Off To See The Wizard…………#180 (80’s)

Robert and Sandi ready for school

Jan was disappointed having applied for the Grade School Secretarial position and not being accepted,   Judy Rocket from Hardtner  receiving the school principal Juanita Smith’s approval.   Gary was cognizant of a possible partiality implications, Mrs. Smith a long time resident of Hardtner,  a community of less than 175  and in all likelihood were friends of Judy and her husband Gary.  His wife Jan still convivial with her employment at the Bank of Kiowa, disappointed but accepting the school abnegation,  her position as a bank teller still remained a comfortable appointment.

Judy Rocket – Grade School Secretary

Jeannie Albright 2nd Grade teacher

The Main St. school lawn mowing application was in progress when Judy Rocket approached with a discerning expression on her face stating Gary’s presences was required in Mrs. Albright’s  second grade room.   Upon arrival finding the classroom to have been vacated by the students,  custodian Pam Cooper standing at the entrance. Gary questioning her why he was summoned, his co-worker remaining at the door refusing to enter the premises.  Gary entering, looking about appraising the room, discovering an immediate answer, the remains of a student’s breakfast, the stomach discharge decorating a desk and the surrounding area of the floor.  Pam giving him a stifling look,  her posture stiffening and with a declarative voice,  “I don’t do vomit”,   abruptly turning away leaving Gary to provide for the rooms disparages culmination.   Gary shrugging, setting about the task,  concluding he had inherited a new juridical responsibility, coming up with a  job description title,  “jurisdictional exemplary for the hygienic ascendancy of vomit”. Not exactly a fragrance enhancing position, but one of caliber, especially the first two weeks of the school year,  when  the kindergarten, 1st. and 2nd grade classes are most likely to propagate the unsightly discharge.

46 passenger Bluebird school bus

Vee Hill & Jane Thompson 1st. grade teachers

Pam Cooper

The Theatrical Study Program of Northwestern State College at Alva  extending an invitation to the surrounding community elementary schools to attend their musical adaptation of the Wizard of Oz.    Vee Hill,  Jane Thompson’s 1st grade,  Norma Feaster and Jeannie Albright’s 2nd grade all enthusiastic for the presentation.   The morning of the event found Gary and Pam addressing the high school,  each retrieving a respective Blue Bird forty passenger bus to be stationed on 9th st.  adjacent to the school gym’s west door to await the students.  Gary was designated to provide for Mrs. Hill and Mrs Thompson’s first grade class,  the students filing out of the gym single file into the waiting transports,  the two teachers reminding the student as they entered they could talk  but to hold it down.   The bus journeying south crossing of the Sante Fe tracks and the Oklahoma Stateline,  Gary accomplishing a 55 mph momentum,  noticing Pam’s trailing bus falling further and further behind,  a curiosity beginning,  could she be experience some type of trouble.  Encompassing the two-way radio’s  microphone,  Gary attempting to communicate with Pam concerning her possible hindrance,  a brief silence,  then Pam’s voice finally responding,  Gary asking if there was a problem?  Pam’s immediate reply, the bus wouldn’t go over 40 mile per hour.   Gary questioned if she had the bus in fourth gear?  she replied affirmative.   Gary continued, asking if she had engaged the two-speed axle.   The silence was deafening,  then a reply,  “what’s that?”   Trying not to sound contemptuous,  he explained,  if she would commission the  clutch and pull the small protruding lever connected to the gear shift to an upward position,  it would switch the two-speed axle to high and find the bus performing at an extended speed.   Jane Thompson whom was sitting across from Gary,  a grin on her face after overhearing the conversation,  a knowingly expression,  having accompanied her husband Monty,  the Middle School football coach and also the team’s bus driver,  shook her head,  acknowledging Pam’s lack of bus driving experience.

Of to see the Wizard

The Wizard of Oz at Herod Hall

Arriving at the college, finding  the parking area according  several buses from outlying areas,  the musical production being performed in Herod Hall,  a landmark auditorium on the campus.   The grade school students again in their perfection,  lining up to enter,  Gary questioning Pam about attending the performance,  her answer was negative,  she preferred to remain  with the bus.   Gary joining the class as they began to enter,  his daughter Sandi among Mrs Feasters second graders.  Standing at the door waiting for  the class to finish filing past,  an unexpected visitor,  Juanita Smith,  the school principal.   Gary’s curiosity was aroused wondering who covered her English class,  Juanita acknowledging, Bev Molz,  the Chapter One reading instructor was substituting in her absence.   The program commencing,  Gary seated with Juanita,  both enjoying the musical production,  Gary reminiscing of his first acquaintance with the 85-year-old Wizard of Oz story, created in 1900,  most people only familiar with the first volume of the 14 Oz books authored by L Frank Baum. Gary having read most of the Oz books borrowing them from  his mother’s best friend,  Natalie Calhoun, a professor at Mills College in Oakland.  His attendance a rewarding benefit of his school employment, a second benefit was the joy reflected in the  smiling  faces of  the students.

One Response to “Off To See The Wizard…………#180 (80’s)”

  1. Chere Laurie Says:

    Really nice work

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