Sunday, July 29, 2007

My First Wake Up Call - I Was Not Home/Chap One

I was just another disconnected teenager with a larger chip on my shoulder than was considered acceptable back in White middle class 1967. Informed I was no longer welcome in a publicly funded school in Montgomery County, Maryland, my parents quickly tore me a new asshole and then scrambled to find a school that would corral that wild streak I had obviously nutured just to make their lives more complicated than they already were.

They found two schools that would have me.

Georgetown Prep begrudgingly accepted my application. The minor scrapes with the law caused them some alarm. But I was certainly bright enough, their tests told them. My father's high standing as a former Air Force officer locked it in as they put it, and I paraphrase from a diluted memory, "Having the son of such a distinquished officer of the US military attend our school would be a privilege." In other words, his credit report came back with a big thumb's up.

The"Ball" at Charlotte Hall Military Academy in Charlotte Hall, Maryland looked like he couldn't wait to get his hands on me. The man was the Headmaster and a very scary human being. About 6' 2'' and 240 pounds on the hoof. He had a blond flattop and stuck in the 1950's coke bottle glasses covering up bland pig like eyes that looked around you, not at you. He squinted in my direction."Boy, you need some discipline. That's all you need. You test in the 90th percentile. You are a smart boy. We're going to take that intelligence and channel in the right way. When you leave here you will know responsibility, duty and good Christian ethic."

So these were my choices. For my parents gave me the honor of the final cut. I could day hop to a school nearby and deal with the alcoholic madness at home every night with adults I thought I hated at the time. Or I could go to a boarding school bent on turning me into a gung ho pillar of society.

At that parent hating and punk mentality phase of my life, I would have gone to jail just to get away from my previous situation. I chose Charlotte Hall. I could almost see my mom breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe they wanted me out as bad as I wanted out. Without me in the middle, they could revel in their mutual acrimony without me spoiling all their fun.

End - Chapter One


Anonymous said...

and that's a fine way to end a chapter.

MRMacrum said...

I use my comment counter to quickly check to see if anyone has dropped by. I only open emails when forced to for an expected contact. My email program has an evil gremlin in it and will lock everything up when the mood suits them.

Anyway, my counter shows no comments.

I enjoy the mental challenge of writing. I have always been haphazrd and without focus. Anything that pooped into that void I call my brain had a chance of making it onto paper, screen, or some dark dank data bank at NSA in Ft Belvoir Maryland.(Note - I re-read for editing, and noticed I had written "pooped" instead of "popped". I left it because that word seems more on target)

An old teacher of mine from my Charlotte Hall days contacted me after he had found a blog entry of mine that referred to him. I had always wanted to try to take a 5 minute idea and expand it to something larger. Not a novel or anything, but hit something with more effort.

My years at Charlotte Hall were eye opening. Combine the age, the times, and the military backdrop and it was, to say the least, an interesting phase in my life.

We'll see if I have the tenacity to see this through.

Anonymous said...

wow, interesting! when I lived in Tennessee we had a military academy called Castle Heights and we would see them around town some times. I always wondered what it was like to be them.

once-upon-a-time teacher said...

I knew that man. "The Ball." Did I ever know back then that anyone referred to him so? "On the hoof"--love it. Yes, he filled his suit and his collar up to the brim, but not in any sloppy-fat way. "Pig-eyes." Wow! yes, that's right. And how would you describe that voice? I can hear him now ticking off those points he underscored for you back in 1967. God rest his soul, and all the souls of those Charlotte Hall folks departed from this vale of travail.

Anonymous said...

Hey Guy, I guess that's the way we all managed to get to Charlotte Hall. Spent 7 years there and now it seems like just a few hours. Reading your comments was fun. The same teacher that contacted you sent me your blog, that's right " hey, you guys".... Enjoyed it.....;but I remember it to be AW Baw, and his hands resembled more of a bears paw then anything else. Talk to you later.
Bill T

MRMacrum said...

Bill T - Did you graduate in 1969?

Your reference to "Aw Baw" jogged my memory back into sharper focus. Yes. That was how I remember it. But I remember his head looked like a ball, so I went with that. As you say, in the scheme of the time we have spent on this planet, it was really but a few hours wasn't it? Not the typical High School experience, that is for sure.

Anonymous said...

Graduated in 1965 - Would like to get some photos from the 1960-1965 time period of people and grounds at CHMA. Email me at Thanks in advance.