Monday, September 25, 2006


Mrs. Mull (Marion) was the study hall "teacher" at Washington High School. She was also the detention monitor. I think her first name was "Marion." If I wanted to be blunt, I could say that Mull was a cranky old broad. Hell, let's be blunt. She was a cranky old broad. She looked like the stereotypical grandmother - white curly hair and big 80's glasses. But she didn't have the personality of a kind grandmother. Instead, she was sort of mean.

Mull was one of the three (along with Mr. Hough and Mr. Wood) who despised all the students from L.B. Clarke. Like her male counterparts, she was very quick with the line, "This ain't L.B. Clarke!" I don't recall the incident, or who was involved. But I remember Mull once snapping at a freshman, with, "Are you from Clarke?" The kid meekly replied "Yes." Mull then responded with, "I thought so." Whatever. These three were ridiculous with their Clarke biases.

I never cared for Mull. But for the most part I kept my mouth shut. So I never had any real run-ins with her. About the only time I ever said anything to her was during the first day of the second semester of my freshman year. She wanted us to sit in the same seat that we did when we had study hall in the first semester, in a different hour. In other words, if you sat in one seat during a study hall, in a different class period, during the first semester, she wanted you to sit in the same seat during the second semester. Of course she gave us no contingent plan if someone was already sitting in that same seat. This caused a lot of confusion. Because literally, you could have four or five people vying for the same seat. I ended up moving elsewhere, as my seat was taken. Somehow she noticed me a half hour later, and yelled at me to get closer to where I was. We barked back and forth for a bit, before I finally gathered up my belongings and moved.

My only friendly encounter with Mull was at some point near the end of my freshman year. I found myself wandering the halls after school. Kevin Dehne was with me. Ron Gretz may have been there as well. For whatever reason, Mull confronted us and started talking with us. She told us a story of how her husband used to be a janitor at the school, and that one night as he was locking up, a bird flew into the bulding. He then spent a few hours trying to catch it, so he could set the alarm. If the bird were allowed to roam free, it would have set off the alarm, had he set it. Personally, if it were me, I would have locked up, gone home, and never mentioned the bird. Whatever happened, happened.

Because I failed three classes during my freshman year, my schedule for my sophomore year was booked solid. I had no study halls whatsoever. In fact, I never even laid eyes on Mull during my sophomore year. Although while wandering the halls between classes once, I did hear her yelling at someone once. But the main reason I never saw her again was because she came down with some sort of illness during the beginning of the year - I think in October. If memory serves, she was stricken with shingles. Although I'm pretty sure she recovered, the illness forced her into retirement. I have never seen her since the end of freshman year.

During my junior year, in Ms. Sapa's creative writing class, Joe Antonie brought me a gift - Mrs. Mull's name plate. He said he took it right off her desk, and she never noticed. He had no reason as to why he took it. But he took it nonetheless. He then presented it to me, thinking I might get a kick out of having it. And I did! I immediately taped it to my trapper keeper. You can see it below.

You can see Mull's name plate on the right side. As for the other things on the back of my trapper, you can see pictures of one guy snorting cocaine, while another is shooting heroin. As I mentioned in my entry on Ross Hofmann, I put a picture of him upside-down, and put an "X" on his forehead. The blue "X" is a bit faded. But you can still see it there. There's also a picture of Craig Rysticken on Mull's name plate. Why? Who knows. The Rossignol sticker was given to me by Dave Svatek. It's from some sort of ski equipment company. There's also a picture of the late Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder who got in trouble that year for saying racist remarks about black athletes. You'll also see a picture of David Letterman. The photocopied pictures of Wyatt Wood, Richard Wheeler, myself and Chris Storlie was a tribute to a fictional rock band that Richard and I created. The four of us were "The Sex Demons From Hell." Wyatt was greatly amused by it. Storlie (our drummer) was clueless. As for Richard and I... we were just plain weird. The giant letter "R" was taken from Ms. Sapa's room. I believe Richard and I got in trouble in her class one day. So she made us stay after school. We had her for 7th hour, the last class of the day. So we simply remained in our seats. She decided she would stay our punishment if we took down something that she had pinned to her wall. I don't remember what it said. But it was in big block letters. It took us two minutes to take it all down. And we were free to go. There was only one letter - "R" that was used twice. For reasons unknown, both Richard and I took one and taped it to our respective trappers. If anyone asked us what the "R" stood for, we would say, "It's for Charlie." - which was a reference to Charles Manson. That of course would bring even more confused looks, as neither "Charles" nor "Manson" starts with the letter "R." Of course it didn't need to. It was just a symbol. It meant whatever we wanted it to mean. So we each deocrated the "R" with Mansonisms - "Helter Skelter, "Give your fear to Charlie," "Well you may be a lover, but you ain't no dancer." Yes, we were weird. But it was a GOOD weird!

Anyway, in regards to Mull, she still lives in Two Rivers to this day. I suspect she's around 80-years-old. If memory serves, her husband died at some point while I was still in high school. But I could be wrong about that.

UPDATE - 6/18/07 - Yesterday, Kevin and I stopped into see Mrs. Mull. We literally caught her as she was coming out of her front door, with two friends of hers. Incidentally, one of her two friends was the wife of the former janitor at L.B. Clarke - Mr. Curtis.

Anyway, the three of them were a cheery bunch. We think they may have had a couple of cocktails. They were on their way out to get a bite to eat. When we told Mull our names, she instantly said she remembered us. But later on, she admitted that she didn't. Kevin pointed out that Mull was often nicer to the rowdier kids - which was true. Kevin surmised that she got to know them better, as she saw them all in detention - where she was the monitor.

I even told her that I had her name plate. She got a real kick out of that. She also said that she'd gotten another one.

Mull was overjoyed that we'd thought enough of her to stop by. She informed us that she was 81-years-old. And let me tell you, for an 81-year-old woman, she certainly was full of life. Before we left, we posed for a few pictures by the waterfall and pond she has in her front yard. You can see them below.


At Wed Sep 27, 07:58:00 PM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

My fondest memory of Mrs. Mull was one time (it might have been more than once) she was yelling at all of us, and she starts saying, "All youse kids! In the morning, I got KIDS! Then in th' afternoon, I got KIDS! I got KIDS N' KIDS N' KIDS!!"

I remember thinking, "when she applied for this job, did she think it was a school for penguins?"

(oh, yeah -- we play at the sands again this fri/sat)


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