High School Memories

All classmates are invited to submit memories or stories from high school that have stuck with you all these years. Please email to Ginny at: gmfleming1124@gmail.com. Thanks!

David Pryor, Jr. 

“Making Mr. Lance’s Oaklawn Bets”

I loved everything about LRCH but Senior Year was the best.  My highlight was being a photographer on the Tiger newspaper/yearbook staff.  Mr. Lance, the journalism teacher, would sit at a big table with copy, layouts, photos and red pens and smoke cigarettes all day long.   He always seemed to be in a bad mood and was always cursing and barking orders with a Winston hanging from his lip.  It was quite unnerving if your photos or copy did not meet up to his exacting standards.  He was a great editor and taught all of us how to put a newspaper and yearbook together.  Photographers had a pass to get other students out of class for “photo assignments”.  

On Fridays, my only assignment was to get to Oaklawn in time to place Mr. Lance’s Daily Double bets.  He always waited until the last minute to mark the form.  I learned it took approximately 70 minutes to go from LRCH to Oaklawn (I couldn’t speed because my dad was the Governor and If the State Police got involved, it would have REALLY irritated Mr. Lance).   My friend Bill Skrivanos was a great handicapper so I used the pass to get him out of class to make the drive with me.

Almost every Friday, off we went knowing we had to get back before the final bell rang but also wait long enough to cash any of his winning tickets.   There was always the tension of getting to the track on time, avoiding detection, being a minor and the Governor’s son, getting back in time and hoping Mr. Lance would pick the right horses because he was extra cranky when he lost.  Besides learning how to read a racing form, the experience taught me not all of your education happens in the classroom and life is always a grand adventure.  I still carry a camera and on the rare days I go to the track, I always place a DD bet to honor Mr. Lance.   RIP Mr. Lance.