I loved my school locker. I felt so much more grown up with a locker than the lift-top type desk of grade school. There was a feeling of independence, being able to stop at my locker between classes. I also liked the fact that I could keep my belongings separate from other peoples things. There was a girl in my grade school class who liked to go through lunch boxes and coat pockets. But what I loved most was being able to ditch my schoolbooks and walk home unencumbered. That in itself was very freeing.
My gym locker was another thing altogether. The gym lockers were wire baskets, you could lock them to keep people out, but that locker room was always damp. I always assumed the wire baskets were chosen because gym clothes get sweaty and odorous, but not often washed. The wire basket would allow air to circulate and odors to dissipate. A couple of moths in to the school year, Mrs Wilson, our gym instructor, decreed all gym clothes must be taken home to the wash twice a week. Any girl caught with exceptionally stinky clothes, would get a zero for the day.
Last week I was driving by my old junior high on the way to my sisters house. I noticed construction equipment and staging. Arriving at Lura's place, I noticed she had some old wire gym lockers in her garage, next to a sign that read Lockers for sale. Lura bounced out of the house. She was all excited. They are remodeling our old school for a new gymnasium, and Lura picked up a gym locker for each of us.
Lura said that most of the locker rooms as we remembered them would be demolished and relocated to a different part of the school. She gets sentimental about stuff and wanted a memento. She took me into the garage to show me her excellent find. Standing there I noticed an old wooden locker, like the ones that were there when I first went to that school. It was given to her by Dad. He told her he felt sentimental too, when the school bought new lockers 35 years ago.