Jake The Building Trades Teacher

Robert Woodard was his name but his first year teaching Building Trades, the year before I was old enough to take it, some of the boys starting calling him Jake and it stuck. “Hey Jake what are we doing next?” or Hey Jake can we take a break?”

I always considered Jake pretty easy going, very knowledgeable and an all round good teacher.

But if you got him riled up, you better watch out. Some of the older guys and a few of the younger ones were real hoodlums. They would always try Jake on for size. He swung a hard paddle.

But the maddest that I ever saw that man was pretty late in the school year. A couple of little young pretties were dispatched from the school newspaper to do a story on the Building Trades Program. Jake had told us they were coming and we needed to be on our best behavior.

All was going great as I remember it until one of them ask if any of us had suggestions for how the make the next year even better.

My hand went up in the air and I said I just knew of one thing: “I think if they let girls come down to ENTER the COURSE, that would make it better”.
I went lightly on the – “the” part but accentuated the other 2 words.

Jake was sitting there getting more red faced by the second. He was chewing on his old pipe. You would have thought he was going to bite the end off of it.

With the girls gone he let it be known how upset he was, how I had shown disrespect to those young ladies. He said he wasn’t even sure he want to even teach a class of boys like us.

Then he brought me to the front and bend me over and went to work on my backside. That may have been when I began to think corporal punishment should be outlawed in schools.

Even though the whole class tried to explain what was actually said, he was having no part of it.

Those double entendre’s can get a young feller in trouble.

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