School Days

School Caretaker

Our school caretaker, Bill Isbester had Saint Vitis dance and always took at least three lunges at anything he wanted to grab, before finally wrestling with it. While lunging with right hand extended Bill's mouth would open and his chin would flap up and down in unison with the lunges. Until we kids got used to it this was a pretty scary sight.

We had a new young teacher (Miss Shire) start at our school in the fall of thirty-five, and of course the principal introduced Miss Shire to our caretaker. Unfortunately he forgot that there was anything wrong with Bill's actions, so Miss Shire was not prepared for the encounter. When Miss Shire put out her hand after the introduction, poor Bill (his real name) stabbed toward her hand and missed. Stabbed again with rocket speed. Another miss. Four misses in a row and Miss Shire having tried her best to dock with this rocket, placed her hand behind her back and said pleased to meet you.

Bill Isbester had a room built under the stairs where he had a chair, small table, and couch. This cubby hole was known as his office. It had a full sized door with a lock on it, as did all our school doors.

Bill had keys to all the doors, which he carried proudly. Jabbing one after the other in the direction of the lock until he made contact with the one that fit. Often this process took some time (especially if he wasn't sure which key fit).

One unfortunate day while Isbester was jabbing with the key to his office he overheard my friend Bill Lee call him "Wibbly Wobbly" Now even though he was, he hated to be called Wibbly Wobbly and so he reported young Bill to the principal John Charyk.

John called poor Bill out of class that afternoon, and soon came back for Ray Cooley, who was a witness to the unfortunate incident. I'm sure Charyk himself could hardly hold a straight face, because even he knew about W. W. Isbester standing for "Wibbly Wobbly".

Anyway Bill Lee and I went down those long flights of stairs to knock on Mister Isbester's door and apologize when he lurched it open and lunged out to greet us. I still remember that scary experience with Bill yelling "I'm sorry Mr. Isbester" over his shoulder as we ran back up the stairs.

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