Thursday, May 18, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 114th Installment

was the same.

Chapter 32
The high school was ninth grade to twelfth grade, Linda, Russ and I rode the bus to West Jefferson High in Terreton.

Unfortunately, for the first time, I found something I didn’t like. The first year in a four-year high school full of hazing and bad ass seniors playing ‘put the head of a freshman in the toilet’ games was way scary for me. I was a big strong kid, but I wasn’t a fighter (I got beat up a few times but I was always out-numbered.) There was a one armed goon with a chip on his shoulder, I guess from being different. He started and finished fist fights (one fist) at least once a week with anyone who was smaller than he was. He could sneak up on someone and hook that stub arm around his neck and pound the heck out of their face with his good arm. He beat up poor Jay Ray five or six times because he didn’t like his name.

Things changed when I brought the radio transmitter that the Old Man and I had jerry-rigged together out of an old radio as my science fair project. The cool dudes in the school found out how it could broadcast, and the other students brought their transistor radios and tuned them to my frequency. They played DJ talk radio, joking and telling stories to embarrass the girls, and every one was listening. After that, the high school environment changed, and I fit in as the radio magic man.

The part of high school I really liked was the one hour bus ride each morning and another hour ride home. I was invited to the poker game in the back six seats of the bus. We would play penny-ante poker with our lunch money. Because Russ and I had played poker with Phil for match sticks and had learned the nuances of good play, we were excellent at winning everybody’s lunch money. Bill, the bus driver, knew we had a game going back there, and he was glad of it. As a token of his tolerance, we would keep the peace on the bus. When there was a ratty little kid making trouble and creating a racket, one of us big guys would go get the kid and toss him in the seat behind us. The frightened kid would be real calm the rest of the bus ride. Bill had the most peaceful route of all the drivers, and he rewarded us by constructing a device that fit in the aisle between the seats and made the poker table for us to play on. Bill was my bus driver for the entire twelve years I was in school.

Linda, Russell and I took advantage of the jump start we got from Reese in grade school and entered high school at about a late sophomore level. Linda got the most credit hours in the school’s history; Russell attained the highest grade

500 more words tomorrow

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