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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Louis Hans, Long-time Sugar Land Teacher 1934-2013

My thanks to Tommy Laird for sending me this obituary notice for Mr. Louis Hans.  

Mr. Hans (I guess I'll always call him that) ran the scoreboard at Kempner Field in my day.  I don't know when he started or when he relinquished the job, but I'm sure he ran the clock for a long, long time.

I have a quick story relating to 8th grade American History, which he taught us in the 1963/64 school year.  I will conceal names to protect the innocent, but two of my classmates skated a little too close to the edge that fall.  Mr. Hans was discussing plantation life and referred to the role of overseer.   One character in the front row leaned over to another in the front row and said in a low voice, "Over see her, get it?"  Well, the other guy snickered.

Mr. Hans probably missed the exact wording of the comment, but he heard the snicker, and that was enough.  He said, "You two ... come with me," as he grabbed his two-handed paddle.

They went out in the hall and we heard some low talking and then a loud WHAP followed a few seconds later by another WHAP.  Mr. Hans followed the two back in the room, but before the first character sat down (he thought Mr. Hans wasn't looking), he licked his thumb and pressed it against the seat of his pants and made a hissing noise.  He thought it was sufficiently sotto voce that Mr. Hans wouldn't notice, but audible titters rippled through the classroom, so it didn't really matter whether Mr. Hans heard or saw the actual infraction.  The titters were enough to invoke a second trip to the hallway where we eventually heard two, maybe three more loud WHAPs.  

As you can tell, it is a indelible, shared memory of Mr. Hans and his eighth-grade American History class back in 1963.