Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Monday, January 11, 2010

Addendum to Triton fight

I had a request for more information about that rebellion that took place in 1961, I believe it was in late March or early April.

Gerry Drinkwater, as far as I knew, did not organize the don't drink milk/cafeteria strike. In fact, he ate and bought his lunch as he normally did. The line was very short, so everyone knew who was NOT going with the flow. Gerry was a laid-back guy, football player, getting ready to head out to Brigham Young University, when he was told "no prom."

Sorry to say, he was not permitted to attend. The school administration did not back down, and I guess we just got hungry or wanted milk, but the rebellion lasted as I remember for about one week.

You know how these things start? One person is upset by what has happened, thinking the punishment was unjust, and someone else says, "There has to be something we can do." Alas, in those days parents didn't file lawsuits or even threaten them if they felt their child had been maligned in any way, not that Gerry's parents thought that. I think someone suggested the saying, "Don't drink milk, drink water" and the strike was off and running.

We still ate our lunches, we just didn't BUY anything in the cafeteria. I don't recall that we made signs or carried any banners or formed a parade, we just didn't buy anything in the cafeteria.

I bet the kids who didn't go along with the crowd, and decided to buy their lunches anyway, loved the support for Gerry, because lunch line was non-existent. You just went up to the counter and got your lunch. What a blessing because on a GOOD day you would wait in line for 15 minutes. There were even days (usually pizza day) when the line was still moving when the bell rang. What did those kids do? Skip lunch or skip class? I often wondered about that.


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