My previous article related to my introduction to Christopher Columbus High School after my sudden departure from Cardinal Spellman High School. The differences were staggering and almost mind blowing to me.
Now one particular day in my high school days continues to stand out greatly. I think it may have been 1979 or 1980. Whichever it was it was the year that the city and schools in general in NYC were facing shortfalls on funds. And as we learned, the first thing to get cuts was the sports programs at Columbus. Now I payed lots of sports as a kid. I spent hours and hours at the small basketball courts in the East that were butted up against the garage. I would be there til after dark doing the old “3..2…1…its GOOD” bit you all know so well. But at Columbus, heck I didn’t even know there was a sports program. We had a gym class and mostly me and Dino would sit on the bleachers not wanting to get all sweaty and write excuse notes for each other about our numerous conditions that prevented us from participating. But other than that I really don’t remember any organized sports programs besides sitting in the ball field drinking. Or the weed smoking marathon. Other than that I cant recall any. So any how, coming in to school one morning I was surprised to see about five or six students, you know the jocks, in front of the school trying to get others to participate in a walk out over the cuts in sport dollars at the school. After much contemplation and discussion several of us from the corner group,stoners, decided that justice demanded we stand with the oppressed.
O K not really took us a second to think, free day off, and we joined in by standing where we normally did and doing what we normally did. Well things were going great more kids were staying out which we liked as numbers do help prevent things like getting in trouble and counted as cutting class.
Then at some point a news crew from the NYC area tv station shows up. At once a picket line was formed and we began to circle the sidewalk in front of the schools main entrance chanting “No Sports, No School” “No Sports No School” over and over as we marched. The TV people were getting the footage they wanted the jocks were getting the attention they wanted and we were getting a day off without penalty which was what we wanted.
Things progressed nicely for a while and at the heat of the protest, I mean TV crews, school officials, passerby’s who had stopped to watch, Two jocks come out of a car with a freshly made banner, of a white sheet spray painted with the slogan in black paint,..”NO SPOTS NO SCHOOL” I looked, shook my head, looked again,…”NO SPOTS NO SCHOOL”. What? NO SPOTS? Well we were the stoners but, even we could see the irony in it. So
slowly we moved step by step to the corner, and someone laughed, then will all laughed. .Just remember if you are going to protest cuts in the sports program at your school, be sure you know how to properly spell those big words like “sports” or no one will take you very seriously.