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Tuesday, November 10, 2015



In the ninth grade, I had just moved to a new school in Westfield, New Jersey from Manhasset, Long Island.  I made the football team and as a matter of fact for some reason was elected captain.  My best friend Charley later told me it was because one captain had to be a lineman, and I was the only starter on the line that was not likely to be put off the team because of poor grades or delinquent behavior.

Westfield was not a tough town, far from it, but our Junior High School was on the bad side of town, where most families were well off, but not rich.  A few could even be described as working poor.

One day after practice a kid on the eighth grade team started talking smack to me.  I don’t remember why, something about a towel or something on a seat…something really stupid.  Anyway this kid got up in my face, and I shoved him away hard into a locker.  Hey, I was captain of the ninth grade team and he was an eighth grader, I couldn’t let him talk smack.

Well this kid, a little guy as I recall, not a physical threat in a fight, tells me, “You’ll be sorry, I’ll be waiting for you.” I didn’t think much of the threat.

Later that week there was a school dance.  This kid comes up to me and says I should meet him outside.  I tell him to get the “F” away; I didn’t have time for his crap.  He said he’d be waiting for me outside after the dance was over, and I said he was welcome to wait, but he would be sorry.

After the dance the kid was not waiting outside, and I don’t remember ever hearing from him again, just never crossed his path even after football practice.

Turns out a bunch of other kids on the football team convinced this kid to forget the beef and just go home.  I remember telling Charley, that I wasn’t really worried, that I could have handled this kid.  Charley told me, “You don’t know that kid, he’s nuts…he had an eight inch knife with him and he was planning on using it.”

So I was acting like the big shot ninth grader, and if a few of my teammates who knew the score had not intervened I may have been the victim of a serious knifing.

This is a true story. It happened about fifty-five years ago.  I only tell this story because I have no intention of running for President.  If I did, and I was a contender, I doubt the news media could verify the story.  I don’t remember the kid’s name, I’m not sure I ever knew it.  Probably only a few kids knew about the almost knife fight and if any of my classmates could even remember who I was, few would think I would have acted like a big shot.  It was not my typical demeanor. 

Charley might remember this story; he has one of those kinds of memories, but probably not.

If I choose to run for President, the press will have a field day claiming I made up this unverified story.  Fortunately I am uniquely unqualified in many other ways. 

Hell, I’ve never even separated seven month old twins that were joined at the head.


  1. Knives at school? Gosh it's just like in the movies!

  2. A knife! And there was me thinking knives were a modern weapon.

  3. Wow, that's one seriously disturbed kid! I'm very glad he was persuaded not to use the knife both for your sake and his (mostly yours!).

  4. Sometimes we are protected when we don't even know it!

  5. even back then, junior high was tough!

  6. There was knife talk at my jr. high and high, too.

  7. Hubby went to an elementary school in Kentucky all those years ago. The school was so tough the teachers wouldn't walk alone in the hallways while class was in session. Lots of kids had brass knuckles; I'm sure a few ere carrying other weapons. After a year hubby and his brother went to a different school, but the lessons on fighting he learned there he carried with him.


  8. LOL...what a great post this is, based on current events!

  9. If you run for President, I'd believe you. What more do you need? Also, we desperately need a President named Joe (but not one named Biden.)

    Similar sort of "Wow! I had no idea!" athletic story: I was coaching a company softball team back in the 1980's. One of the players wasn't tremendously fond of me, mostly because I didn't give him much playing time, I think. Anyway, after a game one night, one of my good friends on the team told me this fellow who didn't care for me had spent a few innings standing behind me. I was sitting on the bench most of the game, managing and not playing, and he wasn't playing, either, and apparently he was holding a bat the whole time, taking swings now and again, and edging closer and closer to my head. My buddy was ready to jump him immediately if it looked to him as if the guy was going to really take a swing at my head.

  10. That was a long time ago when you were young. But I gotcha beat. It was longer ago when I was young and boys alway, always, always carried knives. They had a regular one they carried and then a fancier knife when they dressed up and wore their Sunday pants. Gads, I had forgotten about that and how the schools would take them away from them today. Then, boys whittled and played a game of mumbletypeg. That was a circle drawn in the dirt with targets and you had to throw your knife from a certain distance to see who's knife would stick upright nearest the target. I can remember playing that. Girls had knives too but we usually didn't have pockets so knives were never as popular with us. I had never heard of any boy attacking another with a knife back then. But of course it was the same with guns. Boys would bring their guns to school and put them on a shelf above the coat rack so they could go hunting right after school. That was the only rule. They couldn't keep guns at their desks.

  11. We have a lot of unqualified that have resided in the white house. I'd vote for you Joe. Just saying.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  12. I used to teach and was told not to reprimand an 8th grader as he had drawn a knife on a teacher a few months ago. I cannot prove it, but schools are dangerous places. Not sure any of this qualifies anyone as leader of the most powerful nation in the free world.

  13. Actually I would vote for you. Nothing wrong with a good 'ol Working Joe for a change. So could I be ambassador to some place cool? Or maybe a Secretary? Or could I just HAVE a secretary? ;)

  14. Junior high is a difficult place to be. I am not at all surprised about the kid bringing a knife or about you being bold and fearless. I am happy for your parents that nothing happened to you.

    1. More bluster and stupidity than boldness and fearless.

  15. Just think of the headlines if you won: "JERK elected President!"


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