This story is about loyalty. An example of a man’s character. It’s a story I felt I had to write. This story needed to be written I think. It’s a story about a friend that I grew up with while living in N.W. Portland. I’ll always remember this event as long as I live.

So, I had friends that I grew up with that lived in N.W. Portland back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. There was Bill Lowblad, Adam Berlin, Pat and Dan Deale, John Walker, Steve Schultz and a few other friends back then, we were like brothers growing up together, spent time in the Boy Scouts, playing Little League baseball, attending Portland Beaver baseball games, and Portland Blazer games. A true tribe of friends. We caused mischief since we were young kids, we had a great time. It was a magical neighborhood back then. It’s changed now.

After attending Chapman, we moved on to attending Lincoln High School, located in downtown Portland, it’s the oldest high school located west of the Mississippi River. Established in 1869. Located in the historical Goose Hallow neighborhood.

Growing up in N.W. Portland we all had mutual friends, one of our friends back †hen was Barney Burke. Barney grew up on N.W. Quimby, located behind Chapman Grade School. Barney grew up with us, he was the tallest kid in our class, he was almost 6”7” in high school. He had a pet falcon that he kept caged up in his backyard. He had a special glove that his hawk would perch on. It was a beautiful red-tail hawk; he’d fly it out behind Chapman; on the field in the back of the school. It would circle around, sometimes it would swoop down and catch a sparrow, sometimes crows would pester his hawk while it was circling high above the grounds around the school. It was cool to watch his pet hawk. It was a beautiful bird.

Barney played basketball at Lincoln, his sophomore year he made varsity. Around January of my Junior year at Lincoln (around 1975) I attended a Friday night varsity basketball game. Barney played well, but we lost to Benson that night. I waved at Barney as he headed to the locker after the game. I went home that night.

Barney liked cars back then, had buddies that raced their cars up off N.W. Thompson Road. Barney cruised around with his car buddies that hung out on S.W. Salmon. Barney had a few buds that met him that night, they went joy riding through the Hoyt Arboretum, they unfortunately drove off the road while cruising through the dark forest, sadly the vehicle that they were driving went off the road, flew over a cliff and rolled into a huge Douglas Fir that caused a horrific impact to his head and he died instantly. A few of his buddies survived. It was tragic. We all knew Barney. I found out about his death the following Monday morning when I arrived at school. I was shocked by the news. I think everyone was in shock, we all felt so bad.

At the start of my Junior year at Lincoln I enrolled into the Journalism program at Lincoln. Taught by Mr. David Bailey. It would be one of my favorite classes while attending Lincoln. I went on to have a column in the Cardinal Times (the school newspaper), was one of the cartoonists of staff, did layout, production and photography. People seemed to like my column back then. Kind of a lighthearted column, a young Herb Cain if you will.

Mr. Bailey. A young Republican, meticulous with the written word. A task master and a Historian if you will. He was the head coach for Cross Country and Track and Field. He had gotten his master’s with teaching from Portland State University. He attended Cleveland High School. Mr. Bailey, tended to push people’s buttons, matter of fact I know he did. He could be abrasive with people. He didn’t stand very tall, come to think of it I think he suffered from little-man complex. Some students pulled pranks on him, once a few students lifted his Volkswagen Beetle and turned it sideways in the teacher parking lot, causing him to call Triple A and get a tow.

I was a good student, got A’s and B’s in his class and looking back I learned a lot from Mr. Bailey. He only wanted his students to be the best they could be. I was actually a pretty good writer back then; it was a way for me to be creative. Mr. Bailey was a true master with the written word, articulate with punctuation. I think that you either loved Mr. Bailey or hated him to be honest. I always told myself that if I ever wrote a book that I most likely would want Mr. Dave Bailey to edit the book. He was immaculate with the written word.

Dave Bailey had a way of grinding on people, he wasn’t that polite and could get under your skin. He needled people at times and made examples out of people if they screwed up. He was kind of a killjoy. He had his convictions and I hate to say it, but I butted heads with him a few times. No surprise I guess.

So that Monday following the tragic accident I was sitting in Journalism class, waiting for Mr. Bailey to enter the room. Steve Schultz was sitting next to me; we were talking about Barney. Steve was good friends with Barney, he had been sobbing, we all had. There were about twenty-two students in the Journalism class back then. Mr. Bailey suddenly burst into the room. He had a certain swagger when he walked. He sat on his desk and looked at the class. His desk was his perch. It became quiet, we usually would open class talking about current events or U.S. Politics.

He asked for our attention. He looked at us. “I suppose that you heard the sad news about Barney Burke.” He noted how tragic it was. He pointed out how Barney had most likely been drinking, how foolish it was, he rambled on and on, grinding his death into the ground. I could see that Steve was getting upset and angry over the unkind way that Mr. Bailey had gone on about Barney’s death. The class was uncomfortable. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been told not to say anything bad or unkind words about the dead. Dave went on and on about Barney. I became very uncomfortable.

Suddenly Steve jumped out of his seat, he had had enough, a powerful spirit took hold of him, he stuck out his chest and screamed at the top of his lungs, “Barney was a friend of mine, I’m not going to sit here and listen to this crap!” Mr. Bailey’s mouth dropped about two feet; the class froze in time. I will always remember that moment as long as I live. You could hear a pin drop. David Bailey reminded me of the teacher in the movie, “Finding Forrester” a weasel in a way, with his pet students that would rat on people, he was kind of like Frank Burns in the T.V. show M.A.S.H. I went on to coach at Lincoln, I coached men’s soccer for six years. I was actually knighted by the school with coaching soccer. Mr. Bailey would run his cross-country teams right through the middle of my soccer teams practices when we would practice at the field at the archery range. Needless to say he could be annoying at times.

Meantime Steve proceeded to storm out of the class, he busted through the double doors that were attached to the Journalism classroom and marched down the hall. I blinked and stared at Mr. Bailey. Everyone seemed to be frozen in their seats, afraid to say anything. We were all in shock. Steve would never attend Mr. Bailey’s class again.

After graduating from Lincoln Steve joined the Navy, he wasn’t entitled like so many kids that attend Lincoln. He made it a lifetime career. We drifted apart after high school. Years later I found Steve through Facebook. He lived near Alexandria, Virginia, in charge of fueling ships and had made a career out of the Navy. It didn’t surprise me that Steve found a home in the Navy, he was a trustworthy person and very loyal to say the least. In 2014 I went back and visited Steve in Alexandria, we talked about old friends and growing up in N.W. Portland.

I looked at Steve and said the following words, “Steve I have a lot of great memories while attending Lincoln High School, but there is one moment that stood out the most for me.” I went on and reminded of his loyalty to our friend Barney Burke that most memorable day. I learned a lot at Lincoln High School, I told him that that memory meant the most to me when looking back with my time spent at Lincoln. It hadn’t surprised me that he had made a name for himself in the Navy. His loyalty made a huge impression on me that would last a lifetime.

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