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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Guilty Until Otherwise Proven

Guilty Until Otherwise Proven

This is as close as I’ve come to a life sentence, but I must say, what a way to go.  I swear my life has had enough experience for at least 5 lifetimes.  What I am about to share was so scary at the time that many, many, many years later I’ve never told anyone.  When it happened, most everyone at the school became aware but because it was passed on mouth to ear it must have been distorted.  Like most drama in high school, it was shortly replaced with the next rumor or gossip.

During my years in high school I had the easiest and best time imaginable.  I lettered in 3 sports (Football, Wrestling and Track and Field), I carried a 4.0 GPA and I don’t remember spending much time studying.  My recollection is that I would wait until a couple of days before a test to review all the material that we were going be to be tested on.  My memory would retain all the information freshly reviewed (those were the days), and I would consciously command my mind to release it from storage out of the brain after the test.  Without knowing about the future and how computer memory would work, I assumed that by consciously releasing it, I could start from scratch remembering things that were useful as I went along (in other words “delete”).

Well, enough background for this post.  My experience was such that I would look forward to going to school, and enjoyed every little detail about the experience.  I was in good standing with all my teachers and the administration.  The school principal held me in high regard, and I often was called to assist teaching English to the Cuban Refugees.  Eventually I went on to have my own 30 minute daily class to work with the Cuban students.

Finally, for “the rest of the story.”  I remember the day like it was a month ago; my third period had just started (the class: Washington History, my teacher was Mr. Brown).  Mr. Brown had just assigned us to read a chapter in preparation for a quiz.  I was concentrating so intently as I read, that I didn’t notice when the principal walked into the room, and approached my sitting area from the rear of the room to call me out of the classroom.  When he leaned over to talk to me quietly, I was so surprised that I almost jump out of my seat.  Other students had a good laugh because they had been tracking the principal as he walked around looking for his target (me).

I remember his words to me as we walked to his office:  Without telling me what the meeting was about, he said; “son, I want you to know that I will be with you in the room to maintain control and to give you all the support you will need, I will help you get through this.”

When we arrived to the office area, I noticed that all the staff (all ladies except the assistant principal) were actually staring at me, and I couldn’t tell if it was a look of pity or disbelief.  I nodded at the staff as we walked by, the principal was holding his arm around my shoulder.  I am willing to bet that even the principal’s arm around my shoulder was a non-typical event.  It was almost as if the principal was trying to reassure me, but I still didn’t know about what, other than of his personal and professional support.

When we reached his office which seemed to take forever, he opened the door and showed me in.  As I walked through the door I was surprised to see one of the prettiest girls in the school accompanied by her mother and father.  I reached out to shake their hand and no surprise to me they reached out and shook my hand in return.  Please understand that I will change the names to protect the innocent.  The young lady shall be called Brandy Johnson. 

I have a personal policy about not making my posts too long, so please be patient, as I will quickly finish part 2, and post it.  The best is yet to come…………….

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