Contents of the 23rd Psalm and Chapter one

Contents

Preface……………………………………………………………………………page 4

Introduction……………………………………………………………………….page 5

Chapter 1: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”…………………….page 8

Chapter 2: “He makes me lie down in green pastures.”………………………page 18

Chapter 3: “He leads me beside still waters.”………………………………….page 26

Chapter 4: “He restores my soul.”…………………………………………..…page 42

Chapter 5: “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake”-page 55

Chapter 6: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,               I fear no evil, for thou art with me.”…………………………………….…….. page 71

Chapter `7: “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”……………………….page 80

Chapter 8: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my                    enemies”- ……………………………………………………………………….page 120

Chapter 9: “Thou anointest my head with oil.” ……………………………. page 133

Chapter 10: “My cup overflowed.”………………………………………..… page 141

Chapter 11: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”………………………………page 150


Preface

The premise of this science fiction novel is that each line in the 23rd Psalm describes what the Christian and Jewish survivors will do to stay alive after a comet destroys most of the earth. I was researching several books on Jewish and Christian messiahs when the idea of this book came to my mind. What if a comet hits the earth and only a handful of survivors on mountaintops survived the disaster? How would these two religious groups learn to work together to survive? What if one person in the two groups began to have visions about the future that came true? What if, after many struggles, the Jewish temple group and the Protestant group chose a messiah, the man who was having the spiritual visions that came true again and again?

 

This is a story about survival and the determination of two small groups to find higher ground and, eventually, safety on the earth flooded to six thousand feet above sea level. This is a story about the year 3550 when world corporations sought to make religions illegal.

 

Introduction

In the year 3550, the earth was almost destroyed after a comet, the size of the moon, collided with earth. The impact was so severe that it caused the earth to move out of its normal orbit around the sun. The earth was a million miles closer to the sun after the impact of the comet. The explosion was so great that when the comet hit the southern part of the Pacific Ocean, off South America, the south polar cap melted down almost immediately. The ocean surge covered South America completely, leaving only the Andes Mountains, showing as islands above the waters. In a week, Europe and North America were underwater, and the north polar cap began to melt. The Asian continents suffered the same fate, except the Himalayan mountain range that stuck out as islands in a vast new ocean. All the mountain ranges around the world became islands, jutting out of the ocean that rose above seven thousand feet, surviving the initial flooding. The highest mountains in the Sierras, the Appalachian mountain chain, and Mount Rainier in Washington State all became islands above the seven-thousand-feet-above-sea-level point.

 

All the plants and native animals around the world drowned under leagues of seawater. The only surviving animals were those that lived at high elevations to begin with, such as mountain goats, yaks, deer, and some varieties of birds. The fresh water fish in all the lakes and rivers died when the salt water filled all the lakes and rivers around the world. The sea marine life did survive, however, despite the temperature rise. The entire population of penguins eventually was washed away toward the mountains of the Andes thousands of miles away. Few of the penguins survived.

 

As for the human race, those that survived were those that ran to the high ground or happened to be living on high ground to begin with. The floods came so quickly that all of California and the West Coast were covered in salt water in less than a week. The same flooding became the fate of the East Coast of the North American continent, the water flooding east across all the states until it reached the high peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.

 

The only humans known to survive in the western part of North America were a group of Old World Christians on a religious retreat at Lake Tahoe in Sierra Nevada and a group of Old World Jewish community members who were vacationing in the Sierras. Neither religious community knew that the other had survived until months after the disaster.

 

By the year 3550 religions and their attendant spiritual life had been virtually wiped out. The World Corporate Order had greatly discouraged their practice by declaring  them illegal. The material world of the united World Corporations had seized control over every facet of life, and the spiritual life of the old world religions would only get in the way. Many religions, centuries old, had begun to die out from the persecution and threat of arrest by the World Corporate Order. The original Christian movement that survived for 56,000 years was now secretly called the Old World Christian movement. Likewise, the various Jewish sects were called the Old World Jewish religion. The World Corporate Order also declared practicing Judaism of any kind illegal.

Thus by outlawing all religious worship or philosophic creeds, the ideology of The World Corporate Order had replaced all past enlightened thought with economic equality and a benevolent consumerism. Nationalism everywhere had been replaced by world rule as it was thought to be the source of war that had been also outlawed. Old World Buddhism, Old World Muslims, Old World Hindu, and many other religions suffered the same fate as the Old World Christians and the Old World Jewish sects and were reduced in size and popularity and were illegal to practice in public. They had all become secret religions that were not approved by the World Corporate Order of the thirty-first century. The World Corporate Order frowned on the free worship of any religion or belief in any philosophy by the year 3550 because it was felt that these only mucked up the economy by creating differences between groups of people and therefore conflict between them, upsetting the consumer oriented apple cart. Consumerism, by replacing everything else created world peace. A mild, common sense ethical system that would have been the envy of a Hunter/gatherer society was established in place of religion, philosophy and nationalism.  However, the old world religions met in secret and kept their membership closed and secret in fear of corporate punishment by the World Corporate Order that controlled all the continents on earth. But some believed that the enforcement of the laws was purposely soft, permitting the secret practice of some religions in order to allow a sort of escape valve for those who were not practicing public disobedience.

 

 

Chapter 1

 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

 

The date of the apocalypse was September 4, AD 3550. It was in the middle of the day that the first emergency broadcast was sent out by virtual beam, old-fashioned radio waves, short-wave ham radio, and virtual television. “Emergency, this is not a drill. Repeat, emergency. Attention, all citizens of the Corporate World Order, this is an emergency. Our scientists have determined that a comet is about to collide with earth in about forty-eight hours. Do not panic. Try, if possible, to head to high ground above five or six thousand feet above sea level. Go to the mountains in your region if possible. Leave now and do not delay. End of broadcast.” What happened next seemed to have been lifted from the Old Testament.

 

For the next forty-eight hours, every person’s antigravity vehicle (AGV) was headed toward the closest mountains in every country. Antigravity vehicles had replaced cars thousands of years before. The AGVs were similar in size to cars but ran on electromagnetic waves that bounced off a track buried in the venues (roads). Venues were blocked for hundreds of miles as millions upon millions of people of the earth fled to high ground to avoid the impact of severe flooding.

 

In the quiet Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California, near Lake Tahoe, there was a group of forty Old World Christians of the Church of the Sunrise on a religious retreat. Most of the Christians were couples, married or otherwise. A few were single and unmarried. Pastor Swift, a short chubby man with a balding crown, was just finishing a lesson on the 23rd Psalm about “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” After the service, as the small group of the Church of the Sunrise walked toward their cabins, one of the young boys named Billy came running toward Pastor Swift.

 

“Pastor Swift, Pastor Swift, there is an emergency warning being transmitted. You need to come quick!” the young boy exclaimed. “All right, all right, everything is fine. It is probably a fire emergency being broadcast. I will be right there,” said Pastor Swift. As he approached his cabin, there were several people standing outside with long looks on their faces. Something big was up, and Pastor Swift could not tell what the emergency was going to be.

 

As he entered his cabin, a virtual broadcast was loud and clear: a comet was going to hit the earth in less than forty-eight hours. “Oh my god!” Pastor Swift exclaimed. “Billy, run and get Colonel Jim Shepherd and have him meet me here as soon as possible!” A few minutes later, retired colonel James Shepherd, a tall man with a military-style crew cut and a long gray mustache, appeared at Pastor Swift’s cabin with his wife, Elizabeth Shepherd. Elizabeth was a short brunette with some gray hair and has a very skinny body that she kept in shape by jogging every morning. She was a retired biologist from UCLA with a PhD in biology. As an employee of the World order it had been her job to ensure that any unborn child that was not a perfect human specimen would be made so with the proper hormone shots, or in extreme cases, aborted. This way all babies born would be perfectly healthy and have an equal chance to live a happy, healthy life. In the World Order no resources would be wasted on unworthy lives. There was zero tolerance for physically or mentally “challenged” individuals. In fact, Elizabeth’s specialty was to detect unborn babies who were psychotic. Since no cure had yet been developed these were immediately aborted. Cost effectiveness for psychotics was considered the most expensive waste of resources. And as a result, crime had been greatly reduced and violent crime almost wiped out.

 

“Jim, as you may have heard, we have a major emergency on our hands. I have just been informed that a comet is about to collide with the earth in less than forty-eight hours. There is a strong possibility of flooding around the entire earth, especially if it lands in one of the oceans or hits the North or South Pole. We need to get to high ground fast before others do and stake out or claim to land higher than seven thousand feet above sea level. We know Donner Pass is 8,700 feet above sea level, and that is just down the road from here. I suggest we head for North Star Mountain that is just above Donner Pass, and we are close enough to get there quickly. I am not a military man, nor do I pretend to know how to handle this emergency, so I am putting you in charge of our church and its survival. I will ring the emergency bell and have everyone assemble immediately,” said Pastor Swift.

 

“OK, Jim, I will take charge and get us safely to high ground by the end of this day,” said Colonel Shepherd. A million questions went through Colonel Shepherd’s mind at the moment, but he suppressed these thoughts to focus on the emergency.

 

The bell rang loudly, again and again, and everyone assembled quickly in front of Pastor Swift’s cabin. “Brothers and sisters, we have limited time, and a major life-threatening emergency has developed both here and worldwide. A comet is about to collide with the earth in forty-eight hours. This comet is estimated to be about the size of our moon.” There was a hushed silence for almost a minute, and then women began to cry and men were cursing under their breaths. “Retired colonel Jim Shepherd is going to organize our evacuation to higher ground immediately. I want you to listen to him carefully. He will be in charge of everything. Remember what I said in the Bible study group, ‘The Lord is our shepherd, and we shall not want,’” paraphrased Pastor Swift.

 

“All right, everyone, keep calm. This is what I want you to do. Return to your cabins and stock up your AGVs with all the food you have. Remember to pack blankets and any survival equipment like light sources, batteries, solar energy collectors, water, medicine, axes, old weapons, knives, and any ham radios or battery- or sun-operated radios,” shouted the colonel to the group.

 

“Are there any questions? Oh, and bring any portable laser cutting tools to cut trees and wood also,” the colonel commanded. No one asked any questions. There were some women in the crowd, crying softly from fear, but no one spoke out loud. They all walked away rapidly to their cabins and began to gather all they could pack their AGVs with and still have the vehicle move along the ground. “Come back here with your AGVs loaded within two hours, and we will assemble in front of the mess hall,” shouted the colonel to the group as they departed.

 

Two hours later, all the Old World Christians had assembled with their AGVs fully loaded with everything they could take. Colonel Shepherd addressed the group again. “Brothers and sisters, Pastor Swift will lead us in prayer, but first, I want to tell you where we are going. We are headed to North Star Mountain, above Donner Pass, down the road from here. I will personally lead the group in my AGV, and everyone will follow in a single line. When we get to the site, we will begin to organize an encampment to survive the comet collision with the earth. Pastor Swift, if you will,” the colonel said.

 

“Let us pray. Dear Lord, guide over and protect us and all the humans and animals of the world during this apocalypse. Guide us on our way to North Star Mountain and keep us safe and secure from the possible flooding. We ask this all in Jesus’s name. Amen,” Pastor Swift finished. “Amen,” the group responded.

 

All the AGVs were started up, and the trek to North Star Mountain began in a long single line of about forty vehicles. An hour later, they had arrived at the base of North Star Mountain and departed their vehicles and began to climb the open trails up the mountain. Antigravity vehicles were made to follow a magnetic line embedded in the road and usually ran on solar power or an electric grid. Once the vehicles went off the road, they were useless. They could not travel over the ground or rocks and leaves. Everyone had to put their supplies on their back or pull them on makeshift drags.

 

The climb up North Star Mountain, dragging supplies behind, was a tiring ordeal for the Christians. Even children helped out carrying containers of water and food. Several trips up and down the mountain had to be made to get all the supplies up to the high meadow where they would be camping and hoped to survive. No one dared complain about the work and the effort of going up and down the mountain with supplies. Everyone was still in shock that a comet would actually hit the earth. “How could this be?” they all asked themselves. Women, as well as men, carried their share of supplies up and down the mountain. The higher on the mountain, the safer they felt they would be when the flooding occurred. Many stopped and prayed on their knees while going up the mountain. Chaos reigned everywhere, but somehow, the task at hand kept things in order.

 

Once all the supplies were carried up the mountain, Pastor Swift asked everyone to assemble and pray together as a group. “If ever you prayed for something before, pray now with me for our survival and the survival of others around the world,” Pastor Swift said. “Lord, let us be mindful of thy protection in this time of danger and tragedy. Thank you; Lord, for saving us from drowning as millions of others have. If we are the chosen ones, oh Lord, then let it be. Guide over us and keep us all strong and bind us together in thy name, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.”

 

It took two days to move all their supplies to the high mountain meadow. Several people got injured in the process with ankle sprains and back problems. No one was an outstanding athlete, and exertion at eight thousand feet above sea level was too high with the thin oxygen. Pastor Swift reflected on the situation and wondered how God could allow this disaster to occur, especially to the “people of God.” On the flip side of the argument, he realized they could be back in Los Angles now and drowning from the ocean surge over the entire city in twenty-four hours. Flooding would occur to the depths of six thousand feet above sea level or one thousand fathoms below the sea.

 

They had little source of information except a ham radio that could only be transmitted by another ham radio operator, and they were rare. It was a scary prospect to hear that the earth would be flooding, especially in North America where they were located. Pastor Swift could only speculate what could happen in twenty-four hours and what damage a comet could do when it slammed into the earth. Pastor Swift sat down and took out his Bible and prayed. He did not know what else to do at the time. Perhaps this was all a dream. How would they ever survive beyond a month with the limited supplies they had and the lack of animals or plants to eat locally?

 

A ski slope was located nearby, which may have had some cabins or main lodge. It was September and the slope could be closed, but it might be worth a look to see if there was any supplies locked up that they could borrow or steal. If only the watch transmitter he had would work. It was like the old-fashioned cell phones but located in a chip buried under the skin on his arm. Everyone had one, but these were not working. Somehow, the transmitter must have flooded and short-circuited. Who knows what went wrong? Pastor Swift tried to collect and organize his thoughts on what to do next. He would have to rely on retired colonel Shepherd and his military experience to get everyone through this crisis. Was God testing their belief in God? Nothing seemed to make any sense. “What kind of damage could a comet do when it hit the earth?” he asked himself.

 

The first night, everyone slept out in the pasture because most of the shelters were not yet built. Even the tents weren’t put up yet because the priority was moving the supplies up the mountain and then trying to prepare a meal for forty people. In his dreams, Pastor Swift remembered the passage from the 23rd Psalm that he had preached about a day before, “The Lord is my shepherd, he maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” This is certainly strange; here they were, lying down in a green pasture, safe from the flooding of the entire earth, he thought to himself in his dream. It was just as if the 23rd Psalm was coming true. No, he must be over tired, he thought.

 

Suddenly, he awoke, startled by the hooting of an owl nearby in a tree. The sky was as clear as can be, and there were very few sounds in the night, except for the owl nearby. A few clouds passed overhead, blocking the view of the bright stars in the sky. Nothing else seemed to move in the dark night. Only a crescent moon shined overhead. Pastor Swift mused that when he would awake the next day, he and all his parishioners might be seeing their last day on earth. For this reason, it was difficult getting back to sleep. He looked at his children and wife sleeping and thought, “I am going to protect them as best I can. I pray that God will give me strength to survive this disaster.” Gradually, he fell asleep, hoping that the comet would miss the earth and all the scientists would be wrong. He slept very poorly that night, tossing and turning in his sleep.

 

When the sun rose the next morning, Pastor Swift reviewed the forty names of the people who attended the spiritual retreat at Lake Tahoe. First, there was retired colonel James Shepherd, age 65, and his wife, Elizabeth Shepherd, age 58; Judy Swift, age 44, the pastor’s wife, and Elizabeth Swift, age 15, his daughter; Rob Swift, age 10, Pastor Swift’s son; Mary Moon, a mechanical engineer, age 35, and her boyfriend, Bill Snedeker, age 36; Xiaolin Tan, age 49, a female corporate administrator for the World Corporation who came with her boyfriend, Professor Ken Mooney, who taught anthropology at UCLA; Marcus Green, age 27, a black African American, a computer expert; Judy Ann Walsh, Marcus’s girlfriend, age 25, a white office administrator; Billy Mandor, a sixteen-year-old kid who came along as a friend of Elizabeth Swift, the pastor’s daughter; Tim Dong Wo, age 31, a Korean with a PhD in philosophy from Harvard; and lastly, there was Steve Moss, age 38, an unemployed office manager.

 

It was hard to imagine, but Pastor Swift did not personally know the other twenty-five members of his congregation. He only knew them by their family names: the Condon family, Dillen family, Trumpe family, Treet family, Absolym family, Nealy family, Park family, Sun family, Lee family, Cho family, Rodriques family, and the Spencer family—all of which were married couples. It was a little embarrassing not to know everyone personally, but the comet cut short the spiritual retreat in which Pastor Swift had planned to get to know everyone on a first-name basis.

The 23 rd Psalm

The 23 rd Psalm

A comet hits the Earth in the year 3550 and the world is covered in water from the melting poles to 6,000 feet above sea level. Two groups of Christians and Jews survive in the Lake Tahoe area by fleeing to local mountain tops. They build oil drum rafts and sail in search of high ground to survive. While searching a Cantor names Elijah Ben Judah begins to have visions that come true. This epic journey covers six years of their lives to survive against all odds

The 23rd Psalm, A journey to high ground

Preface

The premise to this science fiction novel is that each line in the 23rd Psalm describes what the Christian and Jewish survivors will do to stay alive after a comet destroys most of the Earth. I was researching several books on Jewish and Christian Messiahs when the idea of this book came to my mind. What if a comet hit the Earth, and only a handful of survivors on mountaintops survived the disaster. How would these two religious groups learn to work together to survive? What if one person in the two groups began to have visions about the future that came true? What if after many struggles the Jewish temple group and the Protestant group chose a Messiah, the man who was having the spiritual visions that came true, again, and again?

 

This is a story about survival and the determination of two small groups to find higher ground and eventual safety from the Earth flooding to 6,000 ft. above sea level. This is a story about the year 3550 when world corporations sought to make religions illegal.

 

 

 

Index

Introduction………………………………………………………..….page 4

Chapter 1- “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”…………………….…page 5

Chapter 2- “He makes me lie down in green pastures”…………………………page 11

Chapter 3-“He leads me beside still waters”………………………………….…page

Chapter 4-“He restores my soul”…………………………………………………page 29

Chapter 5- “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake”……page

Chapter 6- “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”…page 56

Chapter 7- “I fear no evil, for thou art with me,”……………………………….page

Chapter 8- “thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”………………………….page

Chapter 9-“Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies”..page

Chapter 10- “Thou annointest my head with oil, “…………………………….page

Chapter 11-“My cup overflowed”………………………………………………..page

Chapter 12-“ Surely goodness, and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”..page

Chapter 13- “..and I shall dwell in the house of the lord forever.”……………page

 

 

 

Introduction

In the year 5530 the Earth was almost destroyed after a comet the size of the moon collided with Earth. The impact was so severe that it caused the Earth to move out of its normal orbit around the sun. The Earth was million miles closer to the sun after the impact of the comet. The explosion was so great that when the comet hit the southern part of the Pacific Ocean, off of South America, the south polar cap melted down almost immediately.  The ocean surge covered South America completely leaving only the Andes Mountains showing as islands above the waters. In a week Europe, and North America, were under water, and the north polar cap began to melt. The Asian continents suffered the same fate, except the Himalayan

mountain range that stuck out as islands in a vast new ocean. All of the mountain ranges around the world became islands jutting out the ocean that rose above 7,000 feet, survived the initial flooding. The highest mountains in the Sierras, Appalachian mountain chain, and Mount Reiner in Washington State, all became islands above the 7,000 feet above sea level point. All of the plants and native animals around the world drown under leagues of seawater. The only surviving animals are those that lived at high elevations to begin with such as mountain goats, Yaks, deer, some varieties of birds. The freshwater fish in all the lakes and rivers all died when the salt water filled all the lakes and rivers around the world. The sea marine life did survive, however, despite the temperature rise. The entire population

of penguins eventually were washed away toward the mountains of the Andes thousands of miles away. Few of the penguins survived.

 

As for the human race, those that survived were those that ran to the high ground or happened to be living on high ground to begin with. The floods came so quick that all of California, and the west coast were covered in salt water in less than a week. The same fate became the East coast of the North American continent, and it flooded across all the states until it reached the high peaks of the Adirondacks Mountains.

 

The only humans known to survive in the western part of North America were a group of Old World Christians on a religious retreat at Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Mountains and a group of Old World Jewish Community Members who were vacationing in the Sierras. Neither religious community knew that the other had survived until months after the disaster. 

 

In the year 3550 religions had changed to a new order of spiritual life. The World Corporate Order discouraged religions to be practiced and declared them illegal. The emphasis was on giving everything to the controlling Corporations of the World, and old world religions got in the way.  Many religions centuries old had begun to die out from the persecution, and threat of arrest by the World Corporate Order.  The original Christian movement that survived 56 thousand years was now called the Old World Christian

 

movement.  Likewise, the various Jewish sects were called the Old World Jewish religion.  The World Corporate Order also declared practicing Judaism of any kind illegal.

 

The World Corporate Order had replaced all of the old world religions.  Nationalism in each continent such as North America, Europe, South America, Middle East, Asian, Far Asia, and Africa had formed over the past few centuries (22th century to 30th century AD).  Old World Buddhism, Old World Muslims, Old World Hindu, and many other religions suffered the same fate as the Old World Christians and the Old World Jewish sects, and were reduced in size and popularity and considered illegal to practice in public.  They had all become secret religions that were not approved by the World Corporate Order of the 31th Century.  The World Corporate Order frowned on the free worship of any religion in the year 3550. The old world religions met in secret, and kept their membership closed, and in secret fear of corporate punishment by the World Corporate Order that controlled all the continents on Earth.

The Shootings in Sandy Hook Elementary School

I and many other Americans are all in shock at the loss of 20 innocent 5 and 6 year old children in Conn.  My heart goes out to the parents, grandparents and friends of the departed and wounded children. My prayer is for gun control on a nation wide basis as a result of this terrible incident. I hope the parents make it their mission to descend on Washington and demand assault rifle regulations. We have to stop this era of violence which is a result of the gun shooting movies that our youth see and the kind of violence we are getting used to in movies. In the old days a guy was shot and that was it the scene changed. In today’s movies we have to see the bullet go through a person’s body and blood coming out the other side spurting all over the wall. Enough is enough. If you support violence in movies, society, killing innocent children, then you do not care about the future of American families now and in the future. Should we all be afraid to go to a mall or movie theater for fear of being shot by some wacko? Is this the society we have all strived to perfect. We missed the point somewhere along the way and violence has gone beyond what is acceptable. STOP guns now. STOP assault rifles now in anyone’s hands. Prevent pistols from being given out to youth or criminals or mental patients. Do something. Do not let these students die in vain.

The Junior High Chapter 6

Chapter 6- Money

 

         As the cliché goes, “money walks and money talks.” This was especially true at Cucamonga JHS.   The school budget was the major money source in Cucamonga JHS. The teachers were not aware that 10% to 15% of the budget was added into the budget just in case the Board cuts 10-15% after the budget review. The assistant Principal’s power came from the fact that he was in control of the budget for the entire school, subject to the approval of the Principal who had never done a budget in his lifetime. A lot of goodies or special projects could easily be buried in the budget under titles like Miscellaneous Science Lab materials, general computer supplies and the like. Each year in February a budget form was sent around to the department chairpersons to make out a supplies request form for their department. Mistakes were often made. One Social Studies teacher made a mistake with some additional zeros that the Assistant Principal did not discover until the day the item was delivered. The Social Studies teacher wanted to order 100 paper clips but made a typo and ordered 10,000 paper clips instead. They were boxes not individual paper clips. When the beginning of school began in Sept. a large 18-wheeler pulled up in front of Cucamonga JHS and the driver delivered case after case of just paper clips. Ten thousand boxes of paper clips to be exact. They filled up the entire front hallway. It was most embarrassing when the Assistant Principal checked the cases of paper clips to find they only contained boxes of paper clips. It was too late to send them back.

Supplies went out on bid so if you did not make an item specific such as a “Spalding rubber football XL high quality” you got a rubber football that was so cheap the it did not have a bladder and usually leaked after being used a few times. Department chairmen learned to write specific descriptions that were hard to find a substitute for. If they just put down 12 footballs and 12 soccer balls, they got crap from China or some other third world country made out of plastic rather than rubber or leather. Textbooks were the largest annual expense and renewal of new textbooks was on a rotating basis. Every three or four years a complete new set of textbooks would be ordered for an entire department.

In Health Education the budget was small so the books were written in the 1950’s and were worn out often without full covers. Sex education was two pages of content and AIDS hadn’t been discovered yet. The book spent more time on auto injuries and accidents than controversial issues like sex, dating, anatomy, diseases, smoking, cancer, and death. The annual Health Education budget was $500 a year. It was impossible to teach using the textbook since it was so outdated. It wasn’t until 1985 that new Health Education textbooks were ordered because the entire District Health Education curriculum had been rewritten by the District-wide Health Education Curriculum Committee.  AIDS was the major curriculum being developed at the time. Unfortunately, the AIDS curriculum by New York State was rejected a year later and then the District curriculum was implemented which only lasted two years and then abandoned due to law suits by Indian parents that did not want Sex education for their children or the discussion of AIDS and sex related illnesses. It seemed like every year the AIDS curriculum kept changing due to new information available each year. The student has no idea what AIDS was really about until we got our first HIV positive student in the late 1980’s. This was a strictly confidential piece of information that the counselors made the teachers involved sign a special HIV confidential information form. That had to promise not to identify the HIV positive student or  talk about him to anyone. Naturally the word got out about the student and despite the confidentiality measures taken by the staff and teachers all of the students in the Cucamonga JHS knew about the student having HIV/AIDS. A lot of parents complained at school board meetings but nothing was done. Very few students had the guts to hand around the infected HIV student. Fear and lack of knowledge kept teachers and students away from personal contact with the student.

The Principal always seemed to have money for awards and special projects. The source of his money was from two slush funds. The first account was from money paid to the office for schoolbooks that were lost or destroyed. Textbooks usually cost $50.00 or more depending on whether they were new or used. If students did not pay for their lost books they were not given their grades and could not graduate until they paid up. This money was supposed to go back to the district general fund, however some of it was diverted into a Cucamonga JHS Club account at a local bank. Thousands of dollars sat in this account for the Principal to use when ever he wanted and no questions asked. Only a few hundred dollars was sent to the Central district office to be returned to the general account. The second slush fund was from the soda machines in the school. The head custodian arranged for a soda distributor to set up four machines in the building to sell cans of soda at $1.00 a piece. The profit was .50 on a can and was returned to the custodian who in turn gave the check to the Principal for the commission on the sale of soda for the month. The Cucamonga JHS students lived on sodas. They bought a soda for breakfast before school and bought a can to take on the bus for the ride home every day. The profits each month was in the thousands. The Principal and the Head Custodian shared the profits.

Eventually the Head Custodian fell into disapproval by the Principal and their friendship dissolved. The relationship got so bad that the Principal filed the paperwork to fire the Head Custodian at the end of the summer.  Someone in the administration office saw the termination paperwork to get rid of the head custodian and being a friend of the head custodian called him at home to tell him the Principal was planning on firing him. The head custodian came back from his vacation to see the Principal and a big verbal fight ensued in the Principal’s office with yelling and cursing heard around the entire front office area. The head custodian threatened the Principal that if he was fired he would “spill the beans” on the slush fund money the Principal had been receiving for the past five years. Over ten thousand dollars was sitting in a Cucamonga JHS account in a local bank separate and distinct from district funds. Come the end of the summer the Head Custodian was not fired, but he was transferred to North Mountain High JHS. Few teachers or administrators were privy to this story

Money affected the budget and gave the Assistant Principal more power than the Principal sometimes. One Assistant Principal asked the Principal if he could have a new Apple laptop computer and the Principal said, “No.” When the budget came out that year an Apple Laptop was included for the Assistant Principal and the Principal could do nothing about it since the Superintendent of Schools already approved it.

Money affected sports. The football team had the largest sports budget of any of the sports in the school. The pads, helmets, and uniforms cost a fortune. Old shirts had to be reconditioned and passed down to the eighth grade football team and the 7th grade football team. New helmets and new uniforms were purchased every year and they were always Champion brand or some other major brand of equipment. The image of the school was at stake and safety of the players so if the equipment was substandard there was a greater possibility for a lawsuit that could cripple the school district. Soccer teams, wrestling teams, girls softball and boys hardball teams all got new uniforms every year for the ninth grade teams and the old uniforms were reconditioned and handed down to the lower grade level teams. There was very little in the budget for intramural teams since the majority of the funding went to the Sports Teams. Intramural teams did not need uniforms and if they did they bought their own. Gymnastics was an example. As the gymnastic team grew from ten students to fifty students and then 110 students the gymnasts had to buy their own leotards that the coach would order from a sports supplier. The boys would buy their own white gymnastic pants and shirts since their uniform was standardized. The girl’s leotards had hundreds of colors and designs and sizes so in their situation each girl filled out a form with their sizes and the coach got a discount for them by ordering one large order of leotards for all the girls. This was initially for the PTA Annual Gymnastic Exhibition held each year for the parents. This tradition spread to doing exhibitions at local elementary schools and other high schools in district and outside of the district. When equipment was needed the school had no budget to buy equipment so money was always an issue. During the first years the Gymnastic coach held a Spaghetti Dinner for the parents of the Gymnasts in which he gave out trophies for Outstanding Gymnast, Most Improved, and so forth. He also took the opportunity to tell the Parents that the gymnastic equipment was substandard and out of date. He asked the parents to help raise funds or donate funds to help the team buy a new balance beam. This approach worked and money made the difference. The next year the Parents helped the team buy Uneven parallel bars and each year after a new piece of equipment was purchased until Cucamonga JHS had the best gymnastic equipment and program in the entire High Mountain school district. That process took twenty years.

Money came into play with school field trips. A certain amount of money had to be set aside for busses to take students on field trips to NYC museums, special educational exhibits, and other worthy educational trips. School trips were always controversial because they had to be initiated by interested teachers who went along as chaperones. Administrators could not force school field trips on teachers. They had to let the teachers come up with the idea for a field trip so that many teachers were willing to accompany these full day trips and were not being forced to do so. Getting an administrator to allow a field trip usually involved “kissing up to the administrator with some favors.” It was always the “one hand wipes another game” or “quid pro quo.” Sometimes a teacher got a special discount group ticket to a NYC Broadway show that was educational in nature or a story being read in the English classes like “Les Miserable,” which was a story being read in the 9th grade English classes.

Money determine the difference in what a student wore or didn’t wear The richer students all bought high fashion high end jeans that cost over $60 or $70 each. In the 1970’s a $60 dollar pair of jeans was very expensive. Students that didn’t have a lot of money wore knockoff jeans or unknown name jeans. Girls spent the most money on dresses, mini-skirts, sweaters, jackets, shoes and makeup. Boys tended to down dress with their clothes. Still rich students bought Sacs 5th avenue shirts and the poorer students bought K-Mart $5.99 t-shirt specials. Richer students work real leather jackets to school or $250-$400 dollar down ski jackets to school. Poorer students wore layers; sweatshirt hooded over sweatshirt or a ski vest over a sweatshirt. Sneakers varied between the traditional white tennis sneakers that were cheap in price or running shoes that cost over $100 each. Money determined the difference in cultural values of the students also.

70% of the students at Cucamonga JHS were on the free lunch program called Title I where the Federal government reimbursed the States and the States reimbursed the individual school districts to allow for free lunches for low income students. The poor students had to eat what was being served for the day. The richer students brought their own brown bag lunches with corn beef sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, deli prepared sandwiches, or ethnic food such as fried rice, rice ball, Chinese soup, and other foreign foods prepared at home. Pizza was the most desirable food and could be purchased for only $.75 a slice and almost everyone could afford that. Some students were always borrowing money from their friends who had money. Junior high students had no clue when it came to money. If they had it they spent it. Saving money was not in their vocabulary. Some students grubbed off of other student’s food everyday of the week. In most cases their parents never took the time to fill out the Title 1 Free Luncheon food assistance program and their child went to school everyday with no money and no lunch.

Money was the reason for so much theft in Cucamonga JHS. Especially in the school hall lockers and the Phys. Ed. Locker room, students were always being robbed or money when their locker was left open or unlocked. When one student flashed some money around they got for their birthday it was inevitable that someone would attempt to steal it in the PE locker room or the hall locker if they knew it was kept there. One year a band of 7th grade Haitian students were caught in the girls bathroom by a security guard dumping a pocketbook contents down the toilet. They had been stealing other girl’s pocketbooks during lunchtime and splitting the money between them. Nine girls were involved in this scheme which was surprising considering they all came from Catholic school the year before.

Junior high students were very careless with money as evidenced with the hundreds of petty thefts each year for student money or valuables like watches or jewelry. Money was a desirable commodity. Junior high student could never have enough money.