October 2nd…“DID YOUR TEACHERS, OR STAFF, AT BATTLE GROUND HIGH SCHOOL EVER TEACH YOU A SPIRIT CHEER FROM THEIR GENERATION?”
Mrs. Magsig’s English Class jumped in their seats as they sat inside their one-piece student desks when the old-fashioned fire siren began to scream out in the hallway of Battle Ground High School. You’d think us teenagers were kernels of popcorn on a well-oiled skillet, as far as the knee-jerk reaction. Our wits now about us, we began to file out of class for what we thought was another traditional fire alarm evacuation drill, but it wasn’t. Administrators and staff were not wearing the “business as usual” face and were directing this herd of pimple-faced youth out towards, and into, the District Stadium that graced the south side of our impressive football field there in Battle Ground, Washington.
Whispers were filtering through the crowd that some kids had seen the local police department patrol cars on campus. Now THIS was getting interesting. Once every person of the student body was accounted for and seated in the Grand Stand, various administrators confirmed that, yes, there HAD been a telephoned threat that a bomb had been placed somewhere on the High School campus. IF that were the case, we youngin’s all hoped that the Stadium had been cleared of any bomb first. 😉 Thankfully, it was a gorgeous Late Spring afternoon and so we were instructed to be patient while police, custodians and other staff members made a thorough search of the main school building and adjacent classrooms.
To pass the time, announcements were made about upcoming events at school, we sang the school song, we even had our fine school cheerleaders lead us all in a number of school cheers.
Our much respected High School Principal was Mr. Pat Pettichord. I heard, years later, that, in 1936, a very young Mr. Pettichord was a top contender for the United States Olympic Team that eventually traveled to and competed in Berlin, Germany. Sadly, it was told to me, that only a severe sickness kept him from likely making the team. Needless to say, young Mr. Pettichord had grown up in a generation that was not too distant from days of the horse and buggy mode of transportation. So, it’s only natural that his parent’s generation imparted some nuances into his generation of school life in the mid 1930’s. Being a fervent supporter of his generation of Battle Ground School District Tigers”, our well-liked Principal was prepared to share with this “captive audience” one of the cheers that his generation enjoyed yelling at games.
With his rugged good looks and ramrod-straight walk, Mr. Pettichord approached the microphone to give us a cheer from his days at Battle Ground High.
“In my days here, as a Tiger, this was one of our yells……..HORSE AND BUGGY, HORSE AND BUGGY……TEAM, TEAM TEAM! ALL FOR BATTLE GROUND, STAND UP AND SCREAM!!!” Between laughter and pride for our fearless leader, we yelled right along with “The Boss”!!
Eventually, Assistant Principals came up and whispered in Mr. Pettichord’s ear………sure ‘nough, the Bomb Scare threat was a hoax …….no bomb……awwww, now that meant we all had to get back to class. That whole experience was more fun than scary for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.