Monday, April 22, 2024

The Cripple School Color Guard

 Here’s another way you can tell if a crippled adult went to segregated high school for cripples only, like I did. If that crippled adult was in their high school marching band, or if the high school they went to even had a marching band, then it most likely wasn’t a segregated high school for cripples only. Because segregated high schools for cripples only don’t bother to have marching bands.

No, the closest thing to a marching band I ever saw was at the segregated elementary school for cripples only. We had a color guard there. And every school assembly began with the presentation of colors. Three of the crippled students marched up the aisle of the assembly hall. The first two carried the flags of the city and state and the last flag was the American flag. The color guard kids marched up onto the stage and mounted the colors. And then they all put their hands on their hearts and Ied everyone in reciting The Pledge of Allegiance.

I really wanted to be one of the color guard kids. I thought it was so cool. But I didn’t know how to go about signing up. There weren’t any auditions or anything that I knew of.  I knew that the gym teacher organized it all. But other than that it just seemed like certain kids were randomly selected to be on the color guard and they were sent to the gym teacher and he took it from there.

As I recall, all of the kids in the color guard were the cripples who could walk without crutches or anything, like the hemophiliacs (aka the bleeders). Maybe the gym teacher was afraid that a wheelchair cripple might drop a flag or something and that might start a big commotion. There were definitely no spastic cripples in the color guard.

But the color guard kid I was most envious of was the one who didn’t even join in the marching. He sat off to the side behind a snare drum and drummed out the solemn, steady beat to which the color guard marched. I thought it would be so cool to have that job. I bet it made the chicks swoon. That was the closest thing we had to a rock star at the cripple school.

But it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t get to be a drummer at the segregated elementary school for cripples only. Because after I graduated from there I went on to an even more segregated boarding school for cripples only that was operated by the state. I refer to it as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology  (SHIT). They didn’t even have a color guard at SHIT, let alone a marching band. So would have been sitting there all alone with my drumsticks, frustrated that I didn’t have a creative outlet.

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