Three little boys walk to Central School past our house every morning and afternoon. They chatter as they walk along. One time they were walking in the ditch across the street as they passed by. I thought They’re just being boys and not walking on the street.

Three little boys walk to Central School past our house every morning and afternoon. They chatter as they walk along. One time they were walking in the ditch across the street as they passed by. I thought They’re just being boys and not walking on the street.
The ditch is paved, so it is easy walking, but there are culverts and tiny bridges over it. The little boys walked up the edge of the ditch and around each obstacle. They were discussing various ways to get around the obstacles as they walked along.
They wear backpacks as all kids going to school do. We did not have them in our day, but I did notice that. when we lived overseas, the West German kids all had leather satchels or backpacks.
I never walked to school when I was a kid, but walked our driveway each morning and night to catch the school bus. Our homestead was a quarter mile from the road.
 When farms were built in the early 1900s, the farmers liked to place the homestead in the middle of the acreage. That was so they did not have very far to drive their teams of horses to the fields.
Even in my high school days, I rode the school bus, which meant I had to walk down the driveway. I was only allowed so much gasoline each week for my car(my gas allowance), and I did not want to waste gas driving to school or down the driveway.
We boys also were very conscious of becoming men and did not want to be called a “sissy” for driving down the driveway to wait for the school bus.
Winter days can be cold in Minnesota where I grew up. Some of the temperatures on days I walked to the bus were below zero. I had a heavy coat, a finely woven stocking cap, leather, lined gloves, and overshoes.
Usually, the overshoes were kicked off at the end of the driveway and stored under a crossbar on the corner post of the fence. Again, “real” men did not wear overshoes to school, and no matter how cold it was “real” men did not get cold.
Of course, my dog Muffy always accompanied me on my walks to the bus each morning. She was smart enough to turn around and “head to the house” when the big, yellow bus came over the hill. She met me about half way each afternoon with her tongue hanging out and what I thought was a smile on her face.
For several years there were some kids out near Newtonia who had their pet goat accompany them to the bus each morning. How cool is that?
I know of a couple former students who lived on White Avenue. These two girls walked to old Benton School every day during their grade school days. Every day during the rest of their high school career they walked to catch the bus at Benton. Each time, they walked through the Neosho National Fish Hatchery and have wonderful, vivid memories of all they saw as they walked through on their way to school.
Take a walk, use those signal lights, watch for pedestrians and kids walking to school, don’t overly pamper your kids, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.        
 
 
 Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.