Recess

October 5, 2017

I don’t remember recess as a kid, but I do remember it once I hit my teens. We were allowed to leave the school grounds and walk around the neighbourhood, which for us meant loitering in an alley two minutes away. We chain-smoked Silk Cuts, (which I’d stolen from my Mum) talked about boys we liked, and practiced our latin verb conjugations. By fifteen there was no latin –– just bitching and boy talk. Oh, and we’d graduated to Malboros. Reds. On rainy days, we sat in the basement of a Kentucky Fried Chicken smoking and eating chips. God knows what we smelt like when we came back to class. Thankfully, our school had no uniform, so people couldn’t call in complaints about our obnoxiously loud and lewd talk. I’ve got two girls now, who I hope will be swimming laps and reading at recess. But when they do end up loitering in back alleys, please make it be a short phase.

Here, Bernard Koffman captures children playing on a see-saw at recess. Illinois, 1946.

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