Losing My Marbles

The week before, I had been out of school, sick, so I didn’t know that playing marbles was no longer allowed since it was considered a form of gambling. However, I still had a large bag of marbles in my desk when I returned to school the following week.

Designed into the bottom of our desks at the time was a quarter-sized hole. It was there to help clean the desk out as tiny pieces of paper, broken pencil lead, staples and other garbage accumulated in the bottom of the desk.

As I was digging in my desk for a book, I moved the bag of marbles from one side to the other. I picked the bag up wrong and the little glass balls started falling out of the bag, into the bottom of my desk, and through the hole, bouncing off the floor.

It was complete disruption of the class and Mr. Kirby decided that I should go to the principal’s office after I picked the marbles up off the floor. He felt that I had disobeyed the new ruling that no one was to have marbles at school.

As was the rule, he called down to tell Mrs. Zwierlein I was on my way. That prompted Mr. Fizer to meet me in the hallway, jus’ outside our classroom door.

It was obvious that Mr. Fizer was angry. He yelled at me for disobeying him.

And as I started to respond that I had been out sick and didn’t know he had changed the rules, he grabbed me by the neck and shook me violently.

It was so rough that it caused the window by the classroom door to vibrate. Mr. Fizer let go of me, jus’ in time for me to see Jon Larson peering over the built in screen on the window to see what was going on.

He was standing on a chair, demonstrating to the class what the principal had done to me.

By the time I was seated in the office, Mrs. Zwierlein had called Dad. She told me that he was on his way and that she had explained to him what had happened.

A few minutes later he came into the school and asked to see Mr. Fizer. However Mr. Fizer refused to see Dad.

Dad yelled, “Bob, open the door now — or I’ll kick it in!”

Mr. Fizer still refused to answer, so Dad kicked the door as hard as he could. The blow caused the door to not only open, it popped the thing off its hinges and it crashed to the floor.

This frightened me so bad that ran out to the car. A few minutes later Dad came out to the car and he took me home for the day.


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