James Laird - Lark Ellen Boys Attend the Sawtelle Grammar School - Page 1

The grade school we attended while living at the Boy's home was the Sawtelle Grammar school located about a block off Santa Monica Blvd on Sawtelle Blvd. On the street in back of the school there was a Fire station next to the school and a police station across the street. The main school building was a large two story brick building like so many built by the school district that had been damaged by the 1933 earth quake in the eastern part of the city.

My first classes there were in the western wing on the second floor. The south end of the building had only a set of steps coming from the ground floor and presented a high blank wall that was a challenge to us kids. The first challenge was how high you could climb up the wall. This was done by using the joints between the bricks for hand and foot holds as the mortar had eroded enough that we could get our toes and fingers in and climb if you kept your body close to the wall. The brave ones could go pretty high before getting pretty tired and come down. Some of us may have been future rock climbers. Not me.

One time on a small cliff a few years later was enough. No one ever fell that I remember, or even get caught by a teacher. Maybe they (the teachers) stayed away when they saw us up there so that we did not get frightened if they yelled at us and lose our grip and fall.