“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”

It’s chilly but still a beautiful and bright sunny day. It’s also nap time for the animals. The cats are on my yet to be made bed which they love, and the dog is on the couch snoring as if she were a bulky man in a tank top who fell asleep in his chair watching football. Those animals inspire me!

When I was growing up, there were good kids and bad kids, and we all knew the differences. Bad kids were bullies. They were name-callers and they were sneaky. All of them hung together in a sort of gang because the rest of us, the good kids, wanted nothing to do with them so they were stuck with each other. I didn’t know many bad kids. I know I punched one in the face at recess when I was ten, but I don’t even remember his name. I do remember the satisfaction of that punch. He, the nameless one, deserved it for making my friend cry by constantly calling her names. He wouldn’t stop when I asked so I punched him. We both ended up in the principal’s office, but I told her why and she let me go. I don’t know what was said or done to him but he stopped name calling.

In high school, on the bus, one kid got teased all the time. His name was Billy Marrota, and he always took it from the other guys as if he were the designated target. I think there were three or four other guys, and they always sat in the back row. It was a public bus as we went to school in a different town to a Catholic high school. The ride was a long one so I used the time to study. The boys in the back didn’t, and they annoyed me with their noise and laughter and their teasing which was always aimed at Billy. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t tell them to stop. It seemed humiliating, but he laughed with them, probably out of self-defense. I spoke to the bus driver and made him the bad guy. He yelled and told the guys he’d throw them off the bus if they didn’t behave. They did.

When I was young, I believed that most people were good and they were. Even the bullies stopped when confronted (or punched). We were all so innocent back then.

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7 Comments on ““Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    The day started rather nicely but has turned to chilly, rainy and windy. I think I’ll join my dogs in my bed and read a book soon. I don’t mind the less good weather but will use it as an excuse to do go to bed 🙂

    Yes we all knew who the bad kids was, mostly they lived in another block and the stories we were told to avoid that area were horrific 🙂 🙂 🙂 But I was lucky to go in a class that had very few bullies. Mostly we got along quite well but our teachers did have an eye on us all the time and I guess that helped.

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      It was a nice day for the whole day though tonight is back to chilly. I took a nap with Fern and Gracie today. We all emjoyed the snooze.

      I heard much later from people that my brother was a bully. That surprised me as I never saw him in that role. Among the kids I knew, there were none.

      Hope you had a wonderful day!

  2. Zoey & Me Says:

    Bullies were everywhere, including your fine Gov Mitt Romney. I think he went a tad overboard but in my school it was mostly punching. We had groups like the Fonz on Happy Days, always showing up with bikes and slick hair. They smoked. Most of us just stayed away from them. Many never made it through High School, or did something to be sent off to the great war. Courts gave the bad boys a choice back then.

    • katry Says:

      That fine governor called it hijinks, a bit scary I think. I went to t aCatholid high school. where guys had to wear suit jackets, good pants and ties while we had to wear uniforms. Out of school, the girls would hike them up so they wouldn’t be as long but that was about the worst.

      I knew guys who were given that choice: the army or jail!

  3. Bob Says:

    Growing up as a boy is most difficult during the years that are now called middle school. The testosterone is just getting going and boys are just discovering that girls are more than smaller softer boys. Today the teasing has become more intense as well as dangerous and cruel.

    Two of my favorite films about growing up during the depression and dealing with bullies, such as Scott Farcus” were produced by Jean Shepherd. One was called “A Christmas Story” and the other was called a “My Summer Story”. Both are great to watch now that the summer reruns and other junk is on TV.

    I think not being athletic and wearing glasses creates some kind of scent that attracts bullies. Most school systems are giving lip service that they are actually doing something about bullying, but I don’t think it’s enough. Kids today are even packing guns to school to protect themselves.

    Dry and hot again today as it was all week.

    • katry Says:

      I know what you mean. The teasing often has a sexual edge to it as boys are just beginning piuberty which, by middle school, most girls hae already begun.

      Scott Farcus was the best bully of them all! I don’t remeber My Summer Story, but I watch the Christmas Story every year.

      I think you can work your hardest but won’t stamp out bullying. It will go underground and off campus. I never saw a gun in 33 years of working at a high school so I don’t think it’s common. We arrested bullies and they went to court and were also suspended from school. That helped a bit but I don’t think it will ever really stop.

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