Monday, April 5, 2010


Wayne Roper was a big tough fellow who came to our little prairie school from Sayward, British Columbia. Sayward, a small town on Vancouver Island, had it's rough element in the many logging camps and sawmills that surrounded the town. Wayne, the son of a preacher, had a mischievous sneer. No one picked a fight with Wayne Roper! Of the many stories about him, one particular tale sticks in my memory.

The high school boys were housed in a rickety four story wooden dorm. This building was very much like an old style military barracks. Part way through the semester Wayne had caused his fair share of trouble. He presented many challenges for both his floor bosses and the dean of boys, Dan Krestinski. Dan himself, was a fairly savvy individual, and this was not his first rodeo when it came to dealing with troublesome youth. Wayne Roper, however, taxed Dan's brain to the max as he tried to find a solution to curtail his wayward behavior. I guess you could have called him "Wayward from Sayward".

Every room in the dorm had a lock on the door. Dan hatched a plan to reverse the lock and actually lock the person into the room. Such was the fate of Wayne Roper. With one elevated eyebrow, Dan explained to him that after study hours and a potty break in the evening, just before lights out, he would be locked into his room on the fourth floor. He would be let out around six thirty in the morning; time for him to shower, eat his breakfast and be in chapel by eight o'clock. This plan seemed to work and for several days Wayne would come and go from his room and maybe, just maybe things were looking up. But the mind of Wayne Roper was never idle.

Late one night after he had been locked in his room for the night, the plan went into motion. Wayne tied several of his sheets together. He opened his window and the fun began. With some help from his accomplice on the third floor, he proceeded to dismantle every piece of furniture in his room. The metal bunk beds were taken apart, tied to the sheet rope and carefully lowered into the room below, one piece at a time. The desk was next, followed by the simple wardrobe, a chair and all of his personal effects. He then detached the fluorescent light that hung from a couple of chains over the desk, unplugged it and down it went. Finally, when the room was as bare as a baby's bottom, over the window sill went Wayne. Stepping on the ledge below he was able to detach the tied sheets and shut the window.

Morning dawned and along came Dan to let his reforming prisoner out of his "cell". Imagine the shock on his face when he opened the door. The room . . . was empty.

Note: Some names have been changed to protect the guilty!

© 2010 Stephen J. Rendall - All rights reserved.

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