I started Kindergarten at Davisville Public School, an old building with dark halls and creaky stairs, the treads worn and warped from sixty years of children marching up and down in straight lines, as we were expected to do in those days. I found the dark hallways scary but the light-filled kindergarten room welcomed us with nursery rhyme characters glowing like jewels in the stained glass panel that stretched across the large doors that folded back to allow easy access to the room that was also the school auditorium. Pinned to the bulletin board were pictures of famous composers—Mozart, Beethoven,

     Brahms—and when the teacher taught us songs such as Brahm’s Lullaby she’d point to his picture. I’m sure my love of Classical music started there. I can remember only one book from the four years I spent at Davisville Public School. In my Grade 2 year the teacher spent the entire winter reading to us, day by day, from Smiling Hill Farm, about a family that climbs into a covered wagon for the long trek through the forests of Indiana to their new home. Perhaps living with that family as they built first their log cabin, then a board house, then a brick house, laid down my fascination with life in the past. From then on I constantly asked librarians for books about people who lived long ago.