New Castle News

Gary Church

April 9, 2013

Gary Church: Me? A trouble-maker? My buddies should be in Sing Sing

NEW CASTLE — For some reason, I was never the teacher’s pet.

I can remember spending a lot of time in detention and sitting in the guidance counselor’s office.

It was usually music class that brought the worst out of me.

I was a music teacher’s biggest nightmare.

It all started in seventh-grade music.

Mrs. Coates would ask the class what they wanted to sing.

On each occasion, Dick Gilghrist would answer, "Page 17, My Bark Canoe!"

We never sang it, but I would howl every time he asked.

In ninth grade, my music teacher, Mr. Edgar Groves, made me stand out in the hall with my arms spread, holding a book in each hand.

It wasn't that I was bad, I just had funny stuff to say during choir practice.

After being out of school for 50 years, I still have trouble keeping my mouth shut in choir.

It's not so much me as it is the instigators who I sit with in the bass section.

Guys like Ed Lipp, Dan Foster, Paul Fredericks, Jim Campbell, and Dr. Tim Murphy get me into trouble.

They say funny stuff, and I break out laughing.

This causes some looks from Mr. Masi.

The saintly tenors never get looked at.

Lately, a new girl has been singing in the choir.

Striking up a conversation with her I asked, "Do you work?"

Imagine my reaction when she replied, "I'm a guidance counselor."

Right away, the old fear of teacher torture came back.

My first thoughts were that she's thinking, "He needs guidance!"

She has been sitting about as far away from me as she possibly can.

Do you know what my secret desire is?

I would love to get her in trouble for talking in choir practice.

I would leap out of my seat, if Mr. Masi had to look her way with disgust.

A few guys in the bass section have gotten a good start on this project, by making her laugh while on stage.

I think if she would sit just a little closer to me, I could get her in enough trouble, that she would have to stand out in the hall with a book in each hand.

Perhaps then, I would feel vindicated for all my time spent in the guidance counselor’s office.

I think the counselors should experience how much fun it is to get thrown out of class.

We aren't bad people. We just have a great sense of humor.


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Gary Church
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