In 1960, I moved to Hampden. I was only 7 years old and had lived with families from various religious and ethnic populations with no issues. On the first day of 2nd grade, a few students walked up to me and said, “You killed our g-d” and “Where are your horns?” I didn’t even understand what they were talking about. A kind and perceptive teacher heard what they had stated and called my mother to fill her in. The local minister’s daughter (not one of the students who had approached me) was in this class, so the teacher contacted him and filled him in. The following Sunday, that minister took the opportunity to “educate” his flock and shame them for teaching their children such horrible lies. What a way to learn about how kids learn from their families.
Never had a real problem in the 3.5 years we lived in the community, but the local women never accepted my mother in their activities (most likely because they knew she was Jewish). We were the only Jewish family in the town. The same amazing teacher had me bring in a children’s story book about Jewish holidays and she read the stories to the entire class. Yes, the kids found out that Chanukah presents could include underwear and socks — not eight toys. They even tasted matzah.