Monday, September 18, 2006


Mr. Jones was one of the drivers education teachers at Washington High School. I have no clue what his first name was.

I had him during my sophomore year. After we learned our classroom stuff from Mr. Noll, we spent several weeks with Mr. Jones. During the winter, the school backed a semi trailer into the bike rack area. Inside that trailer were about 25 car simulators. It was definitely an odd setting for a classroom. I sat in the front, on the right. Richard Wheeler sat behind me. I had to sit in the front. My eyesight was terrible. And I refused to wear glass (which I'd had since the first grade). I was still a year away from getting contact lenses.

Mr. Jones was a decent-enough guy I guess. Although I did get in trouble in his class one day. Richard and I had a contest to see which one of us could drive the most miles (yes, these simulators had odometers) during class. Richard more-or-less kept to the speed limit though. I on the other hand floored it. I kept my speed at about 80 MPH as long as I could. Jones had the ability to monitor what each of us did. After about 20 minutes, he came up and scolded me. Then in an apparent act of superiority, he reached over and took my key away. I was shut down for the rest of the day.

I did have one shining moment in that class though. He gave a test one day, which featured 20 spots in which we had to react appropriately with our vehicles. Everytime we made a mistake, a little red light would flash. I got 19 out of the 20 correct, only screwing up when some stupid old lady stepped in front of the car at the last moment. What the hell was she doing anyway? I wasn't alone. I think everyone's red light flashed on that one, as the darkened semi trailer filled with a chorus of "ughs."

I also recall a demonstration he did - which I thought was stupid. He wanted to show how if a car's breaks lock on a hill, it will slide. So he had a ramp. And he also had a small car - which I think was a toy Batmobile actually. Anyway, he had taken some Scotch tape and taped the wheels so they couldn't turn. He taped them in a way so that the tape was actually under the wheels. So when you set the car down, it was actually on the tape. Then he placed the car on the ramp. And of course, it slid right down. Now I didn't say anything. But I thought his little demonstration was incredibly flawed. First of all, he had some smooth tape on an equally smooth surface, on a 45 degree angles ramp. Of course it's going to slide. But would a car with rubber tires on an asphalt surface do the same? I honestly don't think so.

Those six weeks or so were my only contact with Mr. Jones. Although I think he had some other affiliation with the school at one time or another. I'm pretty sure you can see him in at least one of the yearbooks, holding a basketball in a team photo. Maybe he coached the freshman girls or something.

Mr. Jones had a red beard. He was kind of tall too. Not knowing his first name, I have no way to know where he is today. There is an indicator that back in the day, he may have lived near 42nd and Parkway Boulevard, on the north side of town. Hell, he's probably still there.


At Thu Dec 13, 07:17:00 PM PST, Blogger Tammy said...

His name is Richard Jones .

At Thu Dec 13, 07:17:00 PM PST, Blogger Tammy said...

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