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Bob Bader The day we rallied around Lodi High School’s drama teacher

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Bob Bader

Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:48 am, Wed Mar 7, 2012.

When I was a high school kid, there was a move afoot to go on strike, the effort being to cause the school officials to grant tenure to Mr. Van Horn, the drama teacher, ensuring his further employment.

The student body, with a little prodding from a couple of senior students, decided to snake dance through the classrooms, recruiting fellow students to join the rebels in their cause. The kids who were missing shop classes because of the strike had no idea what the fuss was all about.

Incidentally, the senior play was supposed to be put on the evening the bad news broke, and we thespians thought it was truly cruel of the school mugwumps to allow the axe to fall on that day in particular. It was paramount to firing the football coach on the day of the Big Game.

I felt badly that I had no role in that strike effort because I had stayed home that day pretending to be sick.

At noon I got a call at home from one of the ringleaders and the news of the rebellion caused me to experience an immediate miracle healing. I arose from my bed of infirmity and hotfooted it to school, where Mr. Trumbly, the Dean of Boys, was out on the front steps engaged in some serious negotiations with a couple of seniors to put an immediate end to their troublemaking efforts to get written into the school's "police blotter" as it were.

Little did I realize that these 1949 guys were 60 years ahead of the bunch who are out there these days in a fruitless, but exceedingly messy, effort to get the rich guys to arrange their tax structures in such a way as to lower the national debt. Or even more importantly allow them to continue their slothful, yea, stupid ways to pay for their essentials, tuition, drugs and an occasional bite to eat, in that order.

Funny thing about kids like the "Occupiers" and their ilk, other than the fact they don't know what they want or what how to go about getting it: With their striking, all they are doing is yanking the chains of the people who could make what they think they want actually happen.

I think dirtying up city property, breaking things and making poopies where they stand is no way to get the establishment to do what they want.

All we wanted with our strike was the altruistic reinstatement of a teacher who coached drama, not the most pressing prerequisite class in the eyes of a squarehead.

Which meant that Van Horn, drama coach, still had a tad less cache than Giannoni, football coach. In fact, John was to Lodi what Bear Bryant was to Alabama.

I got a call today and was told that a dear 1949 classmate, Nini Moore Horn, passed into heaven Feb. 17. Nini's husband was Steve Horn, a Congressman from Long Beach. Her dad was Cliff Moore, of the Lodi Times newspaper back in the '40s and beyond. Nini was well known in Long Beach, where her status as a woman of social standing was reinforced by her many civic and artistic involvements. She will be missed by many.

The Lodi Union High School Class of 1949 was unique in a lot of ways. For one thing, the friendships begun then persist. Lodi was small enough to have brought about a classmate situation that, in many cases, began in Emerson and Garfield schools in kindergarten and remained fast and loyal all the way through high school.

That class began having reunions early on after graduation and continues the tradition to this day, as often as several a year.

These people are a great bunch; they are good scouts, loyal, brave and true. We need a number of people like them in places of authority. The world would be a lot more comfortable these days.

God speed, Nini.

Bob Bader can be reached at bobbyo@softcom.net.

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