Until about 8th grade I attended the Noah Wallace School in Farmington, CT.Â I was very fortunate with my teachers until my last year there when my dreaming in class managed to antagonize my homeroom teacher who was about to elope with one of my favorite (married) teachers who taught shop and me many ways to maintain a home thereafter.Â Her negative report scared my parents into sending me to a private day school in West Hartford, CT where I was generally miserable.Â I only really enjoyed a private school when I had an exchange scholarship in a British one where all Americans were high status in those days — Did I have a girlfriend? Did I use drugs, etc.Â We Americans could then do nothing wrong.
But my concern here is the peculiar ethnic divisions in Farmington — an outer suburb from Hartford.
We had one Jewish family — that of a grocery and liquor store owner in Oakland Gardens — a poor collection of houses en route to Farmington.Â There were no African Americans — only one couple working for a family in a nearby town.
Farmington, itself, was divided by Main St.Â Uphill to the east lived the Prods — and their two churches: Congregational and Episcopal.Â Downhill from Main to the river were the latest arrivals — Italian and Irish and the Catholic church.Â We met in school, but few of us had any social relationships.Â Sadly I was drawn to Nancy B., from below Main, but we had no social contacts.
Happily my super first teacher was Miss Loretti who became Mrs. Batista half way though the 3 years I spent in her classes.Â She really got me started as a student — I had had one of the dread childhood diseases before I entered first grade and the nurse who cared for me for 3 restricted months had started me on reading and numbers which put me a bit ahead of my classmates.
Frankly my first experience with ‘segregation’ was not something I liked.Â I broke some of the barriers and I think that early experience prepared me for the civiil rights developments later.
I wonder, however, if some some of the Tea Party stuff is a carry of of the same sort of barriers that I experienced and saw influence my peers then and which may still be operating today?
"A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope." (Livy cited by Machiavelli) -- Ed Kent [blind copies]