edited: Wednesday, June 10, 2009
By George E. Albitz
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009
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Keeping in mind the year was 1965...
I suppose my feelings of high school were pretty much the same as every young lad leaving the sanctity and esteem of being at the top of one school to enter at the bottom of another. The weight of three “Older generations” was heavy upon me.
Add to this a distinct lack of feminine charm, for you see rather than go to a traditional high school, I enrolled in an all male vocational school, majoring in Commercial Art. My classmates came from all over the city and tended to be the worst of their respective areas enticed by the easy vocational curriculum. It was a school of tough guys.
After several months had passed and they felt we knew each other well enough they decided to hold elections of officers.
In my particular class we had a fellow who soared above all others. He spoke with words of higher education. He orated with eloquence and dazzled the very teachers who seemed to look at him with awe. He told long boring stories and used words none of us ever heard before. We called him “The Professor.”
Naturally he won the election hands down. Nobody came near him for class president. We were so proud he came from “Our Class.” He was superb, he was eloquent, he was divine...he was thoroughly stupid!
Before we knew what was happening he dropped out of school. He was flunking all of his subjects. Never made it through the first year. He was probably the dumbest guy to ever walk those hallowed halls.
But how could this be, he spoke so eloquently with such magnificent words?
We found out he didn’t know what any of them meant. We were left shaking our heads and The Professor was out of our lives.
We learned our lesson well. After that we only elected dumb guys.
Years rolled by. Finally we were seniors. This tidbit of information may not seem important but it sort of goes to show how my life goes to show.
The time arrived once more for election of officers. A fellow of fine pedigree nominated Moi for Senior Class President. I was humbled, I was proud, I was overwhelmed. I saw this as a distinct opportunity to get out of a lot of classes.
The teacher who presided over the ceremonies refused the nomination, “We are not going to make a farce out of these elections!” His very words.
I smiled and actually saw this as a solidification of my status as a disrupter. I wonder how many others can say their nomination for Senior Class President was refused? Far more dignified than being included and ultimately losing the election I should think.
Later that year as I walked the crowded streets of downtown I was surprised to see a familiar face...The Professor! He was wearing an Army uniform and seemed to be limping. I greeted him enthusiastically and asked if he was an officer? He said the army didn’t buy his enchanted vocabulary and realized he knew none of the words. He said not only was he not an officer he was no longer even in the army. He had just been released with a medical discharge.
Here I was a senior in high school and the professor was already in and out of the Army.
Keeping in mind the year was 1965...he told me he had enlisted after dropping out of our school. He was old enough because he had flunked several years in grade school. He was sent to Korea.
One day as he stood along the border drinking a cup of coffee and telling his phony stories to anyone who’d listen, someone from the other side shot him in the leg.
I said, “I thought that war was over?”
He said the war wasn’t over, we just stopped fighting, but ever now and then they take pot shots at us.
Now that I look back on it I kind of imagine those North Koreans peering into binoculars and tweaking their listening devices only to hear the professor articulating those majestic words he knew nothing about and they probably shot him in self defense.
Then again I wonder if the caliber of the bullet was examined? It may have been a friendly fire situation discharged for the same reason.
Web Site: Encephalon Epitaph
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George E. Albitz