Friday, July 11, 2008

That is What Friends Are For


My late little friend, the evil Jimmy Pat Presley, in early high school had several people who made it a point to sit close to him every day in class.

The teachers, or at least I know, thought it was just pure greed that boys would actually push and shove and almost fight to sit in a desk within arm’s reach of Jimmy Pat.

Every school morning several pre-driving age teenagers would meet either at Atherton’s Drug Store or Dupres and socialize before school.

Dupres was probably the closest to a country general store that downtown Marietta had to offer. Dupres sold furniture, TVs, Purina seed, farming supplies, sporting supplies, hardwire goods, and a small grocery store. Now, like other stores in the downtown area is an antique store.

In either Athertons’ or Dupres’ Jimmy Pat would buy him a Coke and he and his friends walked around the store and handled the merchandise.

Jimmy Pat was an expert shoplifter.

I have seen this happen more than a few times: Later in the morning, maybe first or second period over the PA system the principal’s office would call our class room and ask the teacher if Jimmy Pat Presley was there today. The teacher would say yes and the principal or the assistant would tell the teacher to send him to the office.

Sometimes when a request for Jimmy Pat’s presence at the office was made you could see out the classroom window and see a police car parked in front.

Then the action started – the reason it paid to sit next to Jimmy Pat. He would start pulling knives, candy, and other items he shoplifted just an hour or so earlier and start giving them to the people sitting close to him.

I remember watching one lean tall lady teacher just look at the giving away and the frenzy of taking and slowly and sadly shook her head.

She could have probably stirred the soup some telling of his famous give-a-ways before reporting to the office, but for whatever reason, she didn’t.

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