Great stories from retired teacher and 1967 BHS Alumni Jay 'Chris' Peterson!
SWAT ME COACH
Yep, I got a couple of those swat things! My favorite, and one that I have told dozens of people about including my students is the day in PE at Luther Burbank that the showers were getting refinished with a slippery epoxy finish. The non skid part of the finish need to be applied but for a couple of days we used the shower room.
We soon discovered that the drain could be plugged with a towel and an inch or two of water would fill the whole room. Then we used our intelligence to make a contest of sliding across the floor on our butts from wall to wall. Crashes and close calls made us wait for a 'right of way' before launching. I got my turn and blasted off and made a great pass near the entrance of the shower room only to look up and see Coach Bigbee standing in the doorway with his hands on his hips. Keep in mind this activity was done in the Greek style of the Olympics and we were naked as a (I hate to use my name is this manner) jaybird.
Coach gave me the signal to follow him to his office where he removed his favorite squash paddle from the wall. He was smiling proudly as he applied the business end of that famous paddle on my bare ass in firm and forceful manner. My butt did sting...... I still can feel it some 45+ years later. The spot of the paddle landing turned white and didn't turn to a deep red color until hours later. Coach was one of my favorite teachers at Luther Burbank and is in the Burbank Teachers Hall of Fame for Education.
I never, never, fooled around in any shop classes. Getting a swat from Mr. Risser, the print shop teacher, was a near death experience as I witnessed one and never wanted to get myself in his sights. Mr Goodell was another heavy handed user of the paddle. I steered a clear path of their vengeance.
The second swat was issued by Coach Engle in PE again. I kicked a volleyball during a combat dodge ball game in the gym. Yes, we were warned not to do that! He drew a box on my gym shorts with chalk and an "X" on his paddle weapon that would barely fit into the chalk box. He told me that if the X did not fit, I would get and additional application of paddle. He did a fine job of putting his trademark X on my left cheek. Oh the days of learning the hard way!
LET'S DRAW ATTENTION
Another life experience during my secondary education was during the 1966 BHS football season. While performing my duties as a BHS Yell Leader, I got the opportunity to participate in a "papering" of a fellow high school student in the famed Foothill Athletic League. Something like three or four dozen rolls of Scott toilet paper were acquired from Bill's Ranch Market that was on the way to Hoover High School in Glendale.
This of course was on a Thursday night before our game at Memorial Stadium. Studying for my weekly algebra quiz was not on my calendar and I did have the time block open for this event. We made the drive to HHS and entered the front of the school 'ninja' style. Somehow we were not reported by school neighbors or passers by and left the school with its fresh application of ultra-soft Scott. Who knows how many times we really dodged well deserved penalties!
Then the game! I had this conversation with Tom Holst a few years ago and he filled in some missing information. The Holst's had a friend that recently came home from the navy. They were provided with a military grade smoke bomb and somehow it made its way to the Hoover/Burbank football game. Tom told me that the device had four parts and that one piece disappeared from his possession and was lit after Burbank scored a touchdown.
That night was one of those dead still no breeze nights and this noxious cloud of dense smoke sat over the game field for at least 10 minutes. The referees temporarily postponed the play on the field. I was trying to stop the continued burning of the smoke with my yell leader megaphone and it got so hot, the inside was to the point of catching fire also. The odor of smoke is still evident in it 47 years later. We were questioned the next week about the incident but we had no information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) of this delay of game offense. I hope, someday, to bring the megaphone to a reunion.
2009 Sherry and Jay 'Chris' Peterson with Linda Peterson Everett looking at high school pictures.
MORE FROM CHRIS
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