Extraordinary Stories

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

The "Honoring A Great Guy" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Looking at a photo of Mr. C. Wendell Hower in the Lancaster Newspaper.  Never called him that, since to me he will always be just Mr. Hower.  Mr. Hower was my boss for most of the years that I taught school at Manheim Township High School.  Mr. Hower's photo appeared today since he is being inducted into the Lancaster-Lebanon League Hall of Fame.  The is an athletic league that is part of a student-athlete's education outside the classroom.  
Photo from my 1962 Manheim Township HIgh
School yearbook showing teacher Mr. Hower.
My friends Jerry and Just Sue were my classmates when the three of us went to MTHS as students in the late 50s and early 60s.  Mr. Hower was a math teacher at the time and the two of them both had him for math.  I was lucky not to have him since he was known as a gruff teacher to many back then.  After working for him I got to realize just how good a teacher and administrator he really was.  I pulled some stupid stunts when I first started teaching and he made sure I knew he was owed a favor or two for not firing me.  I taught in the Industrial Arts Department, as did my friend Jerry (yep, we both returned to our Alma mater to teach since we loved it so much), and when making my requisitions for supplies for the following year thought it would be funny to add a couple hundred gallons of home heating oil, to naturally be delivered to my house, onto the list of ink, offset plates, etc. needed for the classroom.  Got past my department head, which was easy to do since I did all his paperwork for him, got past the secretaries that had to type everything, but didn't get past Mr. Hower.  He called me into his office and sat me down in front of his desk and stared at me for what seemed like ever.  Mr. Hower was big, real big, and could be intimidating.  He wanted to know the address where I wanted the oil delivered.  I knew I was in trouble!  He reamed me out and then said this is a far as it will go, but ….. I owe him a favor for that.  After a few other favors were added to his list for other dumb things I did, I finally had to repay him.  My department head was the rifle coach and had decided to resign the position.  A tough position to fill because no one wanted to do it.  Except ME!  Mr. Hower told me I was his new rifle coach.  No questions asked.  I tired to explain to him that I had only fired a gun maybe two or three times in my life.  Didn't matter to him.  I must admit I enjoyed it.  We did win the state title, the first state title ever won by any sports team in the history of the school.  I also lost most of my hearing because of it.  So, I guess we're even.  
Mr. Hower's photo as it appeared
in the Lancaster Newspaper recently.
Anyway, Mr. Hower had a nice write-up in the paper abut his accomplishments which included: Played football and basketball at Lititz High School, played football for Franklin & Marshall College where he was a Little All-American (except he certainly wasn't little) as well as co-captain of the team, coached football and track at MT, was a football/baseball/basketball official, Principal at MT or 29 years, was District III Executive Director after retiring from MT (Is still the director) and  coordinates yearly District tournaments in basketball and tennis.  A very active guy and deserving winner of the award to be bestowed upon him.  I loved the guy when I taught school and still do and still manage to see him fairly often for you see another of the favors that I ended up doing was printing the envelopes, stationery, passes, etc. for District III.  That favor I still do every year.  Wouldn't stop until he gives up the job.  Just have to do that for Mr. Hower.  For you see, I owe him!!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

1 comment:

  1. Was affectionately known as "Moose Hower". But not to his face. Last talked with him the last couple days as principal to wish him well. His wife Peggy was my sister's hockey coach late 50's.

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