Thursday, August 26, 2010

Honor & Tattletales


A few days ago I had a post about Bubba Sutton and Brad Martin. They were both tall and both wrote books that were successful and were in the same yearbook picture. That deserved a blog post.

That led to a comment that led to another post, about Bubba leading a pro-Vietnam demonstration.

And all this reminded me Bubba in the 8th grade when we first met. Our first and only conversation was that Bubba came across me doing something against the school rules and he threatened to go tell the 8th grade principal, Mr. Bailey*, if I didn’t stop.

I stopped what I was doing but I was puzzled. That is was the second time I had a problem with a peer telling on me. I thought there was a unwritten code that peers just didn’t tell on each other; something like the “honor among thieves” code.

The other time I had a problem with a peer telling on me was that the peer actually told on me. It was two years before in Miss Miller’s 6th grade. At recess time a Duncan Yo-Yo man came on the campus of Waterman Street School and demonstrated all the neat tricks he could do with his sharp looking designer Duncan Yo-Yo.

On the outer fringe of the crowd of kids gathered around him a friend and I were more or less scuffing, pushing each other and and one of our shoves one of us knocked the crown inward towards the yo-yo man and disrupted his demonstration.

I was surprised at Kenneth for telling on me. I thought we were friends, and even if we were enemies boys just didn’t tell on each other. I kept my distance from him from then on. That was a dishonorable thing to do. I just couldn’t trust someone that dishonorable.

At the Bell Reunion last year I ran into Kenneth. He acted like nothing happened. He acted like he didn’t remember telling on me. Even though it was over 60 years ago, he should have remembered.

*Mr. Bailey’s ended in an auto wreck within a year or so. He was driving the wrong way on the I-75 Expressway, on the way to get his medicine. People that were close to him said they thought without his medicine he got things confused.

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