The Headmasters Report was a parody written in 1951 for our high school yearbook by me, Bill Smart, and Jim Martin. Bill Smart did the majority of the writing. Our parody was suppressed by the school administration, but nowfor the first time, and only a little more than 50 years lateit is published on this web site. Our latest alumni class notes has a pointer to these web pages (see below).|
Our high school was St. Louis Country Day, a pretty great school except we had the usual jerk as a headmaster. In 1951, this jerkhis name was Cunningham, except I forget his first namewrote a Headmasters Report. Bill, Jim, and I thought it was pretty dumb, so we decided to write a parody. Our writing sessions were great fun: one of us would toss out a joke and then another would top it. Humor writing is famous for being an exciting group effort. There are, of course, other great group efforts (an obvious example is a sports team), but this was the first time I was involved in this sort of group. And its one of the reasons I was so incensed when our parody was suppressed.
The yearbook editor got cold feet and went to the jerk headmaster to get his permission to print the parody. He said No and added that none of us would get our diplomas if it was printed. I would have gone ahead and printed it, but no one else wanted to. I even went to a school trustee (a friend of my father), who thought the parody was pretty funny but he couldnt interfere with the headmaster. SoI figured there was nothing I could do. I did vow that when I was an alumnus I wouldnt give any money to the school (now theres a vow thats pretty easy to keep).
Even worse than having our writing suppressed, I didnt have any copies of the parody, and I thought they had all been lost. Copying machines were not around in 1951. So over the last 50 years, this parody assumed mythic proportions in my mind. I believed it to be great writing. I should mention that over the last 50 years Ive had games or writing published, Ive had games or writing rejected, and Ive had games or writing published but screwed up. Some of this was painful (yeah, the life of the artist is hard), but the suppression of The Headmasters Report remained my worst experience. But then, as a lot of people have said, you never get over high school.
In 2001 I attended my 50th class reunion and ran into classmate Barry Jackson. He was showing people a carbon copy of The Headmasters Report. His mother had typed some copies back in 1951. I grabbed a copy from him and put it on my web site.
So Click here to go to The Headmasters Report. Its not quite as great as I remembered, but its still pretty good.
A final note: High school students having their writing suppressed isnt just something that happened in the 1950s. Its still happening, and maybe even getting worse. Here is an article about one example. As a response, some students have created underground newspapers, and today many students have their own web sites. I, however, am probably unique: Im the only 71-year-old who just published his suppressed high school writing on his web site.