January 08, 2012
Growing up in St. James in the 50s/60s, I attended Pine Island Elem. Prior to its opening, children from St. James & Bokeelia attended J. Colin English. I believe it was 1962 when Pine Isl. Elem. opened. I was in 4th grade, and once the new Pine Isl. Elem. was ready, we Island kids were transferred there--pretty exciting stuff! Back then, on really cold days, our bus would pull into the school, and the janitor would have a big fire going in a big oil drum--we'd all scramble off the bus and hurry to the fire, holding our hands up in front of it to get them warm, then laughing, playing, and scurrying off inside to our classrooms ...I doubt that the outside fire would be allowed today, but it was sure was fun and warm back then! We'd also race up and down the walkways--I feel once and still have a bump on my right knee that reminds me of fun at Pine Isl. Elem. And when I was in 5th grade, during recess after lunch, they'd play records in the cafeteria--the twist! Many kids liked to dance; I did a few times, but I and my tomboy friends still preferred to play softball in the back on the east end of the playground. Such wonderful memories I have of Pine Island Elementary!
- submitted by a community member