Mrs. Bolden was a nice 10th grade English teacher. I don’t think she ever did anything wrong. She was nice, loved her job, did her job well and probably never caused anyone an ounce of trouble. That’s makes it all the worse in light of what I did to her class one day. I learned how to take a smoke bomb and turn it into a time bomb. It is simple really. (I better not say how I did it, but with time-release it will not go off until about 10 minutes later.) I placed the smoke bomb right outside the door of the classroom at the start of class. I went in, took my chair and began paying attention to Mrs. Bolden. That should have been a hint that I was up to something. Paying attention in class was not one of my strengths. Nevertheless, I was a model student for about 10 minutes and then all of a sudden smoke began to pour into the room. The alarms went off, class was let out and there was a degree of chaos. I, of course, wanted to help and get to the bottom of this prank.
About 20 years later I went back to Forest Hills High School looking for Mrs. Bolden to apologize to her. After I became a Christian and began to reflect on some of the antics of my youth I wanted to apologize to certain people. She was one. She never meant any harm to anyone. She was doing her job and I was not making her job easy. I could not find her. She was old in my day. I imagine she had passed away by the time I felt remorse.
On another day we skipped school and went to the ABC store to get a case of beer. We were also on some form of acid. The crew this day was my brother Gary, Ricky and Randy Traywick, myself and maybe someone else, I can’t remember the whole crew. We went to Lake Lee, rented a boat and spent the afternoon peacefully rowing…sort of. I do remember all of a sudden, out of the blue, Ricky stood up and began screaming, “Sea Monster, Sea Monster!” at the top of his lungs. He also took an oar from the boat and began to swing it wildly toward this sea monster that was approaching the boat. Upon closer inspection we noticed the sea monster was a limb floating across the lake near the boat. We were stoned. Ricky broke the oar.
We had to explain why the oar was broken to the guy who rented the boats to us. I’m not sure if we told him about the sea monster or not. I do remember standing there talking to the man at the dock and a beer fell out of my sock, onto the pavement and began to roll toward the lake down the boat ramp. We both stood there watching it roll. It was a surreal moment, sort of in slow motion as our day was falling apart.