In the spring term of 1955, when I was a senior, I signed up for a coarse that turned out to be the most useful of any course I studied in school, both high school and college,---typing. At Milford that year there was a young petite lady with blondish hair that was combed as a Hollywood star would comb her hair. And she liked to kid around, to a degree, with the high school boys. Well, she, Mrs Drum, was the teacher of this course.
On the faculty that year was our coach, Ev Cochrane, who was in his second year at Milford. Once a year Mr Cochrane, Ev, liked to take the boys on the team to a varsity college basketball game down at the old fieldhouse in Iowa City where he was an alumni. We drove a couple of cars down. Because he had been one of the stars for the Iowa University Basketball team just a couple years earlier, he easily obtained enough tickets for his Milford high school team. We took our seats, and of course, we were in the first or second row of the balcony right behind a big ol’ support beam and it made it very difficult to watch the game. Shortly Coach Ev says, “This isn’t going to do the job so come along with me”. We tagged along and went down to the main floor where one of the ushers, probably another “letter winner”, was doing the “security”. He, at first, started to motion us that we weren’t permitted down there. Coach goes over to him, the fellow sees who he’s actually dealing with, and with a big smile and a wave, he motions us past his sentry station and we go set in the first and second row from the court about even with the free throw line and watch the game.
Anyhow, the game was against Minnesota. They have a big shouldered center who is about 6’ 11’ and had to weigh about 300 pounds-- Big William Simonovich, but most of the people, at least the Iowans, called him Big Bill Savonovich.
After the game, back to Milford we go and, of course, on to the typing class and Mrs Drum. One of the first days in class, I move my stuff that’s besides my typewriter and in the process, dump my typing book on the floor. Having it instilled in me for years that one does not cuss in the school class room, and without really thinking about it, I quietly said, and emphasized each syllable a little more than the previous, “Big Bill Savonovich”. That created a few muffled chuckles from the other fellows in the class and a glancing, but silent, glare from Mrs Drum. That was all it took, at most any error in typing or any other excuse that seemed to warrant a exclamation of irritation, one of the fellows would do the same thing “Big Bill Savonovich”. Finally, at about the third or fourth exclamation, she had had enough of the teasing (and it did sound like an inappropriate exclamation) and with a stern face and almost whining high pitched frustrated voice said, “Now, Boys”. For better or worse, that’s all it took to quieten us, because we all kinda liked her and didn’t want to cause her too much irritation and also ‘cause we knew of Supt Hopkins’ desire to support his faculty in behavior problems. And then, that became a joke for us, and when something was “frustrating”, a guy would say in a high falsetto ‘singsongy’ voice, “Now, Boys”.
On rare occasions, to this day, if something really irritates me, I still might quietly mutter, “Big Bill Savonovich”.
In the fall of 1927 the School Library consisted of 450 “volumes, mostly of latest editions and first rate in every way”- not including encyclopedias and each grade room had their own library. Surprisingly, there was a Iowa Traveling Library available.