Rough school days |

Rough school days

Butch Austin

Wamsutter, Wyo., is a small town and now, with the interstate, may not even exist. It sat between Rock Springs and Rawlings on Interstate 80.

The school ran first through eighth grades, the higher grades were bussed to Rawlings or Rock Springs depending on where you lived. You can talk about rough schools back east, but they are convents compared to Wamsutter.

The roughest guys in the schools were the girls. One day during show and tell I showed my Silver comic books. After lunch I decided to take them home before someone took them. But it was too late. One little fourth grader who had a crush on me told me who took them and where they were.

I scoured all the desks in three classrooms at warp speed and found all my comic books except one. I immediately took them back home to our trailer house, which was parked about 600 feet from the school. After a short interlude with my mother on why I left the school grounds, I promptly picked myself and my comic books up off the floor, hid them in my room and ran back to school.

Returning to school I got the beating of my life from the girl who took my comics. Before it equaled the beating I got from my mom, I ran into the boys bathroom. There I found Charlie hiding from the same girl but for different reasons. She decided Charlie would be her future husband with his curly blonde hair and fair skin even though we were in the fourth grade. Charlie liked another girl, though he never said he loved her or had plans to marry her.

 Charlie looked at me and said, “man you look terrified.”

“Crazy mary is out to kill you but I did what I could,” I replied

“Is that why your face looks like that?” Charlie said.

“Naw that was my mom, but the red strangle marks around my throat are hers and I think she broke a rib. I never gave you up though.”

“You most likely led her straight to me,” Charlie said.

“No, I ran off the school grounds and around the trailer park. I ran through all the class rooms (none of which could be classified as a lie). I think I lost her, anyway I tried and this is the gospel.”

About that time crazy Mary runs into the boy’s bathroom with a new freshly sharpened No. 2 pencil clutched in her hand. She glares at me and I saw my short life flashing before my eyes. Then a miracle happens, she turns and sinks the pencil into Charlie’s left shoulder and runs screaming out of the bathroom. Breathing a sigh of relief I run to Charlie, are you all right? With a dumbfounded look he replies, Butch I have a pencil in my shoulder I do not think I am all right at all.

Mr. Plummer runs in and yells back for the school nurse and for them to hang on to crazy Mary and call the sheriff.

The school nurse comes in takes one look at Charlie, and says, “Oh Charlie you look terrible, we are going to get some blankets, wet wash clothes, you are so pale.”

Charlie is looking at me beaming like a freshly polished apple. At this time the nurse announces she is going to pull the pencil out. I begin to beam and in one swift move the pencil is out she declares the lead did not break off and pours in the bubby stuff. We were never told what the bubbly stuff was exactly and it went by other names, suffice to say it burned like jalapeño peppers. This is early 60s and modern medicine is cutting edge science and such names are top secret.

Both the nurse and Mr. Plummer are holding Charlie down and I am still waiting for the all clear sound. Finally the announcement, the sheriff arrives and takes Mary away never to be seen in our school again.

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