The senior year at Lower Merion High School may have been the nadir of my life. As a junior, I had joined members of the class ahead of me in writing and producing a musical comedy for school production and editing the school newspaper. It was a very happy time and a major step in my evolution. But as a senior I was passed over for top positions that went to my friend and protégée and I was left an outsider.
I did belong to the Foreign Affairs Club, an activity to which I gave little importance, but one day I was invited to represent the school and, it turned out the regional school districts, in a debate sponsored by the Foreign Affairs Club of Philadelphia at which I had the then unpopular, but now more timely, task to defend tariff walls.
Frankly I did not understand the significance of the appointment. Nevertheless, I carefully researched the subject, and championed the ‘infant industry’ argument.
It turned out that no less than Pennsylvania U. S. Senator Hugh Scott, Republican ‘Whip’, as the principal speaker at the event.
The morning the front page of the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer (or perhaps it was the Bulletin of “In Philadelphia almost everyone reads the Bulleting”) was ablaze with a large photo of Scott, the other debater, and yours truly.
As disappointing as my senior year was until certain faculty members were aghast to see my national standardized subject tests results, this event was an oasis in a desert. It also looked good with my college application.
I never did give thought until now as to who arranged my participation. Perhaps some faculty member noticed and empathized with my plight. If so, may his or her memory be for a blessing.