Before I begin I have had some people think I should rename the blog to things like Tom’s Old Thoughts, Tom’s Recollections, An Old Man’s Ramblings and a few others. I do agree the original title, “The History of Me”, is rather boring. So I ask you to give me your thoughts on the naming of this series. Add your own or use one of the other ones. Just leave a comment at the end of the thread. Thanks.
“I’m Still Paying For It”
I remember this very vividly. It involves riding the bus. I enjoyed riding the bus because you can learn a lot by doing that. It’s not only good things but it is learning and I was always told I needed to learn something everyday. So here I am in the 4th grade riding the bus to and from school for about 35 minutes each way. There was no assigned seats but it happened that the older kids were in the back and the younger ones were in the front. Leonard Graff was my bus driver.
Every school day at approximately 7:25 AM the bus drove up the hill to my house and stopped for me and then down the other lane we had which was always in bad shape with holes and ruts. Some of the kids like that and pretended to bounce around the bus. But I digressed a bit. Every day, yes every day when I got on the bus there was a huge (seemed like it at the time) high school kid sitting in the back seat on the right side and I would bound up the steps and look right at him. He would proceed to raise his left hand and give me the middle finger. I mean that was a daily thing.
One evening I asked another kid on the bus if he would pay attention tomorrow as I got on the bus at the big kid because I wasn’t going to look at him. Sure enough I remembered and sprung up the steps without looking and went to my seat. I asked the kid behind me, “well did he give me the finger?” He looked at me with a pale face and stated, “no, he saw me looking at him and he flipped me off and not you.” We learn at that moment that he gave the salute to anyone that looked at him. I, from that day on, attempted to not look at him. Afterall, that is what he wanted.
Everyday I sat in the fourth row on the left side of the bus. Almost without fail. I wanted that seat. Why? Well there was a girl in the third row which was in front of me and I wanted to be close. Close so I could aggravate her, tease her and talk to her. She must not have minded too much as she sat there everyday. I was in the 4th grade and she was in the 3rd grade. Almost daily I teased her, pulled her hair and grabbed her books. But one day something happened.
I was teasing her which involved being a brat and grabbing her books, pulling her hair and all the stuff I normally did on the bus. All was the same. Until, I went to my class and about 20 minutes into the day the teacher across the hall (her teacher) came and I talked to my teacher. As her teacher headed out she asked me to follow her into the hall. The teacher told me one of her students said I stole 50 cents from her book. I told her I didn’t take any money and she asked to see my pockets. They were empty. She told me I needed to give the money back if I had it. I didn’t. I mentioned maybe it was still on the bus somewhere and she told me at recess I had permission to look on the bus.
Just as it became time for recess to begin, Doug Graff asked me what was going on. I told him and said that I never took it. He said he had fifty cents he could give to me (what is the interest on that money after 50 or more years?) and we concocted the story that I would FIND the money on the bus. Which is what I did. The money was accepted and all is well on the Earth. But the story doesn’t end there.
The Lifelong Debt
I believe the girl lost it or never had it but she claims differently. You see this is her picture…..
and I married her.
To this day she thinks I took her money. I didn’t. I just call her irresponsible to lose 50 cents and blame it on me. But whoa have I ever paid her back for that money. I am still paying.
I guess she didn’t mind marrying a thief!
Later in Life
A sidenote: When we were teaching school we both told a similar story to girls who came to us and complained that some boy was bothering them. We told the story of how some boy was bothering, picked on and aggravate a girl and he MARRIED HER!
January 1 – My Birthday
January 4- My First School Basketball Team