It was 1964 and our class at McCaskey High School was ready for graduation. One of the long-standing traditions at the school was that seniors organized and prepared a program in the auditorium for the whole school called “Class Day”. Apparently it was almost anything the seniors decided it could be, from tumultuous speeches to talent shows to satirical scenes.
Given that we were firmly in the open sixties, we decided on the latter. I think there has been some cursory examination of the general theme of the planning committee, but as you can see, the censors certainly did not know everything.
Most of the fictional scenes were quite friendly, dealing lightly with the well-known peculiarities of some faculty members or certain aspects of student life. And things roared quite quietly until I and a group of soldiers in military clothes suddenly broke onto the podium.
At the beginning of spring, several seniors interrupted classes one afternoon and crept onto the auditorium’s balcony. At a lower level, a program took place, but their presence was noted. They were later arrested and either disciplined or threatened by harsh discipline, the details of which I now miss. But many of us felt that their treatment far outweighed their crime, and that is what my group and I wanted to satirize.
Things illustrate the huge differences between our times and the present. In preparation, I asked everyone who was to accompany me on the podium to wear some military clothes. Each of them had to bring a shotgun. Right, good, loaded shotgun! Of course, they were told to make sure there were no pellets in their shells.
Now that I think about it, I’m shaking. I didn’t know about weapons at the time, and I simply assumed that since most of these children were hunters, they knew what to do. Yes? really? High school students are so handy. Oh my God!
Anyway, we ran to the podium at the appointed time. I led the squad and waved a real samurai sword, a relic of my friend’s father from World War II. Using a pistol, I quickly called a moderator with a loud bang. Being on the hook, he collapsed willingly.
In a position, in the middle of that huge stage, I aimed my sword at the balcony and shouted something like, “Look, here it is. The senior interrupted the class and crept onto the balcony. “Then” Fire! “
With that command, six or seven, I don’t remember exactly how many shotguns aimed at the heads of those sitting on the balcony were fired at once. At the behest of my friend Tom, who had become an expert in creating living mannequins by joining old clothes filled with newspapers, he released one of his creations from the balcony into the middle alley below.
Only the screams and shouts of the audience surpassed the echo of the roar of the shotguns. The whole huge space was filled with pungent smoke. It was probably the most dramatic thing that ever happened at this legendary place.
Believe it or not, no weapons have ever been confiscated and he has not been punished. At least as far as I know, no one has ever heard a word from the faculty or the administration. Maybe they were in shock.
Soon we all graduated without any problems. But from what I understand, it was the last McCaskey Class Day ever.
The author lives in Lititz.
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