|Bruce Johnson (l.), George Small (c.), and Jim Krohn|
were part of the Garfield Gashouse Gang,
denounced by Mr. McAllister at John Deere Junior High.
I was talking to George Small, one of my more hilarious friends from Garfield and John Deere. I asked, "Have you recovered from the Panama Canal?"
Someone just posted the newspaper article in Facebook, where George and others were working on a mock-up of the Panama Canal.
George said, "Recovered? That is why I became an engineer. Your mother had us create this model of the Panama Canal and she explained everything, how the gates and locks and everything else worked. It was tactile experience. I told myself - this is what I want to do in life. And I became an engineer. And later, I got to see it myself. It was exactly the way we were taught and worked just as your mother told us. It was fantastic."
|Robert Millman, Michael Rothweiler,|
George Small, and the late Terry Carlson worked on the model
in this Moline Dispatch article.
Then George brought up my mother's ring with the rock embedded in it. She reversed it in her hand and used it to clonk students who were not behaving. "I remember your mother's ring."
|One ring to rule George Small,|
and in the classroom bind him.
I said, "My wife wore the ring for the dinner tonight."
George got more excited. "She has it? Where is your wife? Excuse me. I have to go see it."
I walked over in a minute or two. Chris told me that George asked her to clonk him twice on the head. He claimed that one crack in the ring probably came from his head. More than one of her students brought up "the ring" at various times.
George and I, not to mention many others, talked about the great teachers we had in the Moline system. They agreed that we got the benefits of a very large private school with the best teachers. They went out of their way to do things for the students, such as taking them on overnight trips.
People often bring up Mary Copeland, Liz Copeland's mother, as one of their favorite teachers. Steph Sundine told a reporter that she got into music through Mrs. Leland, the singing teacher at Garfield with the angelic voice. Many guys were in the Moline Boys Choir - Lawrence Eyre, Bruce Johnson, Greg Keller, John Robeson, and more. Their director, Fred Swanson, had a PhD in music.
Alan Hoffman, our PhD rocket scientist, was encouraged by Mr. Goar at MHS to study physics. That chem-physics class was a riot, in and out of class.
Rex Bullock, whose entire ministry has involved singing, mentioned the musical ability of Mr. Partridge at MHS. There was no field, vocation, or skill that students could not pursue. We had so much available that we took it for granted, but everyone agreed, "We were prepared for college and anything else we wanted to do."