Getting to School : a pre- Women's Liberation Story

by Julie (Penner) Gorn

          There was a group of Sunnyside kids that went to The Little Red Schoolhouse.  When we were in the second and third grade, we traveled to school by taxi.  We (Stephen Kappel, Bobby Schneck, Barbara Kryzak, Joannie Matthews, I, and from time to time others) would pile into the taxi in the morning, returning in the afternoon, always with the same driver.  The first thing we did in the morning when we had all assembled in the taxi was to say the pledge: “All for One and One for All!”  As we traveled down Park Avenue in Manhattan, we eagerly anticipated the moment when we drove under the building at 32th Street.  The tail lights on the cars ahead of us became “dangerous red bullets!”.  The boys would fire their make believe darts at the lights.  When they got injured, the girls would become the caretakers dressing their wounds. That was just part of the fun.  On the way home, when we reached 39th Avenue, the driver would let us take turns steering the car!!  I am sure our parents didn’t have a clue that this went on.

 

          When Barbara Kryzak and I were in the fourth grade, we took public transportation.  I think it was a bus and 2-3 trains.  Often, the trains were really packed.  Barbara and I prided ourselves on being able to squeeze into tight spaces.  This was not without some peril!  Therefore, we had a secret sign.  If we scratched our forehead with two fingers, it meant that someone was bothering us inappropriately, and we were to grab a hold of one another and wiggle away fast!!