Saturday, November 16, 2013

down to the office please......

The whole class would collectively go ohhh, Kush is in trouble now.....

Yes, I was the kid that got pulled out of class all the time in order to set up the PA system or run the projector in my school.

I was able to probably get out of 5% of my classes during my grammar school days, and about 10% of my classes in high school.

We were few but we were united. There was a total of about 3 kids, all of which I was able to recruit into the gang of nerds that would revel in the honor that we were "special".

Being special got us out of class a lot, sometimes when there were special programs and functions, we could be out all day, setting up screens, connecting and running microphone cables, speakers amplifiers, projectors and in later days the big 21 inch B&W TV that was perched on a 5 ft tall rickety stand with wheels.

Like  good unionize technical nerds we figured out that if we made the job look hard, that we could spend more time and make ourselves look better. It was a little later than Kevin, one of my sidekicks figured out that if we tweaked some of the plugs or speaker wires, we could also create more favorable situations for our team to be called out of class in order to "fix" the problem that we may have added to the failure.

I loved setting up the 16 mm projector and running films. Just a few days ago, something jogged my memory to the fact that I use to borrow educational films from one of the two or three movie libraries and would bring them down to run at our local Boy's Club at least once a week.

My mother would drive me downtown were a couple of these places were located and I would sign out some movie or film that I thought would be interesting.  I don't think there any such operations anymore, since everything can be downloaded now or a DVD sent in the mail.

I don't even remember what the subjects were, I think they were about fishing or hunting, usually produced by some outfit that would be selling something or other.

But they were free films that we would set up in the library , they would announce on the Club's PA system that the film was starting. Usually about two dozen people would show up for the 20 or 30 minute film.

The Boy's Club in the mid 50's was only open to boys and was located about 3 blocks from my house in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco. It is still there, although it is now called the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco.  It was built in 1952 and as their web page says was dedicate by Herbert Hoover.

I cannot imagine how a club of that sort could possibly survive in today's world.  They had a photo darkroom that I spent a lot of time in, developing and processing black and white enlargements. Handling chemicals and other toxic stuff was not a big deal then.

There was also a very large wood shop, where you could make things. You could make small boats from scraps of plywood, then paint and shellack them before bringing them home to your parents.

 I still have a "scotty" book rack that I built, it was to put your books and magazines into by the side of a living room chair.  Probably cost about 1 dollars worth of plywood and materials.

There was a wood carving class where you learned to carve a nut dish in for the living room coffee table. The rooms walls were covered with projects that one could build, some were ornamental others had some practical value.  ( perhaps )

There were large table saws, band saws, table sanders, jig saws and drill presses.
Can you imagine letting a 10 year old next to a 10 inch table saw nowadays?

The shop master was named Gunther and he would let you operated any of the tools, once he knew that you wouldn't cut your fingers off. I find it impossible to comprehend that anything even closely related to even the thought of being able to be next to a power saw would be accepted in the community today.

Not sure what made me lose interest in that stuff, I think it was when I got into the radio and electronics stuff around the 5th or 6th grade.   I was still doing photography now and then, the technology had changed to rapid processing, which eliminated the 3 tray chemicals and stuff, which then was thought of as revolutionary.
Revolutionary?   Polaroid was revolutionary, and now just think we have instant photography, editing, printing.......
Man, how times change.

One of these days, I'll tell you of my telephone hacking days.  Ah, the 60's.....

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