Monday

Nothing today. All I did was wash my car. That’s not very interesting, is it?

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I’m taking a break today

One of my favorite t0opics. Bayonne’s most  beautiful baby competition…

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From the Best to the Worst

My classmates will probably recognize him. He taught Algebra. He even looks like a jerk.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have much money. I spent the summer of 1959 picking tobacco in Connecticut. I got back to school a week and a half after it started. I found my father on his death bed. He lingered on for about a week. I missed about two and a half weeks of school. When I finally was able to start, Mr. G didn’t have a book for me. He never tried to get a book for me. He would give homework assignments out of the book that I had no way of doing even though I tried. There I was, shattered over the death of my father, but I guess none of that was his problem. He gave me a “D”.

Now I’m not dumb, and I was pretty smart in all aspects of mathematics. I graduated cum laude in mathematics in college. In all my college career I never made less that a “B”. I went on to get a Ph.D. in physics. And this dumb son of a bitch turned his back on me. To illustrate the state of secondary education in Manatee County, which yesterday’s premier educator tried so hard to improve, Mr. G became Dean of Boys. And that’s not the least of the sorry situation there. The football coach became Principal.

In my senior year I took phys ed last period. There were three of us in the class, and all three were there because we knew we wouldn’t have to do squat. The other two were my good friend Larry Jerome, about the smartest guy I ever knew, and my no good cousin Bob. Larry never showed up and he got an “A”. This happened throughout his education, even in college. We took tennis together in college. He didn’t show up for half the classes, and he got an “A” . It happened all the time. Now the head coach and his number two coach shared a locker room in a little building behind the stadium. One day Bob and I (Larry didn’t show up that day) asked coach #2 (not the guy who became principal) what we should do that day. Our assignment was to clean his toilet.

 

 

 

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My Best Teacher.

That would be Marion Brady. He was the best all through school and college, and I had a lot of them.

I am in contact with Mr. Brady, and he’s still raising hell with the system of education that we have in this country. I’ve mentioned him before and given you links to his editorial pieces. If you want to know how qualified he is to offer advice on education, just Google him.

What what Marion did so well, at least in my case, was to teach me to question. This didn’t go to well with many of the parents back then, and I believe that it’s true today. Most parents want their children to grow up as euphemistic clones of themselves. As a result, Mr. Brady had problems staying at one particular school for any extended period of time. That was also true at Sea Cow High.

Our book reading assignments from Mr. Brady were Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville and The Ugly American by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer. After the summer break, Mr. Brady asked us what books we had read. When I told him that I had read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. He was taken aback just a little. I thought at first it was because the book is so classical in nature and also very long. But then he asked “Who let you read THAT?” If you don’t know, The Canterbury Tales gets mighty spicy in parts. I think he was pleased.

Perhaps the most telling evidence of one’s influence on another, especially a young person, is how many specific instances way down the road that one recalls. I have a very good memory. But I recall more occasions from his class than probably all the others combined. For example, this just came into my mind the other day. Marion, assuming that you’re reading this, you probably don’t remember. A discussion arose about a woman who had lost her only child through some accident or illness. Your question was “Does a woman who loses her only child grieve as deeply as a woman who loses only one of several?” A number of students answered – I particularly remember Bob Beall’s answer (yes, of Beall’s Department Stores), which echoed the sentiments of the class in general. Yes, the woman with many children feels the pain just as deeply. I had my hand up, but we ran out of time. Now, Mr. Brady, here is my comment fifty-nine years late. The woman with several children feels the pain just as deeply, but she has her remaining children to comfort her.

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My favorite teacher.

That would be Mrs. Jeanne Parrish. I really loved her. And believe it or not, she loved me. Here she is from my  Sea Cow High School Year Book, 1961:

And here we are fifty years later:

I have to say that she was not only my favorite teacher, but the favorite of a great number of everybody who went to school there. We stayed in contact over the years. I used to visit with her. Not long before she passed away, well into her nineties, I took her to lunch and then on a car tour of Bradenton and Anna Maria Island. She loved it. She told me that I was like a son to her.

I have to tell you a story about her. First, you probably won’t believe it,but I was the most honest kid throughout all my years in school and college. and that’s a lot of years. I never cheated. Well, almost. I did cheat once. It was in Mr. Anderton’s  eighth grade English class. We were taking a test and Sandy Mason, probably the prettiest girl in school, sat behind me. I felt a pencil poke my shoulder. I looked back, and Sandy whispered “What’s the answer to number three?” I told her. But that was the first and only time I ever cheated.

I was in Mrs. Parrish’s twelfth grade English class. She had returned graded tests to us students. I noticed that she graded mine wrong. After class I went up to her desk with my paper and said “Mrs. Parrish, you made a mistake. You gave me an ‘A’, but I missed two questions, not just the one.” She paused for a moment looking at me, and then she said “Bud, I’ll never forget you.” She never did.

 

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Speaking of great poetry..

Dig this:

Mrs Key even wrote  !

Mrs. Key was my eleventh grade English teacher, and she was a good one. Here she is from my 1961 Manatee High School Year Book:

The year before when I was in her class she taught 11th grade. What I remember most about her is one of our assignments. She gave us a list of names with the assignment to research and write papers on them. It turned out that they were all accomplished African Americans. This was in 1960, before integration.

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P.B.Shelly, roll over in your grave

I just came across a poem that I wrote when I was in high school. That was 50 years ago. I must have been very romantic. Who cares?

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Whew! All you broads out there probably have chills running up and down your quivering spines.

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My Guardian Angels

They watch over me while I work.

This is from 1989. Squids McKenzie was a take off on Spuds McKenzie, the Boston Bull Terrier in the Bud Lite commercials.

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Sunday

From January 2002…

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My Mackerels

Anna made a comment about Scandinavian mackerels. Theirs are much different. By the way, you have to cook and eat mackerels very fresh.  They go bad fast. I dipped the fillets in egg and then fine cornmeal and fried them. Very tasty. And I make terrific tartar sauce. But as I was saying I caught two Spanish mackerels.  I referenced my venerable Dictionary of Fishes, ca. 1951. It’s been through a few tough years. My old man bought it when we got to Anna Maria:

The “Bud Grace” was not me, it was my old man. My mother wrote that. As a kid I was horrified by the photo of the shark on the first page:

Is that ugly or what?  You see the photo of the hammerhead below it. I don’t know if it’s still true, but the record East Coast hammerhead was caught off the Rod and Reel Pier on the north end of the Island sometime in the 1940’s.

I don’t know about the common mackerel. I thought what I caught were Spanish Mackerels. The fish were shaped like the common mackerel, but spotted like the Spanish. If anybody knows, let me in on it. The king mackerels are much bigger.

Today I found a mistake in the 2013-2014 book. I had the same strip in twice. (It’s a good gag though.) It appears in Chapters 35 and 45:

This is the strip that was missing:

For you who have books, it would be a great help to me if you would let me know when I make mistakes. 

When the two Yiddishe Mama gags appeared I was kind of upset. One of the copy editors took it upon himself to change it from Yiddishe to Yiddish without asking me. For those who don’t know Yiddishe is the feminine.

 

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