CONTRIBUTION BY TOM IRVIN 1959/1966
Tom Irvin's School Days
Born in 1948, I grew up in an environment of 'during the war' stories, to let me know how lucky we all were. Indeed, my friends and I fully expected that we would be drafted into the armed forces and end up, on a Normandy style invasion beach, somewhere. It was a delightful surprise when Harold Wilson scrapped conscription (by 1961) in favour of an all volunteer force. But, old habits die hard and some of us continued to imagine that the threat still hung over us, throughout our remaining youth.Rites of Passage
So, if we tend to judge some of our memories harshly, we should do so, within context. Social change generally happens on a continuum. While I think about it, let me give a shout out to prior generations. We were, indeed, lucky to get a head start in life, including an education beyond age 14 and an opportunity to begin our lives, in peace, if not always in prosperity.
I remember that my Mother, as an adult, had rushed into an empty classroom of a local Catholic parish school and bravely carried out a bundle of burning rags. The kids lined-up, in the schoolyard, as per their fire drill training. Afterwards, my Mother was hailed as a hero, by the Head, for having 'saved the school' from burning to the ground. Then, my Mother, whose chest swelled with pride, was booed loudly by the kids (for exactly the same reason).
If, as I write, I begin to sound like one of those unhappy schoolyard kids, then please be aware that I am sincerely grateful, in principle, to The College of St. Joseph, to its Christian Brothers who sacrificed so much, to its lay teachers, to the Roman Catholic Diocese, to the Local Education Authority and to all who contributed to the Direct Grant Grammar School's many successes (even though, not all of its methods and outcomes were so great).
St. Joe's had many surprises, in store for us. One, was our introduction to hazing. On the first day of senior school, it was customary for 2nd year boys to organize themselves into press gangs and grab unsuspecting 1st year boys. The hapless victims (in their nice, new, school uniforms) were dragged to the 'bog' and dipped, head-first, down a flushing toilet. In one respect, 1959 was different. Two former Prep. school chums made a difference. Let's call them 'Batman' and 'Robin'. 'Batman' was a tall athletic type who could climb to the top of a long rope using bare hands, and no feet, just like a circus trapeze artist. According to Pop Schools (PE instructor) only 1 or 2 boys out of every 100 are that strong. 'Robin' was more compact, having a gymnast's body well endowed with muscles. He might have been that 2nd boy in a 100 and with other talents to boot. Together, they were a dynamic duo. Being Prep. school buddies, they knew what to expect, they had social ties already and they knew a joker when they saw one. They organized a 1st year posse (which grew with every dunking) and they started to hunt and dunk 2nd year boys, in retaliation. Such a schoolyard reign of terror was never expected, but we believed that turnabout was fair play. If it was sad to be dunked in the 1st year, imagine how humiliating it must have been, to be dunked in the bog 2-years in a row. That had never happened before, in the history of the school (according to Carrots). Staff paid attention. Things were getting out of hand. Subsequently, that whole ugly tradition, of hazing, was terminated, for the benefit of future generations of freshmen. Thank you, 'Batman' and 'Robin'. We owe you... big time.
Rugby was, also, new and strange to us. A young, tall and sturdy, Jim Carrington, was a teacher, assigned to simultaneously teach and referee, at the New Fields, once per week. Carrots was easily bored and couldn't just stick to his formal teaching and refereeing roles. I remember that he grabbed the ball, himself, at one point, and he taunted all of the 11-year old boys and challenged them to tackle him as he ran toward the scoring line, on behalf of one of the teams. He hadn't noticed little me, on his blind side. I fearlessly (and stupidly) dived at his long running legs, encircling his ankles with my tiny arms. Down went Carrington, face down in the mud, in the biggest, wettest, dirtiest, mud puddle of the entire field. He rose up, snorting and looking like a movie monster rising from the swamp. If I had been expecting Carrots to say "That's right. Good tackle. Well done!" I'd have been sadly mistaken. Instead, I intuitively (and wisely) stayed out of his grumpy way for the remainder of that lesson.
Afterwards, on the way back to the changing rooms, boys on either side of me suddenly scattered, yelling things like "Look out, Irvin!" "Carrots is going to kill you." It looked as though, I was about to be taught another lesson, this one, having more to do with grudges, than sport.
Charging at me like a mad bull, was Carrington. The enormous man was running at me faster than I could possibly run away. So, I turned to face him and put up my dukes, waiting for impact. Carrots immediately changed his demeanour at my unexpected (juvenile) response. He laughed, at the sight of a frail 11-year old boy, trying to stand his ground vis-à-vis a (threatening) 26-year old athlete, against all odds and reason. He placed his hand on my shoulder and we chatted, and everything became calm between us. If the truth be known, Carrots was probably only planning to jump into a puddle alongside me, or some such mischief...but, how was I to know?
Seven years later, my younger brother, Joe, became a student at St. Joe's. Apparently, Carrots hadn't changed much. When my 11-year old brother was running with the ball, Carrots (the referee) had decided that he would tackle my brother, himself...to show everyone how it should be done. As Carrington's long manly arms started to encircle Joe's tiny legs, Joe glanced back over his shoulder and became terrified at what he saw. Joe, kind of skipped, upward, to jump over Carrot's forward encircling arm. In skipping, Joe accidentally clonked Carrots under the chin, with his heel. Carrots, temporarily dazed, landed face down in the mud, again, and Joe ran away with the ball. Later, Carrots asked him angrily "What's your name, boy?" Answer: "Joe Irvin, Sir." "Oh, no!" said Carrots, "You're not related to Tom Irvin are you?"
I don't think that Political Correctness had been invented, back then. I have seen that one former student has shared some redacted correspondence between a teacher and his parents. If it is of any comfort to that former student, I offer the opinion that his own situation was not the worst. One of his peers had a Report Card sent to his parents, with the succinct comment 'Bone Idle and Bone Headed.' (to summarize a whole year of progress).
As for the student with the redacted parent letter (published on this website). I think that I remember you, or a person very much like you, very well. The student in my mind's eye was very likeable and enthusiastic about everything. Gung ho, might be a fair description (at age-11). (Rhetorical question:) Do you remember greeting Carrots with "Sir, I saw you on the bus, on Saturday. I said 'Hi' to you, but you ignored me. Did you not know it was me, Sir?" - a, truly, awkward question to ask, in class. To which, Carrots replied "I am your senior school teacher and you had just said, to the conductor 'Half fare, please.' How could I, possibly, acknowledge you, in public, after that?"
Here's an even better memory: the whole class had been escorted to the Blackpool Promenade, on one occasion. We had been left there, as a group, pending our continuation to the Winter Gardens. We were ahead of schedule. While Carrots left us by the beach, for a while, you organized all of the boys (from our class) into an activity. You had everyone go down to the wet sand and scrape out large letters that could be read from the Upper Promenade. We spelled out the name of the school, for all to see, by dragging our heels through the sand. You were: the mastermind, the architect, the recruiter and the foreman; distributing individual responsibilities, for the various letters, between the available boys; and communicating the design specs., up and down the line, as required (Here are 2 more rhetorical questions: Did you ever consider your early leadership qualities within the context of a career? How long did you have to wait, at St. Joe's, before those qualities were nurtured?)
When Carrots returned to the beach, he acted like he was impressed:
Carrots: "Who did that?"
Boy (proudly): "It was my idea, Sir."
Carrots: "And, who did the 'D'?"
Boy (even more proudly): "That was ME, Sir."
Carrots (repeatedly slapping the boy around the back of the head, like one of the 3 Stooges): "There is no D in College, you stupid boy. Go down there and erase it all. You are embarrassing the School, ruining its reputation, in front of the whole of Blackpool."
In each case, the cruelly worded reprimands were not the worst part, from my perspective. The worst part was that others knew. I knew about: 'Bone Idle and Bone Headed,' because that Report Card comment had been read out loud to the entire class, by a teacher. Fortunately, the boy's father had been supportive of his son. According to the boy, his father had reacted, quoting George Bernard Shaw: 'Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.' When the offending teacher gratuitously humiliated the same boy, again, in class, it was pay-back time. The boy eagerly quoted his father and the teacher had no answer to that, or if he did, no-body listened. We had a new hero, that day, and his son was proud of him. Good save, guys!
There was no evidence that the leadership principles of: 'Public praise and private reprimands' held any sway, at St. Joe's. Order was maintained by frequently making an example of someone and issuing very public punishments. Much has been said of those punishment practices, by other contributors. I should like to offer that such was the culture, at St. Joe's, and any teacher who didn't want to participate, had a very difficult time maintaining order. A 'cane' had been in regular use at my feeder school.
Mr. Burke didn't want to use a strap (or a cane). After a while, his superiors made him get one. He purchased a brand new leather strap. I don't know where a person could buy such a thing. Maybe, the Christian Brothers, or some other Catholic Order, had another profit center. He called his leather strap 'Hiawatha' (I have no idea why. The story of Hiawatha has no relevance to the notion of punishment. Was it the swishing sound it made? Or, perhaps, he had meant to say 'Excalibur' or something and couldn't admit that he'd made a mistake). Anyway, he tried to cultivate a reputation, concerning his new strap. He would announce that if 'Hiawatha' came out of his briefcase, then it would definitely be used (on someone) before it was put away, again. The poor man clearly wanted to use corporal punishment as little as possible. Hence the talk, more than the use. Teachers like Mr. Burke were, perhaps, as much victims, of the culture, as were we.
In the second senior year, Jim Carrington tried to limit his use of the strap, by maintaining a log of misdeeds and poor homework, etc. His idea was that he could create a league table of bad boys, and the worst of them would receive very severe punishment, toward the end of term (in lieu of many smaller daily punishments, meted out to many more boys). To my great relief, somebody stole his exercise book which contained his punishment league table. We got away with it. I guess that his conscience may have been relieved, that he didn't need to follow through on his threats. On the other hand, this was the same teacher who (in year one) would suddenly hurl a wooden handled board duster or a piece of chalk at any boy he thought was daydreaming. Young minds would wander, Carrots would get ready and then, almost, all of the desk lids would be thrown up like shields, as the projectile either hit its intended mark, hard, or someone else. Ouch! (Well, that boy must have been daydreaming, too.)
Of course, other teachers, like Mr. Charles, appeared to exercise even less self-restraint. Most of his punishments were for poor study, the night prior. Maintaining order never seemed to be a problem for Mr. Charles, who was a very tall man. He clearly thought that he could improve our knowledge of history with his use of the strap. I never seemed to remember it, and so, history kept repeating itself (in a manner of speaking).
Did that weird precondition of fear, also, influence the selection of core subjects? I wonder? Why Latin? In English Grammar Schools, from Hastings to Hadrian's Wall, did people really think........ they might come back?
Unfortunately, many good alternatives, like tech. school subjects (and computer programming, or typing skills, for example) were not seen much, at St. Joe's. They tried to prepare students for University entrance and for traditional white collar careers (and, maybe, for boys' choirs, and amateur sports, etc.) For these and other reasons, some bright students were not well served, by schools like St. Joe's. Half were, half weren't. What a waste!
Mr. Hassett taught Algebra. I think that he would have been very proud of me, if he could have seen me in my late 50's. I remember working with a very difficult electronic spreadsheet. I had created it, to handle a massive amount of data, and I had many formulas embedded within it. But, it was unfinished and I couldn't use it effectively, yet, because it contained too many unknowns. I was baffled. Then, I suddenly recalled that Mr. Hassett (over 40-years prior) used to say "Let X = zero and solve for Y." So, that's what I did. With that old algebra technique, I solved for one unknown at a time in my complex spreadsheet and, thereby, reduced the number of unknowns in my final version (just like in Algebra class). Sometimes, it's the little things that make you feel good. Who knew, when we were learning Algebra, that one day, we might be using it routinely, thanks to personal computers?
In the third year, Tash (Mr. Worden) was my Form Master. As such, he had the, additional, obligation to teach his assigned students, Religious Instruction. A passing grade was mandatory for the School Certificate in Religion. Why was that a problem? Well, in addition to being Canadian, Tash also appeared to be an atheist. That was the problem.
Tash did touch, tangentially, upon a few relevant ethical dilemmas, during some of our 'Religious Instruction' sessions. One day, I got a very big pay-off. Tash may not have authored this idea, originally, but he is the person who shared this nugget of wisdom with me (and my peers). Tash said that "The definition of a Perfect Wife is the Wife who doesn't expect a Perfect Husband." Is that a stroke of genius, or what? Until then, we were completely on the wrong track. I don't think that I have ever heard any better inspiration than that. As obvious as it may sound, now, it wasn't obvious to everyone. Jerry Seinfeld created an entire TV series based upon the absence of that vital piece of information. We all could have been condemned to live it, the Seinfeld way (doyng, doyng, doyng, doyng). Thank you Tash, for removing the scales from our eyes!
Other observations from that feminine deficient environment:
Mr. Lavin (not a science teacher) thought that women were more 'evolved' than men. Mr. Lavin was a former boxer or prize fighter and he looked the part. He explained his theory, as follows: men are always fighting, but women can accomplish more, with one of their 'looks'. He had a point (except for the 'evolution' part). On the plus side, it has always made for a good pick-up line. So, thanks for that imparted wisdom, Mr. Lavin.
Brother Dowling had been in a single gender environment for even longer. He was a very likeable (even lovable) man, in his early sixties (though we had thought he was much, much older). We admired how such an old gent could walk up and down Blackpool Prom, at a brisk pace. Now, that I have read how young he actually was (and I am older than he was) I am totally unimpressed. Bro. Dowling was tall. He had a large head. He taught science subjects. He believed that intelligence was proportional to brain size. Men had larger brains than did women. Therefore, women were not as intelligent as men. I have found that this is not, nearly, such a good pick-up line as Mr. Lavin's.
Luckily, we had other insights into the intricacies of the female mind.
A day, that will always be remembered, by me, was the day that a very good but occasionally mischievous student (let's call him Student 'Twist') spread the word that he was going to help himself to an extra helping of 'concrete' (i.e., jam crumble) at school lunch. With the entire hall of students watching, with great anticipation, 'Twist' palmed an extra piece of 'concrete' and concealed it beneath his plate. He then side-stepped, in front of Ma Coakley's work station, to have custard poured over his legitimate piece of 'concrete' (like everyone else). He would have gotten away with it, too, if he had not been looking back at his 200-boy audience, grinning (in Twist's lovable and characteristic way). He was showing off his surreptitious accomplishment (with his extra piece of 'concrete' still hidden from the view of the serving staff, but not from the students who were seated at their dining tables). With 200-boys visibly reacting, with delight, to Twist's astonishing achievement, Ma Coakley cottoned on to what had just happened. Unfortunately, on that occasion, Ma Coakley reacted more like a wronged woman, rather than a catering professional (go figure?) and she lashed out, hitting 'Twist' over the head with a ladle full of custard. The yellow slime poured through his hair and down his school uniform. But, she couldn't wash that grin from his triumphant face, no matter how much lumpy custard poured down it. Everyone was a winner, that day, and the crowd went wild.
As you see, we had academic knowledge and an abundance of wisdom about the fairer sex. What else could we, possibly, need? Ah, yes. What about drugs? You may not be surprised to hear that I was very naive about drugs (as well). Many of us were. Fortunately, we had a very precocious student among us. Let's call him: Student 'Dude'.
One day, in the mid-1960's we heard that hippies were using LSD as an hallucinogenic drug. We knew no more about how to buy LSD than we knew about where to buy a teacher's strap. And, we had no more interest. We were never going to be exposed to LSD, at St. Joe's. Until, that is, the Government found out that LSD was present in ordinary garden flower seeds. It was announced, on the radio, that 'Morning Glory' flower seeds contained LSD and those seeds were being banned from retail outlets all over the country.
'Dude' sprang into action. Triggered by the radio announcement, he got up early in the morning and rushed around all of the gardening supply stores, in Blackpool, buying up every available packet of Morning Glory (before they disappeared from the shelves). He brought them into school. We asked him, what he intend to do with them?
'Dude' led us to the Science Lab, for a show and tell. He grabbed a science lab bowl and a pummel (known as a mortar and pestle). He poured the seeds into the bowl and pummeled them into dust.
'Dude' was probably making things up as he went along. We never guessed. He acted with great authority and confidence, on that occasion, and he assumed the role of 'Master' towards us, his 'pupils'. We had gathered around him in a circle.
'Dude' had our full attention. He took a pinch of the powder, like snuff, and he inhaled it, deeply, into his nostrils. I never expected that LSD could be so much fun. The outcome of that day's show and tell was quite remarkable. And, not just for me. I think everyone enjoyed exactly the same take-away from that day's experience.
A large husk, or uncrushed seed, must have lodged, sideways, up Student Dude's nose. His face turned purple. His eyes watered. His heart rate probably skyrocketed. He struggled to breathe. We all shared similar symptoms, but for very different reasons. We had never laughed so hard or so heartily in all of our lives. While, 'Dude' nearly died of inner nostril pain, no-body even attempted to administer first aid, even though two of the boys were destined to become doctors. Everyone was helpless with laughter.
Sixth form was memorable, and then some!
One teacher had a habit of slamming down his pile of books, on top of a fire extinguisher, until, one day, a student prepared the scene by removing the pin from the extinguisher, and the teacher walked in, slammed down his books and inadvertently set off a storm. Foam was everywhere. Amazingly, I now read (on this website) that the same fire extinguisher trick had been performed by other students, in the same place, a few years prior. We students weren't the only slow learners, were we?
Another teacher liked to sit on a science lab bench, with built-in gas taps and water faucets. The bench was not used for its original purpose (in that classroom) and the water and gas had been turned off, underneath. You've guessed it. A student picked the cabinet lock and turned on the water supply. The teacher sat at the front of the class to conduct his lesson. He sat, on the improvised teachers' 'desk' overlapping, and sitting partly inside, the sink, in his usual comfortable talking position. As always, he used the tall water spout as an arm rest and he absentmindedly fiddled with the faucet handles (as usual) but, this time he got a pocket load of water, interrupting him, in mid-sentence. Surprise!
Brother Dowling had a large and ornamental Pendulum Clock. It was his pride and joy. One boy (say, Student 'Gadget') brought in a bunch of irregularly shaped magnets and secretly attached them to the inner chime bars within the clock. At each chime, the magnets would alter the sound of each note. It sounded horrible "Biyang, Boyang, Bing, Boyng, etc.," Bro. Dowling would run to his antique clock and try to figure out what was wrong. He looked very upset. He couldn't diagnose the problem.
This prank proved so rewarding for the boys, that Student 'Gadget' then kicked it up a notch. He brought in spare parts from an old clock of his own. He would place odd cogs and other loose brass pieces into the bottom of the school clock's cabinet (beneath the pendulum). The odd sounding chimes continued.
Bro. Dowling would find the loose parts and have no success trying to fit them back into the clock's inner workings. The more he tried, and the greater his concern, the funnier it was for all of us. His beloved clock seemed to be dying of an unknown ailment with no known cure. So, why were we all laughing? He eventually smelled a rat. He announced that the whole class would be held on detention, every evening, until such time as his precious clock was fixed. He left the room. The magnets and junk were removed instantly. Everybody was forgiven. Old Brother Dowling (a science teacher) had absolutely no curiosity about what had been happening. He was just happy, again, like a kid with a new puppy.
One can only do one's best
'Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.' (from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night). "Ah! If only I could become great, any way, at all" (thought many a teen). Finding one's niche in life can involve many ups and downs. It's rarely a straight line, up. Some have expectations above their abilities, and, at times, others have ambitions well below. It takes all kinds. Dick Whittington had his cat; and Lord Blackadder had Baldrick. Each had the capacity to be happy, especially Baldrick, if he had a turnip and his pants. Some folks have always been easily pleased.
It's the normal distribution. Some are great. Other folks grow up, content to be hacks and peripheral characters, in many a social setting. Some are knocked down temporarily, only to recover and become great. Some climb up, some slip down. Who's who? Who knows? They may think they know. Things change. While some confident and ambitious students were preparing for leadership and life, reading from: Thomas Aquinas, Sun Tzu, and Niccolò Machiavelli; other students (in the shadows) were reading Michael Green's The Art of Coarse Rugby and The Art of Coarse Acting. If this 'Coarse Acting' book were to be described in one sentence, it would be: How to Wreck an Amateur Dramatic Society by being a hack of an actor.
Along came the opportunity they had been waiting for: The St. Joe's production of The Pirates of Penzance. Auditions and rehearsals took months. The performance ran for 3 nights in December 1965, at a Theatre on Coronation Street. Even the address offered inspiration and hope to aspiring actors. But self-actualization through art was not a burning desire of the fun-loving fans of 'Coarse Acting'.
Sure enough, one of the anonymous members of the 'Coarse Acting' club was accepted as a bit player, in the chorus line. Let's call this actor: Student 'Olivier'. His part: A Policeman in some scenes, a Pirate in others, was perfect! The remainder of the 'Coarse Acting' readers group became his 'Think Tank'. Together, they had weeks, to figure out, how to steal scenes, even if 'their' actor had only been assigned bit parts. All of the answers were, there, in the book. What fun, to put theory into practice!
A Pirate could stand out by having huge and lopsided (moving) earrings made out of linked curtain rings; huge painted sideburns; real liquid splashing about in the fake tankards; and outrageous pirate weapons, for show, etc. A chorus line policeman could stand out by being out of step; by bobbing up when the others bobbed down; and by swigging from a concealed bottle of booze on stage (when he was supposed to remain motionless in the background). Being at the end of a line, or the front, helped, as did facing the wrong way and holding a truncheon in the wrong hand. When a line marched on stage, it was advantageous to be last in line, be out of step, and be late, with a gap left in the line (which afforded the additional advantage that the 'Coarse Actor' could still be marching on stage, after everyone else had stopped). Ending a chorus, one note after everyone else had its merits. Every advantage should be used to steal the attention of the audience and stand out. The goal was faux fame. And, it worked, to perfection, especially for the 'Coarse Acting' cheering section, in the know.
None of the tricks could be used in rehearsals. It was like being, secretly, in the French Resistance. All of the good stuff had to be implemented live, on the performance night, when Parents would be in the audience and it would be too late to stop it. That meant saving the best stunts until the last night. The people in the know, were all clued in.
The on-stage, pièce de résistance, was the Headmaster's speech at the end of the Final Night's Performance. Brother Mulligan knew that a bit of humour was appropriate, within his speech, after the final curtain. As some may remember, the closest Bro. Mulligan, generally, got to humour, was a series of put-down remarks, at the expense of his charges. As feedback, he generally received a deferential weak smile and an appreciative noise, like a girl trying to keep a dull conversation polite (I know that sound well). This closing speech was different. He stepped up to the microphone, on stage. The entire cast stood behind him. Each of his sarcastic put-downs was greeted with a raucous response from the parents. His confidence grew and he felt encouraged to recite even more of his student put-downs. Every one of his 'jokes' went over like Tommy Cooper's. He was very proud of himself, that night.
What Bro. Mulligan had not known (and probably never found out) is that each of his student put-downs, had been punctuated with a gesture from Student 'Olivier', standing right behind Bro. Mulligan, on-stage. Student 'Olivier' was dressed as a Policeman. At each put-down remark, 'Olivier' would take a step forward and gesticulate, wildly, with a music hall, Policeman's truncheon, over the Headmaster's skull. Bro. Mulligan never caught on. He thought that the audience had only been reacting to his deadpan remarks. Could it be, that he might be ready for prime time at the London Palladium?
Sadly for 'Olivier', he never made it in professional theatre (And, try as he may, Bro. Mulligan never again recaptured his perfect comedic timing). 'Olivier' did, however, get away with a bit of fun, and avoid an angry Christian Brother's wrath, that night. The angry Brother (acting as Bro. Mulligan's protector) had been looking for the heavily disguised Student 'Olivier', in the wings of the stage and in the dressing rooms. "Why I aughta....!" But, which actor was he (under all that costume and makeup....sometimes a Pirate and sometimes a Policeman)? The angry Brother never found 'Olivier', but he did leave a threatening message for him. Afterwards, he let the matter drop. He must have realized that he couldn't effectively punish Student 'Olivier', without bursting Bro. Mulligan's bubble of self-esteem (The Headmaster might discover, the truth, about his own 'hilarious' oratory performance, about which, he had become so proud). As a result, there for the taking, were two of life's best lessons: 'Live and let live.' and, 'let sleeping dogs lie.' (Learned, the easy way, without even being studious.)
Graduation and the 'Practical' meaning of Life
All of a sudden, our time at St. Joe's was over. 'The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on.' (Omar Khayyám). Equipped with our rich educational experience, along with character references, a few diplomas, and no money, we were ready for the greater World, outside. Or, were we? What, could possibly, go wrong?
P.S. Heartfelt thanks are due to several unnamed teachers and many fellow students, too numerous to mention. Thank you for your guidance, camaraderie and support, for your tolerance, patience, forgiveness and for many good memories and lessons of life, taught by word and by example. Many of you are remembered by name, for insightful things said, noteworthy talents and good deeds done, back in the day. You might be pleasantly surprised. Thank you guys!
"God Bless" all those, too soon, departed.
Written: 7th April, 2017
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