Assembly to kick off Spirit Week September, 2002
On Monday September 30, 2002 Joy Edge and Susan Schrader, faculty Advisors to Student Council, asked me to dress up in my bike riding gear which consists of a leather vest showing colors of Lake Shore Chapter, chaps, fingerless gloves, mirror sunglasses and red bandana on my forehead, for Friday as an example of Vintage dress for homecoming spirit week. I was also asked to ride my Harley in the gym for Friday’s assembly, if Dr. Crawford would agree. Julie Evers was asked to be my partner in this and we had to plan a short skit for the assembly. I talked to Julie and we came up with idea of a Harley pick up. Julie & I met in the gym after school to do a walk through of the pick up. This is the skit we came up with; Julie, dressed in bike leathers, would walk out into the middle of the Gym floor. Once she got to the far side I would motor out on to the gym floor and down the outside of the gym. I’d keep the engine revolutions near 4000 to create a lot of noise. Once I neared the jump circle I would look for her and ride over to try and pick her up. Our talking was done by exaggerated movement of our hands and arms because the noise in the gym was so loud that your could not hear words. She kept saying no so I gave up and turned bike away from Julie to leave. She jumped in front of the bike, I gave her my helmet and signaled her to get on and we motored off the floor. When we did that the noise in the gym increased if that was possible.
I really felt sorry for the skit that followed us, as we were the hit of the assembly.
I talked to Dr Crawford on Wednesday and he asked how I felt about riding my bike in the gym. After our meeting he gave the go ahead to Joy & Susan. I contacted Jim Dennis on the best way to get my bike into school on Friday. We decided to come through the wood shop down the driver Ed hallway and into North gym and would put the bike in the closet at the end of the gym. He would have two guys to help on Friday at 7:30 AM. On Friday it was raining when I got to school and Bob & Mack were waiting for me and we got the bike into school. We had a traffic problem as the school busses were arriving and students were in the hallway. That was the only problem I had. The helpers had to lift the back end of the bike to get it to fit in the gym closet but all went well. I was released from my 8th period class, on Friday to get down to the gym to get the Harley out of the closet and ready to go for our skit. Bob & Mac were waiting at the closet and we managed to get the bike out and ready for the skit. Then the students started coming into the gym for the assembly. To get to the upper deck the students had to come past my bike. We got a lot of comments and nods. Then the assembly started and Julie and I were the third scheduled skit. As the second skit went to the floor I started my bike and the sound was heard in the gym even over all the noise and the music. Then it was our turn and as soon as my bike came out on the floor all the seniors came right out of their seats with a loud roar. I went down the long side with both feet on the floor and the engine was running up to 7000 rpm but only going less than 4 miles per hour. I was creating a lot of the good Harley sound. As I came by the senior section I turned and gave them a full blast from my engine and mufflers together and if anything the roars from the crowd got louder. Julie & I did our little skit and when she got on the back of my bike another loud roar erupted from the stands. I had a problem giving her my helmet but we finally got it and rode off the floor. A lot of this information that I just related came from Dee Andershock, Gary McDonalds daughter and an English teacher at ACHS. Getting my bike out after the assembly was very easy with the guys help. I need to remind myself to give a note of thanks to Jim & Bob & Mack for their help.
I stayed dressed all day in my bike gear and I received a lot of comments from the students, especially my students, and a lot of looks and comments from teachers. All of the comments were positive but I still felt that I was in a monkey suit. As the day went on this feeling disappeared due to the comments of the kids. I received a lot of double takes from teachers I met in the hall or in the staff center. My lunch mates Ken K., Tom K & Tom D all thought my sunglasses were really cool. Mrs. Arendas saw me in the hallway and asked how Missy was doing in class and then she told me that all Missy could talk about Friday was the Harley ride in the Gym for kickoff days for homecoming. Missy said nothing of this to me in class all week of homecoming. In fact all of the seniors said little about it to me at all. It was the talk of the school however. Students that I did not know would say hi to me in the hall. Some how magic seem the appropriate word to use.
The Homecoming Parade
Saturday morning arrived early with the alarm waking us up at 5:50. The night before was the 2002 homecoming pep rally and Chief and I attended. It was an excellent night. There was a bonfire built by the Antioch Fire Department with donated pallets. The bonfire was a hit for everybody. Afterwards we went to JT Roadhouse at the invitation of Dr Crawford. A lot of good conversation was had by all. Joy, Susan, Melissa & Norm represented the social studies department. Both Dr Crawford and Dr Hockney were present. Dr Crawford’s wife’s name is Kathy and she is a Principal at a middle school. We were home and in bed by our regular time, which is 10:00PM.
We went up for breakfast then back home to color the posters for the parade. We also had to find a way to attach them to the motorcycle. On the way out of the garage I pinched my foot between the bike and the curb and had to cry loudly for help. I called so loud that John
Morgan and Chief arrived at the same time. I arrived at the parade assembly point at the band shell in downtown Antioch at 8:30. Chief arrived and we attached our signs to the bike and went to the restaurant for breakfast. When we got back to the bike Kelly Rouse, the Student Council President was there. Kelly was to be my passenger for the parade. We talked about what we were going to do. Joy came along and took Kelly with her to hand out flowers. When she came back she had a red rose corsage for me to wear.
Chief did the honor of pinning it on me. That was really thoughtful of Kelly, I was touched. The flowers are in the refrigerator as I write this.
The parade started right at 10:00. I followed right behind a pontoon boat having the 50-year graduating class on it and Ann Kakacek.
Dan Mikal’s 1967 VW Bus was right behind me. Tom Deichsel, Julie Elver, Jackie Anderson & Dan and his wife were the people that rode in the parade. There was a sign on the bus that read ACHS Faculty. By the parades end Kelly had given out our entire candy store to the children along the route. We should have brought twice as much hard candy. Kelly couldn’t throw the candy far enough to reach the children, so I weaved from side to side of the street so the kids on both sides could get some candy. I did that for the whole route. Along the route I saw a lot of my ex students and joked a little with them a bit. As I neared the school I saw Don Zeman and next to him Scott on his motorcycle so I asked Scott to join me on the rest of the route and he did and stayed slightly behind me on the rest of the ride to the back of the school. I stopped in back, helped Kelly off and Scott took her back to see the rest of the parade. I took off the signs and headed back home in time for lunch.
This whole parade thing began on Friday of homecoming kick off day, when Tom Kessel, the home coming parade director, asked us at the lunch table if any of us wanted to ride in the parade with Dan Mikal and his mint 1967 VW Bus. I said to him I would if I could ride my Harley in the parade. Tom said that was great idea and he wanted to know any other teachers who rode. I gave him the names of Kathy Kelly and Joanna Slocum. Tom contacted them but both did not want to do so. On Monday of homecoming week I asked Joy and Susan if any of the Student Council officers wanted to ride on the back of my bike in the parade. They thought that it was an excellent idea and they would check it out for me. I thought that since I was going to be in the parade & I had space behind me might one of the students who organized homecoming like to be in the parade. Susan told me Tuesday that the Student Council President, Kelly Rouse, was very honored to be asked and that she was pleased to be my passenger. I finally got to meet her on Thursday and we arranged to meet Friday morning to discuss what we were going to do in the parade. Linda and I would make the signs to be put on my bike and Kelly would buy hard candy to throw out to the kids along the parade route.
I have had my cup filled to overflowing with all the good things that happened to me during homecoming week. The first was riding my Harley in the North Gym for the assemble to kick off homecoming. The second was to plan and ride in the Homecoming Parade with Kelly Rouse as my passenger. The third was to have a birthday card given me by the Social Studies teachers signed with messages from all of them. Kathy Olsen(Smak) picked out the card. Things cannot get better than this. Chief said that I have been blessed and that says it all. It feels very good to be about God’s business.
copyright © 2014 James M. Curtis