A name to make a man stand at attention...

The funeral service was about to begin in the chapel of the First United Brethren Church. There. wasn't a feeling of sorrow, but many memories raced through the minds of those attending the service of this very remarkable man 'whose body lay in the coffin and in front of the church. The funeral director came forward, closed the lid of the casket and locked it. A teacher seated near the front leaned to his companion and whispered, "do you know why they're closing the coffin before the eulogy? That's so Jay won't sit up and correct the minister if he makes a mistake." The minister's opening statement was so apropos and profound, that it was etched in the minds of all who had known this man.

"Jay William Holmes. Now there is a name to make a man stand at attention."





My First Encounter

I met Jay Holmes the first time while I was, a student at the University of Dayton. As a requirement prior to student teaching, I had to observe classes at several Dayton high schools. Even though I was a  theater major, the Wilbur Wright principle assigned me to sit in on a variety of classes. The drama teacher and I became involved in discussing the plays he was doing and I missed the next assigned class.  Soon a voice on the P.A. demanded that the University of Dayton student should report to the principal  immediately. I was subject  to the first of many reprimands that I was to receive from Jay William Holmes.  "That teacher spent two hours last night preparing a lesson plan especially for you and you did not show up for her class. Why?" I decided I would never teach for such a tyrant. Six months later I was on the staff of Wilbur Wright.

That fall, I was doing my student teaching at Stivers High School. While there, I had applied for a permanent position in the Dayton system upon completion of my student teaching. A week after I had submitted my application, the Director of Personnel called me into his office and offered me a teaching position starting the next day at Wilbur Wright. The drama teacher at the school had resigned after a violent quarrel with Mr. Holmes. The principal demanded that he remove a set for a play that he had spent several weeks building so that there would be room  for a science assembly. My first assignment was to remove the scenery. The ironic part was that the assembly only covered the apron of the stage, and the removal of the scenery had been unnecessary.





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