Brigham Young High School ~ Class of 1966

The Rest of the Story...

The rest of the story - Paul Harvey

LaDawn Anderson Jacob

1. Favorite BYH experiences: My first exposure to BYH came in the 7th grade as I followed others of my siblings from a public grade school to the Church high school. I had some outstanding teachers: Mr. Benson (speech), Mrs. Hart (English), Mr. Bendixsen (social studies), Mr. Webb (choir), Mr. Garth Allred (math), Brother Cook (Church history) and many others whose example and character influenced me for good.

I felt like my experiences in my speech class were wonderful and helped me prepare for many experiences that have come later in my life. Mr. Benson had be memorize some poetry that I still quote and think about. He and Mr. Bowthorpe (speech) spent time teaching debate, extemporaneous speaking, oratory, etc. that gave me confidence in front of others.

I missed most of my 9th through 11th grade years as our family moved to Arizona, so I don't have many of the same high school memories my classmates have.

I well remember my experiences in Miss Turley's psychology class, having a panel from the State Hospital come and share insights that were sobering to me. I loved having Tom Mitchell at our school. I learned from him about how "being blind, we can see." Jesse Anderson was great to have as a next-door carrel neighbor. Some of my favorite memories were with choice friends with whom I could share my thoughts and feelings and feel understood. I love them still and am grateful for their influence, their loyalty and their Christian examples.

Our graduation exercises, dinner and trip were never to be forgotten experiences and I felt like I came to know the hearts of some of my classmates better.

As I have grown older I have felt a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices made by so many of our teachers who really went the extra mile to provide not only "book learning" education, but also the education of our character, which in the end is of far greater significance.

2. Favorite BYH teacher and why: I had some exceptional teachers and there are many that could be termed "favorites." I will share one 8th grade experience, however, that I have reflected on many times in my life.

Mr. Garth Allred was the teacher. We were talking about long-distance telephone charges. He talked about person-to-person calls and station-to-station calls, and why the latter were cheaper.

I raised my hand and asked a ridiculous question concerning station-to-station calls: "You mean, if I called to talk to someone long distance, and someone else in the home picked up the phone, that I could only talk to that person, even if the pereson I had called for was standing right there?"

I often spoke before thinking. There were a few little titters around the room and I immediately realized how silly the question was, and felt so embarrassed.

Mr. Allred immediately came to my rescue, assured me and the class that this was a perfectly legitimate question, and went on to explain it as such. I'll never forget my relief and my appreciation for him.

3. Great lessons learned: Forty years down the road I realize that my memories are tied more with emotion than with details. I remember how kind some of the students and teachers were; they made me feel valued and important.

I also remember feeling rejected at times, which taught me that I didn't ever want to make others feel that way. I wish I would have been more aware of the feelings of others, and reached out to include and lift rather than be so centered on what would make me look good.

I realize how important it is to be kind, because those acts of thoughtfulness are never forgotten. "I will pass through this world but once. Therefore any good that I can do, or any kindness I can show, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." (paraphrased)

I also learned that character lasts, and that popularity is fleeting. Happiness is not what others think we are, but what we know we are inside. The idea that you can "burn your bridges" isn't really true. Human nature can change.

I have come to appreciate this thought by Albert Schweitzer: "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it makes needs time to sprout; and it is not always given to the sower to live to see the harvest. All work worth anything is done by faith." So . . . The great lessons I learned are still bearing fruit and hopefully the harvest will keep coming in.

Leo Beckwith

Question: Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Larry Christensen who hit the Principal in the face with a wet mop?

Answer by Larry Christensen: My first year at the school was in 7th grade, 1961-62. Being new in a school can be a traumatic experience, but I am thankful that BYH was different. The classes were small, and many of my classmates came forward to help me understand the rules and traditions of BYH.

When Spring came with bright sunny days, many of my classmates began to spirit squirt guns and water balloons with them to school. They used them surreptiously for a few days, but then one day the little water fights exploded into open hallway-to-hallway warfare, particularly in the Arts Building.

Being a bit timid, and not knowing how far you could go before being expelled, I did not bring any water weapons to school, nor did I participate.

By noon of the day of open water warfare, the bottom floor of the Arts Building was an inch deep and water was literally flowing out the front door. I ducked into the restrooms, and when I came out I ran into an angry teacher, Grant Bendixsen, standing in front of me in the middle of the hallway with a large mop.

"You, Christensen, you helped make this mess, now you mop it up!"

Normally I would have done what any teacher asked me to (being a good boy), but it seemed to me that if I took the mop, I would be admitting that I had been responsible for making the mess.

"I didn't do it," I protested. "I didn't do any part of it."

Suddenly I found the business-end of the large wet mop wrapped around my back, the result of a baseball swing by Mr. Bendixsen.

Instantly furious, I just stood and glared at Mr. Bendixsen. With whatever dignity I could muster, I walked away dripping out the front door, fully expecting to be whacked on the back again. But the blow never came.

I expected additional bad consequences, but nothing else happened. It was near the end of the school year, and I vowed not to speak to Mr. Bendixsen again. I regret that now, because I actually liked him as a teacher, and he moved on to another school the next year. I actually never was able to speak to him again.

I assumed that the big water fight was an annual school tradition, but nothing on that scale occurred again during the next four years that I was at BYH.

Mop flying toward Larry Christensen

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