It was a surprise the Del Norte High School boys track team had voted on and appointed me to complete. The surprise was an award for our head coach, Brian Ferguson.
Called, “The Golden Jock Strap award,” it took me a few days to figure out how to shape and stiffen an actual jock-strap. I ruined a pillow and a couple of hand towels as I applied several layers of plaster to the course fabric.
It took the jus’ over 24-hours for the “sculpture,” to dry completely before I could spray the first coat of gold paint on it. This was followed by designing a base for the award and having a metal tag etched.
The hardest part was rigging the contraption to the wooden base in a way that would keep it from falling over or collapsing under its own weight. But somehow I managed to find the perfect point of balance without a whole lot of fuss.
The night of the school’s sports banquet, I kept the Mr. Ferguson’s award hidden in my locker. I also arranged with Mr. Raleigh, our athletics director, to give the award as the final offering of the evening.
When the time came, I carried it out to the podium, covered by large cloth. I called Mr. Ferguson up to the stage and read a statement I had prepared for the event.
Then I handed it to him, still covered. When he pulled the cloth off the bronzed strap, he turned bright-red and did his best to laugh through his embarrassment.
Worst of all, a photographer from the Del Norte Triplicate took his picture and it was published in that Saturday edition.