The Boy Teacher and The Father Student 15 (Harper Valley PTA and Board of Education. School Shootings)
Believe in Yourself For Me
Well my hamlet had about 25,000 thousand souls. It was about 1971. I had a good buddy and we wrote a newspaper together. We had the unmitigated gaul to tell about clean needles and birth control. We even wrote about where to get help with depression and how to feel good about being different. My buddy was a cartoonist and did great stuff about the Vietnam conflict and Nixon and our local government.
And after passing the paper out for the second week on school grounds we were sitting there handcuffed in a police cruiser. As we said back then “we dug it baby”. We had done something. We were proud. Our bellbottom pants and stacked shoes were cool and bitchin. We were going down hard and off to jail. We were yelling “Power to The People” and we meant every word of it. They slammed me so hard against the cruiser that I had a badge of honor bloody nose. Of course they could not break it as there truly is/was no cartilage left from so many fights with my Navajo buddies. I just love those guys.
If you think I make this stuff up ask one of my friends on Facebook. This is real this is America. This is a growing dynamic work of God’s greatest art that we so lovingly call freedom. If you did not march down your main street arm and arm with people of color you missed a great deal of love. We were there.
If there was a protest my face was front and center “against the Man”. I insisted of my dignity. There was no child left behind. Us big old football guys whipped up the little guys. I do reckon they are all doctors and lawyers and such now. They were we and we were them. The concept of race still eludes me. A good lizard changes her color based on the background. In my hand yesterday one turned white, hmmm I am not white I am tan. Go figure.
Get Your Gitty Up
Do Not Pick A Battle Son, But Don't You Dare Shy From One.
So they brought old Rob and I on expulsion charges. It was ugly. The PTA and the board of education. My mom was the director of the Family Counseling service and Rob’s dad was the only OBGYN in town. Rob and I just sat back in these folding chairs before the board. We were already convicted of sedition I suppose. And then my mom’s voice was calm but with purpose. And Doctor McMahon stood up. He was ready to kill.
They kicked some ass for us. No I think that is wrong. Rob and I actually stood for an idea. Not ours, it was not about us. On that night we got that. Not our cause. We had no right to call it ours. It was not even a fair fight. Right is right.
I think we both got hard back handed on the head that night. Hard where a ring cuts into you scalp. I don’t think you can do that anymore. I remember Doc McMahon smacking me hard for my dad who was not there. Grounded and outlawed. And then the 50 dollar bill to pay for more newspapers.
I suppose it is a tough world and some folk just cannot stand up for themselves. That sucks. I wonder if I would rather take a punch than a pat on the back. As sick as that sounds I think I prefer the punch. That is real. Platitudes are boring. Real emotion is where it is at.
F: Son what do you think of such a story?
B: It is not real.
F: Why do you say that son?
B: Nobody does that and you are just my dad.
F: Would you like it if I fought with my fists instead of my mouth?
B: Dad nobody fights my school like that.
B: Maybe because you already did.
F: Maybe, but it is your job to keep it right.
B: Dad you are on the fancy council for the school right?
F: Well I am off for a year as the rules require. Why?
B: I need someone to help Billy.
F: What is wrong with Billy?
B: He is always hungry.
F: Do you mean hungry or angry son?
B: Both I suppose dad.
F: OK let us get this straight, your school has food even for parents in the morning. What is wrong with Billy?
B: They just drop him off on the street, he seems lonely.
F: Truly do I tell you my son that lonely is the worst hunger.
B: What should I do dad?
F: You have already done it son.
B: I do not get it dad, I have done nothing.
F: You told me son and that is a good thing to do.
Stand Tall Som
People Put Me Down. I Guess I Get It. Dad Thanks For Raising Me On The Tracks
Do Not Ignore
B: You won’t get him in trouble will you?
F: I have work to do son. I do not have time for this.
B: Really dad, your work is more important than Billy?
F: You are killing me kid. But I will look into it in five minutes, one minute may be too long.
B: Thanks dad I do not want Billy to be so sad.
And so I say to myself I ain’t got time for this crap. And so I kick my tire so hard it hurts my foot. And back to the principal’s office I go. I have no right. I have no position or authority. I just have a gut feeling. My son is a persuasive brat. I have appointments to keep and work to be done. And here I am sitting in an office with the school nurse waiting for the boss. I have no patience for this crap. So we talk about the weather as she looks up some records. Holy cow, she freaks and cannot tell me a thing for privacy reasons. This is not good, I need my Starbucks. And then in comes the boss of the school.
Excuse me Dr. Boss but you have me worried. Billy is OK?
No Dr. Dierker he is not. OK, straight up Dr. Boss what should I do? “Make the complaint”.
“I got no complaint”.
Dr. Dierker if not you then who?
I do not like you Dr. Boss even though we have worked together and I respect you.
“Help me help that boy”.
Isn’t this where I declare that “I don’t want to get involved”?
Dr. Dierker this is the perfect time to say that.
Son of a B….
This sucks Dr.
“Yes it does”
“who alerted you to this boy?”
“My son of course”
“That boy is a hero, I hope you know that”.
Well then Doc let’s get this done.
“Thank you Dr. Dierker”
Now a postscript to this is needed. Billy is institutionalized. Only the name is not accurate. Rob McMahon found his way through a 3 story building window in Orleans during Marti Graz a few years back. The fall did not kill him, it was the landing. And I want to put a hand out in gratitude to some cool guys I grew up with and who kicked my ass on every occasion they could come up with. They are the wonderful Navajo and Hopi people that were yanked from their homes and put into dorms to attend our white man school. I cannot remember all their full names but I will give a shot: Jerry, Raymond, Frank, Beefy, Thurmond and so many more. What an important part of my life. What a wonderful part or our nation and theirs.