Mad Jack Hanks: Tales from the O-NO Ranch 8-1-11
Back then, gentle readers, you could discipline a kid for creating problems in school. Yep, you could “whoop” um with a board and nothing was thought of it. I know, I was the “whoopee.”
My first day in Sundown High I went to the bathroom before I made it to my first class. I noticed a dead mouse lying in the corner and picked him up and stuffed him in my pocket. I was really ready for high school, wasn’t I? Well, I should have been I was 24-years-old! Kidding of course … I was a 14-year-old kid a little nervous about it all and thought I would start off the day with a little joke and lighten the place up a little. I walked into my first class only to find the teacher had not arrived. I held up the dead mouse for all in the class to see and then I opened the teacher’s desk and dropped in the mouse. I was so proud of myself. As I closed the drawer she walked into the room.
“What are you doing in my desk?” she demanded.
“Errr, I uh … I was lookin’ for a paperclip,” I offered.
She opened up the drawer, picked up the mouse in one hand and grabbed me by my ear and down the hall to the principals office we marched in locked step. I was reprimanded, givin a couple of licks from “the paddle” and returned to class. It was hoped that I had learned my lesson and would no longer be a threat to school administrators. Wrong.
Yep, they could grab you by the ear and take you about anywhere and then give you a few swats if they felt as if you were not intimidated enough. Apparently I wasn’t.
There were a couple of other minor incidences in the next four years but I reckon the worst was a couple of days before my graduation from Sundown High School. The senior class was going to take a school bus over to Lubbock, Texas, and go to the park to roller skate, to swim and to picnic and then back home. If you wanted to go you had to ride the bus. Not so, I thought! I took my dad’s Buick and my girlfriend and we followed the bus over, had a great time and followed the bus back. The next afternoon I was ordered to go see Mr. Pirtle. He had a witness waiting as he held the “paddle” and leaning on his desk.
“Bend over Jack, you know what this is for. You will receive 10 licks for taking a car to Lubbock.”
Now children, Mr. Pirtle was mad, mad and really mad! He had had it with me and was going to give me my going away present from the school. He reared back as it he were Willie Mays and BAM, POP, POW … he swung that paddle. I was lifted up on my toes with every blow. I gotta’ tell ya, I was a tough kid but this was going to be more than I would be able to take. I turned around and gently got hold of Mr. Pirtle’s wrist and said, “That’s enough, I’ve had enough, you are mad and you are really gonna’ hurt me.”
I took away the paddle and the woman witness seemed relieved as she almost had tears in her eyes. I went to the gym to take a look at my behind and a coach walked in and was somewhat disturbed at what he saw. My butt was a mass of huge bruises of black and blue. Mr. Pirtle busted every blood vessel in my fannie. I knew I deserved punishment but maybe not that much.
You could do that back then. I never said a word to my parents or anyone else about those five hard licks. I did get into a fight the next day and received a black eye to go with my black and blue butt. I looked a little awkward at the graduation ceremony the next evening.
Still, I think that we were better folks back then and I was not then and am not today a “victim” as a lot of people seem to think they are as I write.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all!
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