[Clayart] one more story/long

mel jacobson melpots at mail.com
Wed Jan 29 09:59:58 EST 2020

(two years ago.)
i was in my local big grocery store having coffee with some
of the employees...friends of mine.  the manager mark, a very
good friend came storming into the coffee room, muttering.
i said, `ok, what's going on?`
`oh, that kid that i hired, the wimp, damn him...i told him to go
out to the main door and clean up a jar of mayo that a gal dropped.
i looked for him as he did not come back...and here was his mom cleaning
up the mayo...she had her own mop...he was watching.  he called her, can
you believe it, he called his mom to do it. i yelled at both of them, threw
them off the property and told them to never come back...abuse of a child.`

this thought came into my head while he was talking...my marine dad, full time
worker at the ford plant...comes home from working a 12 hour shift during ww2...
and i ask him for help cleaning a mess...my god...there would be an explosion
like a 500# bomb. we four kids that grew up during the depression all had jobs
to do, every day. and you did them. no shirking. i wonder why i have such a work
ethic still in me at 85?  and one wonders why i still love and admire that orphan
kid, went into the marines at 15 and a half. raised us to be `unafraid` and work
for what we wanted. it worked like a charm. he led by example.

i had a rule for the pottery at hopkins high. you cannot make over 100 pots
a semester. a few of the kids hit a 100 by thanksgiving. we bent the rule.

here is how we cleaned the pottery with 190 kids a day making pots. we made a
graf of the room. one yard squares.  each kid got a square. so, it should take
about 30 seconds to clean your square. like, gloria had sink 3. she watched it
like a hawk, if you made a mess and left it in sink 3, goria would smack you in the
head. if you were a new kid and threw a ball of clay and it stuck in bob's grid on the
wall he would probably smack you in the teeth...`you just mess'd my square you little
a hole`  it would take about two minutes each friday to make the room like new.
at the end of the year, the janitors did not have to clean my room. it was bypassed.
we even waxed the floor.  it is call responsibility for your space. as i said, the kids
had a passion for `THEIR` clay room.

i had some very rich girls in my clay room. they had never cleaned anything in their life.
i had to teach them...yes, teach them to use a sponge and warm soapy water...but, they did it.
one girl said to me...`oh, this is how gloria, our maid does it...wow.`

every year i did a very fancy demo with a classic mop and pail.  showed them the front to back
scrub, the figure eight rinse...and then the left to right water clean up. it was classic.
every once in awhile a kid from way back will remind me of that demo..they loved it.
( i also took groups of kids to the parking lot and taught how to change a tire.) and, most
kids by the time they were seniors had passports. i taught that too.
i always laughed in the lounge...i would say...`i teach the whole child.` a few of the faculty
did not know why kids hated them. i did.

website: www.melpots.com

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