I was in fifth grade. My elementary school was up the street, around the corner, and crowned a large, level tract of land. Usually I walked home for lunch. Our kitchen was an eat-in kitchen. A breakfast nook sat in front of a single window. Lunch usually consisted of soup, a sandwich, and a soda poured out of an hour glass bottle into a glass. For the past several weeks, during lunch, I read a Life magazine over and over again about John Glenn’s three orbits of the earth in Liberty Bell 7.
My parents left. My mother probably drove my father back to his business on Main Street. I was alone.
After eating, I took the magazine into the living room. The single chair, which matched our sofa, sat in a straight line from the kitchen. From the living room chair, I could look to my left and see the kitchen clock. I had been reading eagerly about John Glenn having to knock out the hatch of Liberty Bell 7 in order to reach the life raft bobbing on the ocean waves. There was a photo of him and his bloody knuckles.
I had forgotten the time. The after lunch bell rang to class to begin at 1:00 pm. I looked up from reading and looked to the left at the kitchen clock. It read 12:40 pm. I decided to run back to school. I put down the Life magazine, left the house, and walked back to school. As I approached the school building, no one was outside playing. I realized I was probably five or ten minutes late, but I honored my sense of duty and returned to the classroom. to be continued