February 23 – Happy Birthday John Smith

Empty-Classroom-1When I was a student at Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School in the late 1960’s corporal punishment was very much alive and well and liberally permitted in Amsterdam, NY’s public schools. I witnessed many classmates get hit with closed fists and metal rulers if they misbehaved. Quite a few of my teachers used corporal punishment or the threat of it in their attempts to force kids to behave and pay attention in class. John Smith certainly could have.

Born here in Amsterdam on February 23, 1927, he was a huge guy who had been a military policeman at the close of WWII. In addition to his imposing size he was also completely bald, which in addition to earning him the nickname…

I’ve already started work on the second volume of “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays” and John Smith’s complete story will be featured in it. I will be sharing the complete posts of some of the Volume II birthday celebrants in future issues of the Amsterdam Birthday Blog Newsletter. If you are not yet a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up for free here.

Mr. Smith shares his February 23rd Birthday with another long-ago Amsterdam teacher who did most of his teaching outside.

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