Wednesday, April 11, 2007

the bradburn-harrick team room

While subbing at Amherst about a month ago, Amy discovered that the old weight room by the gyms had been converted to a team room. Not just any team room...
The Bradburn-Harrick Team Room
My timing with these photos was interesting, as both honorees passed away six years ago last week. Not sure when the room was named, but it's a nice tribute to both.

Dad coached football and basketball for nearly two decades. Growing up, I usually tagged along, keeping score for his basketball squads from the middle of elementary school onwards. After my lacklustre football playing career (spent mostly on the can to relieve nerves before practice), I helped him as team manager. Both sports meant a lot of bustrips for us, which lead to a few memorable events:

* Watching basketball players learn it's not a good idea to taunt drunken fans with cries of "go back to the tomato field!" in Leamington - they'll try to topple your bus.

* "J'aime le poisson!", heard after taking in the stench in the dressing room of one county school whose identity will be protected (but guesses are welcome).

* Trips to Ann Arbor to play American high school football, though I missed the year half the team brought back freebie gifts they received when they signed up for JCPenney credit cards at Briarwood Mall.

* Nearly sinking into the mud while trying to hold the yard markers at Micmac Park in Windsor.

Team Room Interior Jeffrey the Bulldog
The inside of the room, complete with the school mascot, Jeffrey the Bulldog, on the floor. Jeffrey is named after the school's namesake, General Jeffery Amherst (yes, the spelling varies depending on the source).

Counting Awards On The Wall, That Don't Bother Me At All Interior Entrance
A selection of awards won over the years, plus the interior exit.

Names on the Floor (1) Names on the Floor (2)
The floor of the gym lobby is covered with tiles listing past coaches and athletes - quite a few of my teachers can be found among the names on the left. Naturally, Dad stands off on his own.

1993 Ontario Scholars 1993 Valedictorian
But Dad's not the only one in the family whose name is found in the building. Amy and I show up on several plaques, including this list of notable grads from 1993. That was the same year they decided to immortalize valedictorians with a wall featuring each one's grad shots. Dad thought I should have switched this lovely picture with my U of G grad shot. When you're an accidental valedictorian, like I was that year (a long story involving a trip to Quebec), I guess any picture will do.

Locker #1492 Keeping Our School Safe Depends On You!
Take a close look at the locker number on the left, which was where I crammed my junk around grade 9 or 10. Consider that Dad was a history teacher, me a history whiz. Consider that another year my locker number was either 1776 or 1812 (memory is a bit hazy on that one). Did the person who assigned locker numbers have a good sense of humour?

The picture on the right is taken in the tech wing - the open door on the right leads to the drama room. I had a homeroom in this end of the school during my last year at Amherst, though there weren't any messages about safety then.

Classes were in session, so I wasn't able to duck into classrooms to see what traces remained from 15 years ago. This may have been a good thing, as the onslaught of memories of events and people I haven't thought about for ages might have knocked me on the floor.

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