Yet another tale from my school days of so long ago... in a time far far away....
Back in junior high at the Fort Assiniboine School they used to bus us kids in grade 8 and 9 to Barrhead so we could take Shop class and Home Economics. I loved going to these classes cause it was always nice to get out of the Fort school and go somewhere else. I had some interesting times there and now I'll share a few memorable and not so memorable moments from those years. Shop class was full of accidents, I accidentally sanded my finger on a sanding table while trying to sand some wood. I forgot to wear my gloves. I remember Tyler Kluin cutting his hand with a utility knife during leather working. I also remember Tyler cutting his own power cord while using a jigsaw...Tyler was a little scary to be around in shop class.
I remember one act of stupidity on my part. One day I was at a work table building a locker organizer out of wood for myself. Tyler had left a tape measure near where I was hammering, and he left it extended. Not noticing the tape measure I hammered the end of it, squishing the end piece completely. Being mad at Tyler for leaving his tools lying around and not thinking I proceeded to continue smashing what I thought was Tyler's tape measure. Why I did that I will never know, but when Tyler returned he informed me that it was not his but the teachers, Mr. Tiemstra. The reality of what happened hit me like ton of bricks, I was going to be in some serious shit, Mr Tiemstra had a bad temper. I attempted to hide the tape measure but it was found and returned to Mr. Tiemstra (Mr T we called him) and Mr T hit the roof. He started to yell at the whole class and wanted the person who wrecked his tape measure to come forward. I froze in fear...what the hell was I gonna do? Mr T told us he would wait in the hall for the person responsible to come out and admit their guilt or we would spend the rest of the year drafting in shop class. Mr T left the room. We took shop and home ec with a class from Neerlandia as well and all my friends assumed one of them had done it. Mike stood up and started to yell at the Neerlandian kids to admit they did it. It was spinning quickly out of control, so with great shame I stood up and left the room, Mike and all my classmates were shocked to see it was me admitting guilt. Mr T stood in the hall and seemed too to be shocked at myself leaving the classroom. "I'm sorry Mr T, I hit it by accident at first then I just acted stupid and smashed it". Mr T seemed disappointed but never yelled or lost his temper and accepted my apology and told me all will be forgiven as long as I replace his tape measure. I replaced it the next shop class and all was forgiven and forgotten. I still feel like a shit head for my stupidity, but such is life.
Another memorable moment was a time when Paul got into a fight with a Barrhead high school kid, and the story goes like this: Paul and Mike thought they were tough guys and prior to shop class Paul decided to pick a fight with a Barrhead grade 11 student named Curtis. Curtis was popular, a ladies man and had a reputation for being a fighter. I had actually met him the summer before, he had a crush on my cousin Irene and was trying to date her. So while trying to win over my cousin he befriended me while I was staying at my Granny Lockhart's place. He was a nice guy and I didn't understand why Paul wanted to fight him. Paul planned to pick a fight with him while Mike and Joe would be his back-up in case Curtis's friends tried to jump in, or to stop Curtis if he was too tough for Paul. When I asked them why they wanted to fight him they just rolled their eyes at me and ignored my question...Mike, Paul and Joe could be jerks to me at times in school. Anyway that afternoon during recess at shop class we all stood in the hallway and Curtis and his friends walked by. Paul started in on Curtis by asking him what his problem was. Curtis went immediately into fight mode and got in Paul's face. Curtis had about 4 or 5 large friends standing by. Paul made a comment about Curtis's jacket and Curtis asked him if Paul had been the one who spit on it. I had no idea what they were talking about but Paul said 'yes' he was the one. Paul made the mistake of picking a fight while having his hands in his front jean pockets. Curtis wasted no time and started throwing punches at Paul. He started punching him and threw Paul to the ground hard and was on top of him punching him. Paul wore tight jeans and could not get his hands out to defend himself. I looked at Mike and Joe knowing they were supposed to jump in and stop him but they did nothing. They stood there in shock as Paul was getting the life pounded out of him. Curtis's friends cheered him on and his assault got more intense and some one had to act... and so I did. I grabbed Curtis from behind and pulled him off Paul, throwing him up against a nearby wall. It happened so fast and I acted so quickly I didn't think, but I was sure Curtis and or his friends would start pounding on me. God bless my cousin Irene, Curtis was so into her that he couldn't pound on me.
"Chris, I don't want to hurt you cause I'm friends with Irene" he told me. He looked and acted like a caged tiger ready to pounce.
"Listen he's my friend and I can't let you beat the crap out of him anymore" I informed him. Curtis's friends were telling him to kick my ass too...but he simply walked away.
"Your lucky your Irene's cousin" he told me as he left with his friends.
I was a hero to my classmates and Paul thanked me for saving his ass. I was a big kid in Grade 8 but Curtis and his friends were in grade 11 and a lot bigger and stronger than me. Even though Irene was not there that day she saved my ass cause I'm sure if it wasn't for Curtis wanting to get with her he would have kicked the shit out of me that day too.
Good times at Shop Class
Live Long And Prosper!