My oldest son's elementary school is a nice country school, which is pretty rare in the Florida school system where we're famous for sprawling suburban schools holding three times the number of kids they were designed for. Now my son's school isn't a quaint one-room schoolhouse or anything. It's a nice-looking school with over 500 kids, but it's in a quiet rural area and there are plenty of old-Florida-type country folk who send their kids there. It's an interesting mix of people and as far as public schools go (especially in Florida), it's a pretty good school.
I thought I'd give you a glimpse into this place.
First of all there's this sign on the car ramp that I always found amusing. (Please excuse all the photos in this entry - all were taken with my camera phone).
Seriously, no horses allowed on the sidewalk? I thought it was a cute old-fashioned reminder of how things used to be.
Then I saw this.
And realized that it's a necessary sign. People picking their kids up on horses seem to stay across the street by the church - thanks to the sign I assume. Score one point for the school signage committee.
I was there this morning since I volunteer weekly in my son's class, and as I was walking out of the front office after signing in, I saw a man in a parking lot with a cage in each hand walking toward the office.
He was what we'd call "a good ole' boy" - that's someone who was born and raised in rural FL and probably drives a pick up truck and has a large supply of old mesh-style ballcaps. This guy was a well-tanned man in his mid-50s with worn boots, dirty jeans, an old plaid short-sleeved shirt, an old redneck ball cap and a rusty old cage in each hand containing…
…you'll never guess…
…wait for it...
...really fancy show chickens.
I squealed with girl delight when I saw the two birds in the cage in his left hand. "Ohhh!!! Silkies! Can I see them?" I blurted out. The guy looked shocked and said "Dang. Don't meet many people who know these birds are silkies." We stopped and chatted in front of the school office for a good 20 minutes - him, the chicken man - me, the chicken girl - instant repoire. We talked about the types of chickens he raises, we laughed about the absurdity of "showgirls" and just plain talked turkey while his little bantam Serama rooster crowed along.
Turns out the guy was bringing the chickens in for a presentation to the kindergarten classes. Since I was volunteering in my son's class I got to see his presentation. He also delivered a huge box of fertile eggs and an incubator and the kids are going to try and hatch some chicks! He's coming back in 2 weeks to show the kids how to candle the eggs and look for a chick embryo.
I always seem to come away with a story when I visit my son's school. This time I came away with a chicken man's business card and I now have a local connection for purchasing chickens, should I ever decide to expand my clandestine chicken operation by a bird or two. Shhh...