|Smoking at Feller
"Tired Blood" = The Reverend Spencer Ostrum
As many stories have indicated almost all of the boys at Feller smoked, at least from grade 8 onwards. The variety of places to smoke was only limited by the ingenuity and daring (bravado) of the smoker. Most went to the woods behind the school or up the road past the church and into the quarry. However there were always times when it was simply too far or the weather was too bad, so more daring measures were called for. Standing on the sinks in the bathrooms and blowing the smoke into the vent on the wall was one. The fire escape was one that tested one's courage as it was extremely visable. Up to the roof at night via the 4th floor ledge was not for the faint hearted. 18 inches of sloped surface to walk on 4 floors up gives one pause even at that brave age, but many did it (it was also the yellow brick road to the girl's side and the warm embrace of one's true love) An elaborate system of carefully placed weasels usually gave a measure of security. One weasel could be placed at the top of the stairs both central and boys wing, on the appropriate floor and these weasels could usually provide sufficient warning as to an approaching teacher.
Please note the use of the word usually. One evening when the wind was favorable, that is to say blowing such a manner that the air was being sucked out of the windows on the 4th floor main, myself and a couple of others decided to light up. Naturally we sat in the windows so the smoke would be sucked out. On this particular night " Tired Blood " happened to be walking about outside and upon looking up one must imagine that he spied clouds of smoke emanating from the double room at the top of the central stairs on the 4th floor. "Tired Blood" belied his name that night as he came up the stairs so fast that all managed to escape, except myself. Caught with the evidence on my breath!
After a great deal of discourse, the gist of which was that I'd only get a ritual punishment if I'd squeal on who else was in there with me that he had not seen. Needless to say the law of "Omerta" held precedence, especially since one of my fellow puffers that night had just recently been returned to our abode after having "run away". Being caught smoking might have meant expulsion. Because of my refusal to talk. I was to report to 'TB's" quarters each Wed and Sat after lunch and spend a 1/2 to 3/4 hours on my knees having this gentleman pray for my enlightenment and hopefully for the loosing of my sealed lips. Naturally upon my liberation I raced to the woods to join my cohorts for an afternoon of fun and cigarettes. I'm not sure how long exactly this carried on but eventually the worthy Rev decided that he was wasting his time.
|Stephen Leacock's "Sunshine Sketches of a
This classic provided the class of 61 with a memorable moment of
Mouldy Meldrum. I believe he was substituting for Uncle Stevie one day
when we happened upon the story mentioned above. As memory serves, the
passage involved concerned the authors description of the departure time
of the paddle wheeler "Mariposa Belle" for the annual picnic outing. Mr.
Leacock goes to great pains to depict the fact that the boat will leave
exactly, precisely, without fail, on time. Naturally later he goes on to
tell us that the boat was only 1/2 hour (or something) late in departure.
THIS IS THE MOMENT. Wrapped in his perpetually chalk dust impregnated Dracula
Cape, Mouldy pulled himself up to full height and loudly and proudly proclaimed
to all of us that this was a wonderful example of IRONY, simple perfect,
|Mr Cram's Car
Mr. Cram was one of the teachers that in retrospect one would say should have been "left alone" from the usual pranks, due to his war service and the impairment that it left him with.
Would we rise to the occasion as responsible young adults ?
Would we honor this man who gave so much for his country ?
Would we SHIT!
One prank that stands out like a beacon amongst the desk slammings and "machine gun" noises is the episode of the sideways car. Just off of the boys tennis courts between the gym and the farm there was a garage for the use of the teachers. It had several "bays" for cars, that were separated by a series of roof support poles. Mr. Cram was the possessor of one of the parking spaces therein. He drove a smallish car, the make escapes me now. Some of us senior boys (I'm not sure to whom to credit the original idea but it was a dandy) were recruited to help with the task of physically picking up this car and with much maneuvering we managed to place it sideways between the roof support poles. It was then just a matter of waiting until poor Mr. Cram was inspired to take Mrs. Cram for a little drive in the country.
I personally did not witness the reaction to what was perceived when the garage door went up and there was the Cram's pride and joy, securely wedged between poles with literally only a couple of inches to spare between the bumpers and the poles. I do recall that those who saw it swore that it was worth every strained muscle incurred in placing it there.
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