When I was a Sophomore in High School, I concentrated on saying things that I thought were funny to make the other students crack up laughing, so you could have called me a class clown. I took Spanish I which I didn’t like, but it was basically an easy course and the teacher was a nice lady. She wanted everyone to perform a skit that had to be done in Spanish for a grade and I ended up with these two other guys in my group. This was in 1969, before Woodstock and Nelson was a hippy always singing Stevie Winwood songs from Traffic, as he was a real space cadet and this was before we landed on the moon. It was a small town and everyone knew him and thought he was kind of different,
The other guy was Billy and a good friend of mine was dating his younger sister. Billy and Nelson being Juniors were old enough to drive, but I still had to wait another year. Billy was smart and a good student, headed for college, which Nelson and I never planned for. Billy was a likable guy and he said that we could all meet at his house to work on our skit. It was only 3 short blocks away from me so I walked there. Billy wrote the whole skit and I came in at the end and said hola, which means hello in English. After I said my one short line, Nelson said, “Válgame Dios es Jaime”, which means Oh my God its Jaime. The skit was funny and it made the whole class laugh.
One day I was sitting in the school cafeteria with my friends eating lunch and Nelson walked by and said “es Jaime”, which surprised all of my friends as they wondered why he said that and if I knew him. I told them that he was in my Spanish class and he probably thinks that is my name, because that is what I was called in class. The name stuck and now all of my friends started calling me Jaime. The last word that I ever got on Nelson was that he took ten hits of LSD and climbed up a flag pole naked, but maybe that was just a rumor that was spread around about him.
After High School I got a job at a company that made roof trusses that were used in these new prefabricated houses. A roof truss is a structural framework assembled from two by fours that is designed to bridge the space above a room and to provide support for a roof. I was the nailer and I had a staple gun that I used to join the boards together. One day as I was at work a bus full of High School students taking a Business class pulled up outside. They were getting a firsthand look at three different types of labor that day, being automated, semi-automated and manual. My place was where they got a look at manual labor and many of these students knew me and they said, “Look its Jaime”.
Written for 7/20/19 Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is “Frame”.