Fall of 1947, I was a high school newbie, straight out of a one-room, one-eight grade school. My high school was not big – about a hundred kids I suppose, but most of them knew each other because of going to grade school together. I felt every bit an outsider. I lived in the country about 15 miles out of town and rode in on a school bus.
About the second week was called “initiation” week. The Freshmen had to do something rather weird each day. One day we had to wear clothes inside out; another we had to wear an onion tied around our necks. Really pretty much harmless stuff. But sometimes harmless can still be pretty frightening.
One day we had to kneel to any upperclassman who told us to do so. This scared country bumpkin (me) got off the bus and started the walk up to the school building. Some Big Shot Sophomore stopped me and told me to kneel to him. Now this was not something I ever expected and, according to my Christian belief, I did not think I should do. I don’t know what my decision would have been, because out of the blue, Gallant, Senior Darrel Bowlby pulled rank on Big Shot and told me I didn’t have to do that!
Recent events have brought this story to my memory, and I’m wishing for some Darrel Bowlbys.
Those I look to, to be my “heroes” are all kneeling. Where are the Gallant Seniors who will tell the bullies to knock it off!
Well, Darrel Bowlby, if you are still out there someplace, you are finally receiving a thanks from this 1947 country kid. Probably a surprise, huh? That’s your picture straight out of the high school yearbook – the 1948 Branding Iron.