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  • When I was in grade school in the mid-1970's, my friend Lisette and I were awarded the privilege of raising the flag each morning onto the pole that stood in the center of the bus turnaround in front of the school. One particularly cold and dreary winter day we, as usual, clipped the flag onto the rope and began to hoist it up, only to find that the pulley at the top had somehow stuck frozen solid when the flag was halfway up the pole.

    We tugged, pulled, lowered and re-raised the flag, trying with all our might to raise the flag to its full height. To no avail.

    Finally we gave up and went into the principal's office and jokingly asked if perhaps someone had died that day. We could thus justify the half mast flag.

    The secretary looked at us in dismay and excused herself.

    A few minutes later, Dr. Plummer, the principal, emerged from her office and told us that the school's long-time janitor had died the night before.

    I can not remember his name, but I am glad to remember him.

    Photo by Patrick Feller reprinted from Flickr under Creative Commons License
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