HE HAD A KNIFE
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.