Wednesday, March 11, 2015


    Clubber was in one of my grade eight classes in the early 60's. Clubber was a little different than most thirteen year olds.

    Clubber was a loner and very quiet. There were some good reasons Clubber was a loner. Clubber was a quiet kid but that doesn't mean that he was nice. The other kids were somewhat afraid of Clubber as he could look after himself physically. Clubber didn't hesitate to use force to get what he wanted from other kids. Kids didn't report much of this behavior as they were always afraid of how Clubber would retaliate. If you did pal around with Clubber you were probably going to get into trouble and kids did not want to find themselves in trouble.

    Clubber learned the pleasures of tobacco early in life. Clubber had to have his regular supply of tobacco. He got his tobacco in several ways. Thirteen year olds could buy tobacco in the early sixties but they didn't have enough spending money for a full supply. So shoplifting helped in the supply of tobacco. Of course, he was caught quite regularly. Clubber may have been smart but at being a crook he was pretty dumb. Clubber also picked up other things from stores. As a result everybody in town watched Clubber. His third supply of tobacco came from other kids. Kids would give him a cigarette as he would probably take all their cigarettes if they resisted. 

     Clubber entered a few places he wasn't supposed to enter. Pool rooms were closed on Sundays in the sixties. One Sunday the owner of the pool room checked his facility and there was Clubber playing pool all by himself. The back door was not very secure so he just walked in. He had probably been doing the same thing for quite a while.

    Teachers tried to watch Clubber very carefully but it was difficult. Clubber was not a behavior problem in class.  He was sneaky but also an opportunist. It was interesting to watch him as he was always looking two steps ahead. He saw things nobody else saw.

    Clubber's parents were at their wits end with him as they didn't know how to handle the situation and at that time there was no support for them.

    You could see where Clubber was headed. He had no concerns about getting things he wanted by using illegal means.

   Five or six years later I read a news item in the paper that Clubber had been sentenced for armed robbery.

   It was rather sad to see a person so young get into behavior patterns which were not only destructive for him but others.
    I will certainly remember Clubber for a long time.