— continued from July 10th ~
I had — in a moment of mental aberration — left the 5th grade students aware that there was going to be at least one battle scene in their production of Julius Caesar … this was followed by a battle with the 5th grade teacher. At the time, I had not formulated in my mind exactly how it was going to happen, but assured her it would be safe for everyone — including the audience and provide some excitement to those watching.
The major problem was going to be weapons — cardboard was not going to work, and i certainly wasn’t going to try and round up a bunch of swords to place in the hands of my joyous and raucous 5th graders. Little did I know ~
The High School Science teacher a couple of days later (as I remember) talked to me in the staff dining room (where an incredible number of things seemed to be forever being discussed and/or decided) about the play and his interest in it. We got around the the battle scene and he told me that he had discovered a cache of bayonets at the kabardiwalla (I’m not sure of the spelling – forgive me) — which means the local 2nd hand shop and he was sure I would be able to borrow them for the show.
Off we went to the shop, and there they were … in all their nasty and dangerous glory. Unfortunately, the danger part really didn’t dawn on me … didn’t even enter my thoughts. I immediately saw the scene in my mind and the realization of how much fun it would be to put together pushed all other concerns out of my mind.
They were triangular basically black – and – most exciting of all, they gave off sparks when struck together. (cue music from the beach assault in The Longest Day here.) At this point I lost all shred of sanity as far as the production was concerned, and the battle scene was about to become something that probably belonged in a movie about advancing on the beach at D-day!!
Now Midsummer Night’s Dream was certainly not left out of the process. There was still the problem of Bottom’s line about a man may still be an ass and then I found out that I would put something into rehearsal and the 6th grade teacher would take it out. This had been going on for sometime before I found out about it. I was getting frustrated with the students not remembering what I wanted them to do/say and them not wanting to tell me what was going on in the classroom.
So now we were down to two super-sized egos .. I was of the opinion that you don’t mess with my show and she was of the opinion that you don’t mess with her class. I found out late in the day and I got more and more angry as I went down the hill (literally) to the High School boys dorm where I was assistant supervisor and had my apartment. The longer I thought about it, the more angry I became. I decided, at that point, that I would go over to the High School girl’s dormitory (where she had an apartment) and have it out with her – once and for all time!!
Now, if you look at the picture you will see a building on the hillside at the left edge. That was the starting point A — the building on the hill on the right of the picture was finishing point B … with a path and the middle school boys dorm hovering around the middle. Part f the path was lit, and parts were narrow and not. It was a path that everyone did several times a day on some days – and once a week, the High School boys make a treck to the High School girl’s dorm for a dance. It was a path I knew well. I also knew that at that time of night, I needed to take a flashlight along, but I did not.
I am now charging along the path, heading to the middle building readying in my mind exactly how this was going to work and what I was going to accomplish or else!! That’s when the “or else” happened in a moment. To this day, I’m not completely sure what happened – all I knew was that I ended up down the “chud” (pronounced cud .. again, I apologize for the spelling — it meant cliff literally) as it was called with a broken arm. Unfortunately, I was too far entangled and too far down and hurting FAR too much to get myself out … I began to yell for help. Finally, one of the workers heard me and tossed down what looked like a piece of twine. I finally convinced him that I was going to need more help then that … and in due course, some kind of battalion arrived and got me to the hospital which was about a half-mile away.