friends through the years. Their father was a carpenter. Their mother must have been a seamstress for they all had cute clothes. The school was located on the main street of Viken. Our entrance was from the back of the building, but the teachers living quarters had an entry from the main street. Next door to the south was a clock maker's store. His name was Holm and he was a very dapper gentleman. Next door to the clockmaker was the 'smidga' The horses went there to get re-shoed.
I knew how to read before the first day of school. I think I must credit my sister Birgit with that.