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Posts Tagged ‘pranks’

Denny Zylstra, planning some shenanigans.

Denny Zylstra is one of the true big-timers in the history of Coupeville athletics.

His runs as an athlete, coach, and die-hard supporter have been well-documented, and he has been a member of the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame for some time.

Today, though, thanks to Charlie Burrow, we have a story about a young Denny which I hadn’t previously heard.

One day in the spring of 1958, the Coupeville High School baseball team was returning from a game in Port Townsend aboard the PT-Keystone ferry.

The players were still in uniform because the county stadium where we played in downtown PT didn’t have showers – the team suited up at the Coupeville school, then went by bus to Keystone and walked aboard the ferry.

At that time the PT ferry dock was further north than the current dock and only about a block from the stadium, so CHS saved having to pay the fare for the bus by having the team walk aboard.

Anyway, at some point after we departed PT, someone dared Denny Zylstra (CHS ’58), the team’s leading pitcher, and prankster, to jump off the ferry while it was underway.

He said he’d do it for $35.

So, when enough pledges were raised from players and supporters to meet his price, he began to strip off his uniform preparatory to making the plunge.

But, unfortunately (or, fortunately for Denny) a member of the ferry crew who’d gotten wind of the proceedings intervened and warned us that if he jumped, they’d be calling the sheriff and Denny would be arrested when we arrived at Keystone.

So much for that idea.

PS — Don’t remember who won the ball game.

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The olden days, when things were rowdier.

Everyone has a story, and this is a good one.

It comes to us from Charlie Burrow, Coupeville High School Class of ’61, and he offers it up for consideration for induction into my Hall o’ Fame.

Boom. Done deal.

And now on to the story:

Here’s a somewhat long winded item I wrote up in May 2007, on the occasion of an all-class reunion held in the old main school building that was built in 1943 and was now scheduled for demolition.

When I was in school in Coupeville (1956-61), the elementary school playfield and high school athletic fields were all part of one large undivided grassy area behind the school.

During the fall, portable bleachers were set up beside the football field, which was laid out in the west part of the area, then, in the spring, they were moved to the baseball diamond, in the southeast corner.

The entire area was used by high school students for physical education (PE) classes and as a playground by elementary school students during lunch and recess breaks.

Supervision was sometimes spotty. For example, I dislocated my wrist while playing in an illegal tackle football game during lunch break while in the 8th grade.

On another occasion, an elementary school student was severely injured when he was struck on the head by a lead shot-put thrown by a member of the high school track and field team.

A funnier incident (to some) occurred one afternoon during my freshman year, when I was out on the field during PE class.

The football coaches, Mr. Boushey and Mr. Olmstead, were in the process of digging holes to accommodate new goal posts for the football field.

But the ground was very hard and they weren’t making much progress.

So, they had obtained some dynamite from somewhere and were using it to blast out the holes.

We all stood around and watched as they cut dynamite sticks in half, then attached a fuse to a blasting cap and inserted it into one of the half-sticks of dynamite.

Then, one of them would place the stick into the hole, light the fuse, and back off to wait for the explosion.

Except, one stick didn’t explode.

So, they waited, and waited, and waited, and finally, one of them (I don’t remember which) carefully approached the hole and was reaching down when, all of a sudden, “BANG!”

Someone (who shall remain nameless – class of ’58, I believe) had set off a firecracker behind him.

I never heard so many swear words come out of one teacher’s mouth in my life!

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