: I really miss school, such that it was…. I really wish I had more teachers like Lou Prete. He was my English teacher in
Freshman year and Creative Writing teacher in Senior year.. HE was the one who transformed me from a lazy lump into an
inquisitive, inquiring, creative person, he was a part-time stand-up comic, musician, folk singer and very giving muse.
I remember I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964 and I expressed an interest in playing an instrument as I’m sure 99.44% of
all the 12 year old boys within earshot of that evening’s TV show.
As I reached Freshman year of High School, I began to see after a rather intimidating Freshman orientation week, that I really
had no direction..
My last period class (2:15 – 3:05 PM, Mon. – Fri) in Freshman year was English 101. My teacher was Lou Prete; the man was a cross between George
Carlin, Mel Brooks, Lloyd Thaxton and my favorite Uncle.
Since my class was essentially a remedial class (I had to take English in summer school to fit in to high school that fall) Mr
Prete did his best to be firm but fair.

The priests and coaches that taught classes I felt had a facade of “False Machismo,” in that, the priests seemed to all act like
the Vincent Price character in “Song of Bernadette,” where the Monsignor, played my Mr. Price was insulted that a mere peasant
girl could be so arrogant as to suggest that the Blessed Virgin should waste Her time and appear to Bernadette!

And the coaches all acted as if they had just returned from a combination  Super Bowl  victory where they made the game-
winning play, an Olympic Gold Medal – just for the fact that they were on the Earth AND an attitude of Torquemada, where if you ever  had the un-mitigated temerity to question any of their talents and/or accomplishments, you would be in for school year full of corporal punishment where you would never be allowed to forget or be forgive for your “transgression.” Plus, as teachers they all approached their students as if the students were expected to actually KNOW ALL of the given subject’s material. Any admission of a mere glimmer of a question was rebuffed in a condescending manner that would make Howard Stern seem to have an attitude comparable to Pope Francis!

Now, bear in mind this was a CATHOLIC school!!!
(Typical for a concept that has been built off of a wonderful premise, and distilled and re-versed to so many weak bastard’s
convenience that it became a cult that is now a haven for those show judgement, hate, discriminate and violate the weak,
disadvantaged and/or “different.”)

Getting back to Mr. Prete..
A few weeks into the school year Mr. Prete told us about his activities outside the class room so he agreed to play some folk
songs.
The next day, Mr Prete played a sond made famous by “Leabelly,” The Midnight Special. Mr Prete made it look easy and he made
playing music seem like an uplifting experience, much the same way George Harrison made music look on Feb 9 1964. That day
hooked me… I no longer had “No direction” I wanted to play music and nothing else!!!

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