It seems impossibly long ago. In fact, 44 years ago. Rapidly closing in on a half a century. Yet somehow I remember everything from King School in Stamford Connecticut much more clearly than many events that have taken place since. The events of those years make a lasting impression on a person.
In fact, I have written a number of stories on this very blog about my time at King. If you click on the links below you can read some of them.
- The Last Connecticut Gentleman is about the real Merritt K. Sawyer. At school he was a feared tyrant. But I knew him out of school in quite a different context. (By the way, as our English teacher, Mr. Sawyer would have hated that I began the prior sentence with the word “but.”).
- Running For Cake is the story of our wresting coach Aaron Hess (Woody) and his quest to turn us into Spartans.
- Guns In The Attic is the story of one of my fellow classmates and the strange and wonderful air force in his attic.
- Mr. Yang and the Electrical Banana is about our math teacher Jackson Yang and his struggle to make sense out of the incomprehensible lyrics of Donovan Leitch.
Of course, there are many other people and events that come to mind whenever I think about King. There was our Senior English teacher Mr. John Savin Hoffecker, whose love for teaching was so great that he gave up a successful law career in the South to teach English in Connecticut. Savin felt that no class was complete unless he had told us a story about his days in the Old South. I don’t remember many of the books we read in that class, but I do remember every one of his stories.
There was Malcolm Wilmott who taught Earth Science and who had been a race car driver in England before becoming a teacher. He was always frustrated with being the person assigned to ferry students around in the school’s underpowered Volkswagen bus.
A number of people from King have written comments to this blog about the King School stories, and I would love to hear from more. I was looking at the King website on line today and saw that it has changed tremendously, yet somehow remained the same. It is now co-ed and combined with Low Heywood Thomas. Some of the physical attributes of the place have changed, but the sheer youthful exuberance of the students remains the same.
When I graduated from King I was happy to leave. It was time to move on and find new adventures. Frankly, having gone there since sixth grade I was tired of the place. But now, when I look through the old yearbook I remember it for what a unique experience it really was.
In the movie Radio Days Woody Allen spoke about how he can still remember the old-time radio voices, but as he get older each year they seem to get a little fainter. I find just the opposite. As I get older, my memories of King seem to get stronger.
Now that I am as old as the most senior teachers were, I can somehow look back at the school with a different perspective and see it in its entirety.