It was another morning in the fall of 1992.David Smith lied there for just one more moment.His mind flashed back,to his tour of duty in Gulf War I back in January 1991.From there his mind flashed back,to the good times with his brother Harold back in 1985.And from there his mind flashed back,to the Touchdown passes he threw during his 1980’s heyday as a Highschool Footbal star.But now,David needed to get ready for a meeting with the Veterans Affairs Worker.David got out of the bed and into the shower. After a long ride,on a fall 1992 day,with Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” playing on the radio,David arrived at the building out in the suburbs.It was easy to figure out it was a building in suburban Chicago,there were pictures of Michael Jordan with the words “Repeat Chicago Bulls Two time Champions”,everywhere.The V.A. worker,a man in his 60’s,had the job of helping unemployed Vets.After David explained to the man,that he had been a Highschool Football Quarterback,got a College scholarship,lost his scholarship,was told he could ride the bench if he paid his own tuition,took out loans,graduated college in 1991,joined the Army to get his debt waived, and in January of 1991 served in GulfWarI.The V.A. worker asked him, “Have you ever thought of teaching?” The V.A. worker told him,there was a Special Ed dayschool,teenagers who either had been labeled “Learning Disabled”,had tried to kill themselves,been sent to a mental hospital,had been released from the hospital,and were now living at home again,had nonviolently sold drugs,or had cut class,were sent there by their local school district.So for example a teenager from Evanston,a town bordering on Chicago,a teenager from Skokie,a Northern suburb of the city,and a teenager from Highland Park,another Northern suburb of the city,all go to school there every Monday through Friday from 8-4.When they are finished,Evanston Highschool takes the teenager who spent Four years at this dayschool,who never set foot in Evanston Highschool,and gives him an Evanston Highschool diploma.The records will never say he was in the Special Ed dayschool.The same situation applies for the teenager from HighlandPark,who after never setting foot in Highland Park Highschool,after sitting next to his buddy from Evanston all day at the Special Ed dayschool,has a HighlandPark Highschool diploma.The records will say he went to Highland Park Highschool.David nodded, “Ok I’ll take the teaching job.” The V.A. worker continued, “In Public schools you need a B.A. and teaching certification.This is a Public/Private,school districts fund it.So it’s Government funded and really Public.But it’s run by a woman,Jane O’Leary who owns it,so it’s considered to be Private.My job is to help you get a job.I figured since you’re a guy with a B.A. in History and no Teaching certification,I could recommend sales or a teaching job.You can’t teach in a regular school,you are not certified.” David said, “Yeah you’re job is to help me get a job,I’m a Veteran.My girlfriend Angela Goldschiene,sells Real Estate.My girlfriend sells Real Estate,I can’t sell Real Estate it’s not me.A Special Ed dayschool is hiring people,ok.” So in the fall of 1992,David Smith with Blue jeans and a Flannel shirt on,strolled into the building of the Special Ed dayschool.David was now a teacher.As David walked through the hall,he heard the screams from behind a door,that was only open a crack.“Peter ouch ouch please get off me”,the voice of Brenda screamed.While the rules said that students who were a threat to themselves or others could be made to lie facedown on the ground,while a teacher kneels down on their back and holds their arms up in the air.Brenda wasn’t behaving violently that day.Brenda,an African-American teenage girl,had once again said somethings about how she felt it was unfair,she was in a Special Ed dayschool.When they asked her to leave the room,she nonviolently sat down on the ground.So they pulled her up by her arms,and nonviolent Brenda was taken to the room for students who are a threat to themselves or others. Peter,a teacher,a man in his 40’s,was kneeling down on 16 yearold Brenda’s back.And holding her arms up in the air.Brenda,had originally lived in the part of Evanston that borders on Chicago.It was technically considered Evanston,but right across the street from Chicago.Brenda’s mom had remarried a new husband.Brenda now had a stepdad.As a family,they moved to a different part of Evanston.While Brenda had never been violent towards others,she had onetime tried suicide.And from there after she got out of the mental hospital,she had been one of the teenagers who instead of going to Evanston Highschool during the day,decided for whatever reason to hangout in the park.So the Evanston school district,since Brenda was cutting class,decided to send her to the Special Ed dayschool.Because all Brenda had done that day was say what she thought and nonviolently sat down on the ground.David felt it was unfair,that she was being tackled down to the ground,that she was being Physically restrained. From there,David entered the classroom he taught in everyday.There was Jimmy McClaren and there was Charlie Feldman.For some reason,the students were allowed to refer to the teachers by their Firstnames.But the teachers could tackle the students down to the ground,Physically restrain them,for just nonviolently sitting down on the ground. “David I’m sick of Brenda being treated that way.I can hear her,screaming down the hallway”,Charlie said to David.Charlie Feldman was 17,had wire rimmed glasses,liked to wear a Michael Jordan Basketball jersey with a T-shirt underneath,and looked like the singer Justin Bieber or the then teenage singing group, “NewKids on the Block”.Charlie had been born premature.Charlie was a latebloomer,who at 4 was speaking 100 words faster then other kids.By the time Charlie was 9,his speech was the same as the other kids his age,but he didn’t score well on tests.Charlie’s parents had moved out to the suburb of Deerfield.Every morning,while the rest of the kids his age walked to the Public school across the street,Charlie was picked up at his door by a Special Ed bus. In an era where there were songs and movies about everyone having a happy childhood and being treated the same,Charlie rode in a segregated,Special Ed kids only bus,over to a different Public school with a Special Ed classroom.While Dr.Huxtable,Steven Keaton,Claire Huxtable,Jason Seaver,and Maggie Seaver,were everyone’s caringTV sitcom parents.Charlie’s own, career oriented Yuppie parents,didn’t care that Charlie had to ride in a Segregated Special Ed bus.When Charlie was picked on and mistreated,they said things about how Charlie having something unfair done to him,made things more difficult for them.Charlie is forced to ride in a Segregated Special Ed bus,and when he gets home from school,Charlie needs to apologize to them for having something done to him.By the time Charlie was 12,he was out of Special Ed Classes and in a regular Junior High classroom.Because the other kids knew he had been in the Special Ed class before,he was picked on.When Charlie’s options were to be beaten up or defend himself,he defended himself.And now for defending himself,Charlie was being asked to leave the Junior High.There had been 9 kids,who when Charlie was in the lockerroom during Gymclass,had physically started fights with him.Because 8 of them were also White guys,and one of them was Black.Charlie figured, “If I’m not against other White people for what those 8 White guys did to me,it wouldn’t make sense to be against Black people,because of what that one Black kid did.” From there,once Charlie,after being asked to leave the Junior High for defending himself,ended up in the Special Ed dayschool.He made friends with Jimmy. Jimmy was a White teenager ,who lived in the mostly African-American part of Evanston,which was right next to Chicago’s Howard Street El station.Because Charlie had no friends back in Deefield,after the Special Ed bus picked him up at his parents home in Deerfield,and took him to the Special Ed dayschool and back to his parents home,Charlie would have a friend drive him from Deerfield down to Jimmy’s apartment on the Evanston/Chicago border.Charlie and Jimmy were the only Two White teenagers, hanging out in a mostly African-American area.1992,was a time when songs and movies about social and political issues affecting the African-American community,were the songs and movies teenagers of all Ethnic backgrounds White,Latino,and Asian,not just African-American,were interested in.While in the 1960’s,Teenagers of all Ethnic backgrounds liked music by African-American artists.1992,was a time when rap artists like Public Enemy,N.W.A.,Ice T.,Ice Cube,KRS-One,made songs that many people felt were controversial.Because this was a generation of teenagers,that would substitute the words “Police Officers”, “White people”,”The Government”, with the words “Teachers”, “Parents”, “Principals”,when Public Enemy rapped about White people doing something they felt was unfair to Black people,White teenagers cheered and bought the music.Charlie did the samething,that other teenagers his age did.Because he had been beaten up in Junior High,by 9 kids,8 of whom were White and one was Black.While many of Jimmy’s Black neighbors,were nice to him.Charlie didn’t mind,hanging out with Jimmy’s African-American neighbors and freestyle rapping.Eachtime Charlie came up with words off the top of his head,as he stood on a street corner and rapped,he felt a thrill. David on that day in 1992,after talking to Charlie about The U.S. Constitution,had an idea. “I could help Charlie to pass the U.S. Constiution test”,David thought to himself. “And Charlie’s parents,because it would make them look good,would probably agree to send Charlie to a prepschool out on the Eastcoast.None of the students are tackled down to the ground,none of the students are Physically restrained,in the prepschool.It is a normal Highschool,except that Charlie would live in a dorm on the Eastcoast,instead of his parents house or Jimmy’s apartment.” David then thought about Harold,“In the fall of 1987 right when I graduated Highschool,Harold commited suicide.He was my brother.I was the Captain of the Football team,the star Quarterback.He wasn’t a Highschool Football star like I was,but my friends liked him.I never knew why,Harold took his own life.Charlie could have a better life,if he went to that prepschool on the Eastcoast,he could move forward with his life.”On that day in 1992,David decided he could help Charlie pass the U.S. Constitution test.As David stood in the classroom,his mind flashed back to that day in 1986,when him and Harold had the time of their lives,in a videostore. David,One of David’s Highschool Football teammates,and Harold drove over there in David’s car. Mister Mister's "Kyrie",was playing from the radio,and right when the song changed to Steve Winwood’s “Freedom Overspill”,Harold rolled down the window and stuck his head out.You had a car cruising down the road,one window rolled down,one guy’s head leaning out the window,and “Freedom Overspill” playing from the radio.With Harold’s head still hanging out the window and Madonna’s “Holiday” now playing from the radio,the car parked in the shopping center.This was 1986,longbefore Netflix,the internet,or that era,where all the Video rental stores were Blockbuster video stores.Individual people owned stores,that felt a little bit like that then TV show, “Cheers”.While these were stores,not bars in the middle of Boston,there was a friendliness to them that made them feel,like they weren’t just places of business.On that day in 1986,there was a sign in front of one of the stores in the shopping center that said, “All 1985 Superbowl Champion Chicago Bears fans,come on in.So you can’t dance,it doesn’t mean you can’t rent the Superbowl shuffle.” The sign was a joking reference to the 1985 music video,that the ProFootball Chicago Bears had released.Because it was released before rap music had become mainstream entertainment,many people didn’t call it rap.Whatever people labeled it,it was the First music video on MTV,of a ProFootball team together performing a song. David,Harold,and David’s Teammate,walked into the store.The Video store owner,since he had maybe one employee who only showed up Three days a week,was standing behind the counter all by himself.Because a video store wasn’t just a job to The Video store owner,he could’ve instead opened up a hotdog stand in the Chicago area and made much more money.AVideostore,was a form of fun that also paid the bills.David wasn’t surprised that right behind the counter,was a man with the same style shirt and pants that Don Johnson wore on, “Miami Vice”.A Sonny Crocket look alike,was standing behind the counter. . “Didn’t you hear,Don Johnson owns a videostore in Illinois?’,The Video store owner bellowed.David laughed. The store had a cash register,shelves filled with video tapes,posters of Eddie Murphy,Tom Cruise,the one and only Ferris Buehler,Mathew Broderick,Prince,Michael Jackson,and of course Chicago Bears Football stars Walter Payton and Jim McMahon, dressed as the cops from that same TV show, “Miami Vice”.Jim McMahon was dressed like Don Johnson/The Video store owner.There also was another room,this room had a bed,Refrigerator,Bathroom with shower, Telephone,Microwave Oven,TV,VCR,and posters of Bruce Springsteen,U2,Chicago Cubs Second baseman Ryne Sandberg,another poster of Chicago Bears Football legend Walter Payton,another poster of Prince,a poster of John Mellencamp,a poster of Michael J.Fox,and a bunch of additional Michael Jackson posters,and a Madonna poster. The Video store owner,whenever customers weren’t around,would go in this room and watch whatever movies he wanted.He would get to the store and open the place up around 10am,go in the room,lie down on the bed and watch, “Beverly Hills Cop.”.Then he’d get off the bed and heat some food up in the microwave.Right as he was back lying on the bed,after a meal,the bell would go off.A customer had entered the main room of the store.The Video store owner would leave his favorite room,go into the main room,get behind the counter,and complete the customers transaction.When it is $5 to rent a video tape and a customer rents 4 tapes,that one customer is bringing $20 worth of business into your store.So after ringing up 10 customers,many of whom rented more then one tape,The Video store owner had gotten about $180 worth of business.Not bad for an hours work!From there he’d go back in the room and watch, “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off”. Which had just been released on video.It sure beat running a hotdog stand.On that day in 1986, David,his Teammate,and Harold all went into the otherroom,with the Video store owner. “David Smith I wish I’d been the Quarterback of the Highschool Football team, like you,back when I was in Highschool.Look at me now,I’m in my 30’s,I inherited some money from my family.I’d be making more money running a hotdog stand.But a video store pays the bills and I’d rather watch Ferris Buehler cut school,then cook up a hotdog.”On that day in 1986,David who was the then star Quarterback of the Highschool Football team,laughed.Before long David,Harold,David’s Teammate,and The Video store owner in his 30’s,who spent everyday watching movies and reliving his youth,were all eating the Chinese food that had been heated up in the microwave.Like a group of guys hanging out at a party,they were all sitting on the bed and watching, “TeenWolf”, the Michael J.Fox movie in the VCR.Michael J.Fox,after supernaturally being transformed into a Werewolf,did what every Werewolf should do,Michael J.Fox slamdunked the Basketball.When the Videostore owner,wanted to relive his youth somemore,by leaving the hangoutspot/video store and tossing a Football with David and David’s Teammate,Harold was left alone.Harold didn’t feel slighted. Harold stood on the bed,since he was now alone.And while Harold stood on the bed in his Gymshoes,alone,jumping up and down,Prince’s “PurpleRain”,a movie with the Rockstar,that had so many scenes of him singing,it was almost a 2 hour music video played.As Harold jumped on the bed,he sang at the top of his lungs,the words to Prince’s “When Doves Cry.”, “How can you leave me standing?Alone in a world so cold.Maybe I'm just like my father,to bold.” Right as Harold began to worry,that he might have gotten some dirt from his shoes on the bed,the Phone in the room rang.David had agreed,after Harold requested it,to give Harold the Videostore owner’s key. “I don’t care,if you give him the key,so he can stay by himself in the room overnight.I’m going home,after we toss the Football.I’ll be back at 10am.You think Harold wants to sleep there by himself and watch movies all night,I don’t care.Tell him,if he runs out of food in the Refrigerator,that he can order in Dominos Pizza.” So now right,as Harold was having the time of his life jumping on the bed and watching “Purple Rain”, the phone was ringing. “It’s me David”,the voice said. “I’m bigger then dad,so he won’t do it to me.But I think it would be a good idea,when you get home to tell Dad,if he asks,that you were sleeping over at a friends.Telling dad you sleep overnight in stores,is not the best idea’,.” David laughed as he remembered that night. He now on a spring day in 1993,after having finished teaching at the Special Ed dayschool,was standing in a cemetery in front of Harold’s tombstone.David’s mind flashedback again,to that hillarously fun night at the hangout spot,Video store.Then David’s mind flashed back,to Harold’s sucide in 1987.And from there,David’s mind flashed back to his graduation from Highschool in 1987.David’s mind then flashed back, to his time in the Army,serving in Iraq in 1991.And now,Charlie Feldman had passed the U.S. Constution test,left the Special Ed dayschool,and was heading out East to prepschool.David felt he had done as much as he could,to make up for Harold’s death.With Bob Dylan’s, “Shooting star”,playing from the tape deck of his car radio,David drove away.After a long dinner with his finance Angela Goldschiene,who was still selling RealEstate,David prepared for another fresh start. It was a crisp,fall day,in 1993.David stood on the sidelines,of the Thomas Jefferson Junior College Football field.They had a Headcoach,they had an Offensive Coordinator, and they had a Defensive coordinator.Because the Offensive Coordinator works with the Quarterback,Runningbacks,and the rest of the Offense.Because the Offensive coordinator calls the plays for the Offense,unless the Quarterback decides to call his own plays.A Quarterbacks coach’s job,is to work with just the Quarterback.Since it is a Coaching position,David now that Charlie had left the Special Ed dayschool and was going to prepschool,a school where students were not tackled down to the ground by teachers,decided it was time to move on.David,was no longer a teacher at the Special Ed dayschool.David,was now the Quarterbacks coach for Thomas Jefferson Junior College.
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