One of my most memorable experiences at Avondale Elementary was
going to the Principals office. I went two times. Once was for
calling my second grade teacher a 'dirty bird'. Her name was Ms.
Hollinsworth, and one day one of us called her, Ms. "Hollowhead", and another
called her a "dirty bird". Buzzy Crowe and I were the callers.
My resentment over the years stems from the fact that I think I was falsely
accused for having called her one name, when I actually called her the other.
I believe I called her Ms. "Hollowhead", and I was falsely
accused of calling her a 'dirty bird', which was Buzzy's description of her.
But the 'dirty bird' call was what Ms. Hollingsworth heard, and I was charged
with the crime that resulted in a sentence to the Principals office. Going
to the Principals office was a fearful thing all through grade school, but
especially in the second grade. I can't for sure remember the Principal's
name, but they all had names that sounded like the infliction of pain, Mr.
Steelrod, Mr. Paddlehole, Mr. Stompum, names like that. This Principal was
Mr. Murphy's predecessor. I think his name was Mr. Brandon, or maybe Brandem,
something like that. Well, my heart sank when this little old lady pointed
at me and said for me, Dances with Dogs, to come with her. I remember we
had to pass through the lunchroom to get to the Principals office and he was
there eating lunch with one of his deputy wardens of some kind.
Ms Hollingsworth stopped and told him about my crime and that she was
taking me to his office for punishment. He looked big, unmerciful,
and much like a German officer in the war movies of the time.
She walked me to his office which was next to the front door of the school and
sat me on the bench seat to wait by his office door. Then she left me and
returned to her class where Buzzy sat scott-free, saved by grace, not by words!
I sat and I sat, the hours passed by. This waiting was probably the first
phase of Mr. Brandon's torture plan. The hallways were deserted and
completely quiet as all the students were in the classrooms with their
doors shut. The rooms were soundproof to keep students from hearing the
cries of pain from Mr. Brandon's office. It was very, very quiet. I
heard no sounds except from outside the front door. Beside me, the tall
double doors to the front of the school were wide open and all of nature
beckoned to me. The birds, the dogs, the squirrels, were all
specifically calling me, their friend. The streets, the yards, the houses,
the woods, were all within a few steps of my holding cell. The
spirit overwhelmed me and lifted me from the bench, and I ran. It was the
running spirit, the same spirit that would carry us so many times in our
youthful years , rescuing us from many dangers. I leaped through
those huge prison doors and was away in a flash. No one could have caught
me, I was free and flying down to the circle, past Kensington, and around to
Sincerely Yalls ... DwD.love2run