Thursday September 18, 1975
At the end of the working day Dronning entered the teacher’s lounge for
one last break before going home. There he found the boy’s gym teacher,
Mr Riker, in a state of almost blind rage.
“What happened?” Said Dronning.
“That new student in the ninth grade--Boatman!”
“What did he do?”
The gym and music classes were held at the same time on alternate days
and the students of each grade level were split into two groups
depending on which music class they were in. The school choir and band
members of the would take their music class one day and then gym class
on the next. The students in the general music course would be in their
gym and music classes on the opposite days.
Boatman had opted for the general music course.
The boys gym teacher was a middle aged man who was built like a
linebacker for an American Rules football team. His office was
decorated with memorabilia from the Philadelphia Eagles team of the
National Footfall League. And his face, especially the nose, appeared
as if it had been rearranged several times on the field.
Boatman was not affirmatively impressed with the man.
“I think I will pass on this nonsense.” He said with his clearly adult voice.
Riker was surprised.
“It’s basically a waste of time and motion.”
Riker now tried to argue his position.
“Look, the gym class is a basic part of this school!”
“No,” Boatman replied, “public education in the United States was
designed by the closet communists of the so-called Progressive Movement
to indoctrinate Young Americans into becoming drones in their future
communist collective. And Physical Education is an essential part of
collectivist indoctrination. If the bloody red banner of Communism is
ever raised over this great nation its because you had a part in making
Riker stared at him before responding in anger. Before he spoke he grabbed Boatman’s shirt with his right hand.
As his right hand came down on the left side on shirt Boatman brought
his own right hand down on top of Riker’s. With his left hand he seized
Riker’s elbow and pushed forward on the elbow.
Boatman now spoke with the voice of adult political authority.
“Riker, I can break your arm now, which will be bureaucratically inconvenient for me, and very painful for you.”
Riker was shocked. This shouldn’t be happening.
Boatman continued to speak with authority.
“Where I come from students are taught to kill with their bare hands.”
Rifle and pistol marksmanship were also part of citizenship education on Eden and Zion in the Alpha Centauri system.
“But I won’t do that,” Boatman continued, “You have crossed a line and
committed the act of assault, that means I will not attend any more
classes in this gym ever again. And you can let go now.”
Boatman’s stare was that of an experienced executioner. Riker simply let go of the shirt and backed off.
Boatman then departed the gym.
The subsequent meeting in the Vice Principal’s office was very short.
“You intimidated Riker?” Said Marchuk. “How”
“There’s a book that was published a few years ago, Winning Through Intimidation
by Robert J. Ringer, which was actually an inaccurate title. In it he
shows how to win by being confident and not being intimidated by the
people you interact with. The thing is that I never read the book until
the transit to Alpha Centauri aboard the Eagle.”
“Okay.” Marchuk said. “You know that taking you out of the gym class will be a major pain in the ass?”
“Yes, but it has to be done.”
Dronning had another encounter with Boatman on that day. The subject of
the class session was the Prohibition Period in the United States.
Dronning made what in retrospect was the mistake on calling on Boatman again.
“Although there was an longstanding effort to outlaw the sale and
consumption of alcohol by those acting on religious grounds, the actual
ban was brought about by members of the so-called Progressive Movement
during the Wilson Administration. Prohibition was an opportunity to
reverse the essential relationship between the People and the
Government. Prior to Prohibition the People held primacy over the
State. This was established in the first three words of the United
States Constitution, ‘We The People.’ But the long term program
of the so-called Progressives required the establishment of the Primacy
of the State over the People. In this condition the Progressive rulers
could impose their will upon the People without constitutional
Dronning was struck speechless where he stood. This was nothing like the course material.
“Under the Primacy of the State the Federal Government was turned from
the main defender of the Rights of the People to the primary violator of
those rights. Although Prohibition was perpetrated by the Progressives
under Wilson it was enforced by the Republicans under Harding, Coolidge
and Hoover, without the understanding of the true purpose. With
establishment of the soft socialism under the New Deal of Franklin
Roosevelt the prohibition of alcohol was no longer necessary as a part
of the progressive program and was subsequently repealed.”
Dronning could only look at Boatman in stunned silence. The other students in the class began to applaud Boatman as he sat down.
Both Allen Keller and Victoria Grant were firmly impressed by Boatman
and each had decided to try to speak to him privately after school was