I Shot Wendell

He Liked to Talk to Terri


My resume includes thirteen years in the public school system as a band and choir teacher.  Being a disciplinarian was the most difficult aspect of teaching.  Most students were well-behaved and respectful.  There were a few that pushed the limits however.  Wendell was one of those.  He played Baritone Saxophone in band.  He wasn’t a bad kid…  he just liked to talk, especially to Terri.  Of course, if they were talking, neither were playing their saxes.  I gave Wendell demerits and lowered his grade, all to no avail.

One day I decided to have a little fun at his expense.  This was back in the day when male teachers wore sports jackets.  I tucked a starter pistol into the waistband of my slacks and covered it with my jacket.  I told several students in the front what I was going to do so they would not be alarmed.  Wendell started talking.  I pulled out the pistol, pointed it toward him and shot.  I said, “Now you shut up!”  It was the first time I ever saw J.D., Wendell’s best friend, smile.  It was great… very satisfying.  I cannot recall if Wendell was affected or not.  He was probably like a wild horse.  He couldn’t be broken.

If I were teaching now, I likely would be unable to act out a stunt like that.  At the time, I never thought a thing about it.

What does this have to do with art?  Nothing, but it was certainly a creative approach to the problem.


Author: Jerry Hardesty Studio

I am an Abstract Expressionist Painter, living in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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