Some of you have asked if I was surprised when Sarah Palin became governor of Alaska and then ran for vice president of the United States and then became a Fox News commentator. Was I surprised? You betcha! I mean, who wouldn’t be surprised? After all, this is little Sarah Palin, the cute and spunky little girl with the big eyeglasses who sat next to me in my kindergarten class at P.S. 9 in my old hometown of Yonkers, New York.
Not only did Sarah sit next to me in her little desk right alongside my own little kindergarten desk. She also lay down next to me at nap time when our teacher, Miss Crabtree, instructed us all to roll out our mats and take a 10-minute nap to rest up after our busy morning of learning the alphabet, learning to count, and learning to get along with all of the other kids.
You probably guessed, though, that Sarah didn’t nap. Sure, she rolled out her mat when Miss Crabtree told us to. But then Sarah just sprawled out on her back, eyes wide open, resting the back of her head on her arms, and just gazed up at the ceiling through those big designer eyeglasses, and smiled that big smile we’ve all come to know and love.
It occurs to me now that little Sarah Palin was smiling because she already knew that someday she would move to Alaska and become governor and then run for vice president and then become a Fox commentator and then maybe someday become the first woman president even though all of the so-called smart people thought the first woman president would be Hillary Clinton.
I’m thinking that I actually played a role in a somewhat historic event…It may well be that the first time Sarah ever winked that famous wink, she winked at me! Except she was probably thinking about the great life she had ahead of her — while I thought she was flirting!
Long story short, after nap time it was finger painting time, so we all put on our painting smocks and stepped up to our easels. Miss Crabtree looked at Sarah’s finger painting creation — the entire sheet was covered with gray paint — and asked Sarah was it was called. I’ll never forget Sarah’s reply: “Gee whiz, Miss Crabtree, can’t you tell”! It’s a close-up of a gray elephant!!”
That’s when Sarah winked at me. I melted faster than a glacier in the Bering Sea.
My own big sheet of paper was slathered with red paint. Miss Crabtree asked, “Nicky, what’s the name of your painting?” I replied, “Red.”
But what it was really called, although I was just too shy to say it, was “Valentine for Little Sarah Palin.”
Little Sarah Palin… Politically precocious. My first crush. Killer wink.